Along the big market street there are buckets in all kinds of colours. They are filled with ice and bright coloured juices, all from pomegranate to all those I didn’t catch the name of. And there are heaps of branches behind tables and people squeezing the branches in mills, pushing out a cream white liquid into the bright yellow buckets. The taste is sugary and like nothing I have tasted before. Fresh sugar cane juice. You buy it per glass and can enjoy it either buy the street, or at night by the ocean in the park.
As the sun sets the park comes alive. Some forty small restaurants, consisting of nothing but a table and a grill or chopping board, fill the park with the smell of grilled food, Zanzibarian pizza and that fresh sweet smell of fresh sugar canes. People are laughing, smiling and the air is easy to breathe.
My first night in Zanzibar my friend P and I walked through the park, suddenly he stopped and said “look, he’s gonna jump!” I looked towards the ocean, a young man was taking some steps backwards and ran, gaining more speed for every step, and as he reached the low wall he took a powerful step onto it and made a volt above the warm dark waves before splashing into the ocean. The stars glimmered in the water, to the right the harbour lightened by artificial light making the big containers in different colours look like a big painting.
We had just been for an evening swim in the ocean, the mild water offering a soothing chill for our warm bodies.
This morning the rain was pouring, and as I got lost in the labyrinth of Stone town looking for the café I knew existed somewhere at the edge it started dripping from the sky. I hurried, walked around some more corners and found myself at home again. How the flip did I get back here!? I asked myself, and took the right turn again. The dripping became more intense, and just as the sky opened and the heavy rain splashed against the pavement did I step onto the terrace of the café. I ordered their home made ice tea and sat down, enjoying the cool air left by the rain and the chilly breeze combined with the fresh ice tea. Life is so good.