Well, not an actual Gunfire, but a mental one. Every time I get annoyed by someone I shoot the person with my imaginary gun; and it even has sound effects! I'm inspired by Cougar town. We just got back from Mafia Island after a lot of gunfires...
It all started 6 days ago when we arrived in Dar-es-Salaam after a horrible bus ride. The cab driver drove us to a suburb where we could take the bus to the harbor the morning after and go to Mafia from there. The place was called Mbagala; but goes under the nickname "The Ghetto". "The Ghetto" caused the first Gunfire. The hotel; that was situated in an alley, was crappy and didn't have an actual toilet, the power was off the whole evening and the people was annoying us all the time cause we are white. I mean more than usual. We sang "In the ghetto" the whole evening.
The morning after we waited for the sun to rise before we dared to leave the room and then went to the bus station. It would take 2-3h to get to the harbor. As we got the the harbor; chaos broke loose. Everyone ran around giving directions and information in Swahili and there were no English speaking person in sight. They yelled "tiketi, tiketi", but when we tried to buy a ticket they just told us to wait. We waited and waited and tried to remember the faces of the people that came with the same bus as us. We asked around if anyone was going to Mafia Island and if they knew when the ferry would come and how much it costs etc. but no one wanted to help and they just ignored us. so I imaginary shot them! ...and myself a couple of times because I was so bloody sick of them! We couldn't get a ticket and hoped that we could buy it on the ferry when it arrived. The ferry came after 4h and Then they decided to open the ticket office! so instead of letting all of us (around 50 people) get a ticket before while we were waiting, we now had to fight to get a ticket all at the same time. Sanna watched over the luggage and I joined the ticket hunt. Everyone was squeezing in order to get first and it was so warm that after 10 min I got a panic attack. I couldn't breathe because of the crowds and the nasty smell of fish that was right next to the ticket booth. if it wasn't for all the people pushing we from all directions I would have fallen to the ground. On top of that the ticket guy didn't do anything, he just sat down and laughed at us. Then he explained something in Swahili which made everyone upset. I asked if we could buy a ticket, but no, that was not possible. As I got in front he told me to write our names on a list ( a passenger list) and then go. So I got back to Sanna without a ticket and without any information. so I shot the ticket guy and took my machine gun to shoot everyone else as well.
In the end one man came to us and spoke English and believe me it was a gift from God. Finally we got the information that as we were on the passenger list we could pay when we got on the ferry. The only thing was that once again everyone wanted to get on the boat first, queueing is not in their vocabulary and now we would have to pay meanwhile we were pushin to get on the boat; With the luggage! I wished that I could speak Swahili and organize the whole thing so we could safe a couple of hours, but no. instead we stood in the back just watching the chaos and I screamed "moja, moja" (one at the time). As we eventually got on the boat, the so called Gift from God asked us for money of course as he translated a sentence for us, but I just starred at him and shot him.
The boat trip would have taken 5h if it wasn't for another boat that was out of fuel in the middle of the ocean. We had to get them to shore and on top of that let all the passengers on our boat. As more than 50 people tried to jump over at the same time I was sure that the boat would sink. I just watched the chaos and it wasn't the first time I associated the whole event with Titanic; with the only difference that the people were desperate to get On the boat instead of Off it. Ot was a miracle that we made it to the shore of Mafia. But we didn't know yet was that this was just the beginning...
It didn't take long before we realised that this was a crazy expensive Island and that the only tourists that come to this island are snobs with a lot of money! And they fly here btw! The hostel cost more than twice as much as a normal hotel usually costs, the dinner was 15$ each. This caused another gunfire... On top of that the bank didn't take VISA cards and we were broke! Great! After another panic attack and some tears the bank man let us at least exchange our dollars even if we didn't have an account with their bank so we could stay 3 days. Too bad the power was off 2 of those days... These 3 days we practically did nothing so we could affort food and accommondation. We dreaded the trip back to Dar-es-Salaam and asked our hotel manager for advise. He said that the flight tickets to Dar was 110$ each which was definitely worth it and that he would talk to the airline and explain our situation. After a while he came back and said that he arranged with the piolt that we could fly to Dar and then pay when we got there. It was like another gift from God, but this time he didn't ask for extra cash! This would never happen in Europe! We flew to Dar and and the airport a man met us with a sign "Elickson" and we assumed that was us. It was the first time I had my name on a sign; well supposed to be my name at least. We withdrawled the money and so we were in Dar! Instead of 13h it took us 30 min! God bless airplanes! Sanna and I both agreed on that we had had enough of buses for a while and decided to look for flights directly to Livingstone for next week. Although I said before that I wanted to live like an African; well, I don't wanna travel like an African...