Driving around a magnificent wildness

Here’s a wheel cover that is pure genius, sent in by an alert reader. The money tagline is a bit hard to read so I’ll transcribe it:

“If you drive around a magnificent wildness in a 4 Wheel drive car, you will encounter a series of tensions and excitements far from your imaginations just like a cowboy who was bravely riding a horse.”

Lodio Drive

I know I should get over the R and L thing, but can’t help passing along little nuggets like this one. I suspect that this one may have been imported though.

“Nice shopping bag – How’d they do?”

One nice thing about emerging markets is they tend to recycle everything.

Take, for example, this shopping bag used fora recent purchase of a printer cartridge.



And inside:


For what it’s worth, University of Dar es Salaam students Nancy Mbia and Ester Felician got a 4.5 score on their 14 September 2006 Physical Chemistry Practicals titled: “Conductimetric Deterioration of the Dissociation Constant for a Weak Electrolyte.” Good for you, Nancy & Ester!

Yep, it’s expensive here


It really is expensive to live here. From “Dar Rents Highest in East Africa,” The Citizen:

Renting an 85m² (900 sqft) room in an expensive area in the city costs up to $2,711 (Sh4.3 million) a month, the highest compared with Nairobi, Kigali and Kampala.


An online survey-based cost of living calculator, expatistan.com, shows that a similar house in expensive areas will cost $1,247 in Nairobi, $1,182 in Kampala and $933 in Kigali.


“Dar es Salaam has a few planned areas which provide access to water, good roads and are less congested. Customers normally compete for a few areas and automatically raise charges in those areas,” says Sultani Mndeme, a real estate consultant with GimcoAfrica.

I knew it seemed expensive, but still two times the cost of Nairobi? Ouch.

HCTAHBP: Timber!


This guy cut down a beautiful old tree around the corner from my house, more or less by himself. So typical that they thought to have a safety rope to direct the fall of the branch. But not to put the lumberjack on belay.

We kept waiting to hear the scream and sound of a body, or limb falling. Fortunately, it never came.

HCTAHBP: Lumberjack standing HCTAHBP: Lumberjack cutting



HCTAHBP: Here’s an email I would never get in the US

Sent by a colleague who was returning to Nairobi from Dar:

Hi Brent

How was your weekend? I got home safe and sound although the plane had mechanical problem where it refused to open the flap on the wings so we had to fly for more than an hour and then it opened and then we landed safe.

Whew. Glad that it finally opened up. I wonder what the pilot’s plan was if it didn’t open?

I know what you are thinking, and no, this wasn’t an Air Tanzania flight. They’re still not flying outside of the country yet.

Scenes from A Tanzany Mall


Open scene in front of a display of phones.

Me: Hello. I would like to buy a phone.

Sales guy: Let me get the other sales guy.

Me: Ok.

Other S.G.: Hello.

Me: Hello. I would like to buy a phone.

Other S.G.: Which one do you want?

Me (pointing at a phone): This one.

Other S.G.: We don’t have that one.

Me (pointing at a different phone): How about that one?

Other SG: We don’t have that one. We don’t have any of these. (Waves hand over entire phone display.)

Me: Well then why … Never mind. (Exit stage left.)

Fade to black.