Karimjee Jivanjee Office Building: Photo courtesy: Planning Unit University College London — Wikimedia Commons
There’s a difference between the Dar I remember, and the one I find on line. Many of the old buildings are demolished, and I stare at a photo trying to place where the picture fits into the map of Dar I hold in my head.
A year before I came to the coastal town, I spent a week in Bali. Kuta Beach had a dirt track leading to the ocean. There were no hotels so I rented a room in a local family’s house. Only traditional Balinese food was available.
Twenty years later, I revisited the island with my daughter. We had just completed a hard two weeks going from one end of Java to the other, and Bali seemed like paradise to my daughter. I however, was disappointed. The once petite women had grown plump; the family house I’d stayed in was replaced with rows of shops; you could eat halal Kentucky Fried Chicken; and the beach was no longer free, you had to pay to sit on the sand.
This makes me apprehensive about revisiting Dar es Salaam, a town I remember with majestic buildings and a casual, relaxed atmosphere.