Top 10 Signs You’re Back in Tanzany

Like a lot of other expat families, we took a trip home this summer to visit friends and family. It was a nice break but we were happy to come home.

The short time away, did however, refresh our eyes a bit to the perplexing glory that is Tanzany. “Keep Austin weird?” Dude … you have no idea.

So, ala David Letterman, here are the

Top 10 Signs You’re Back in Tanzany

10. The post vacation bliss has already worn off during the hour to an hour-and-a-half just it takes to get your bags from the baggage claim.


9. It takes one-and-a-half hours to drive 20 kilometers in Dar es Salaam … for no apparent reason.


8. Food portion sizes have returned to normal (about half the US portion size).


7. Put the credit cards away and fill you pockets with cash, because you have to pre-pay for everything and there are fewer than 4,000 card terminals in the country.


6. Few coffee houses have take-away cups, and those that will spill all over you.


5. “Winter” means 78℉. And you see people wearing coats.


4. Nobody cares about reducing the use of plastic shopping bags. (True story: I brought reusable shopping bags to the store and passed them to the bagger. The bagger then proceeded to put all the groceries into plastic shopping bags and then put those bags into the reusable bag.)


3. Addresses are not precise coordinates — more like stories about locations with descriptions of relative to local landmarks: like “On Old Bagamoyo Road, near this, and across from that.”


2. Driving is less stressful. You no longer worry about red-light cameras. Or traffic cops. Or speed traps. Or indeed motor vehicle ‘laws’.  And if you are in a hurry and need to drive on the sidewalk to get past a traffic jam … pretty much everyone is going to be OK with it.


1.  You’ve been out of the country for only a month and the government has changed the road names again. (Goodbye Ocean Road, hello Obama road.)