As I stepped off the bus in Mbeya last last night I was met by three MC-guys. “Hello babe, wanna ride? Where are you going?” I ignored them, and said “no thank you” to the taxi guy who already stood by my side, and started walking towards the restaurant i had spotted from the bus.
No one of the staff at the restaurant spoke English, and they kept on offering me chicken. “No, no chicken.” I said. “Hen?” they asked. “No, no animals. No chicken, no hen, no meat. Vegetables. You have vegetables?” I asked. The waitress didn’t understand me.
One of the guests offered to translate, he asked me what I wanted. “Something vegetarian to eat.” I said. He asked them what they offered. “They have chips. Do you want chicken with that?” he asked. “No,” I said, “No chicken. No meat” He looked at me. “Ok, ok. Goat? They have goat.” At this stage I was ready to rip my hair off. “No, I’ll have only chips.” By then three people were standing at the table, they all looked at me as if I was from another planet. “Only chips? No hen?”
Eventually I got some chips.
I had the wrong number to my CS-host so I couldn’t get hold of her. It was already past ten o’clock at night so I had to find a hotel. The English speaking man later told me that “you have landed in Mbeyas most dangerous area, here are people who want to hurt you.” He looked me in my eyes. After all the travelling I’ve made I wasn’t ready to believe him, but he offered to follow me to a hotel so ok. I didn’t say no.
As I had finished the meal I got into his car, he took me to the hotel which was literally right across the street. Not more than twenty meters. As we stopped he said “the woman at the restaurant said you could stay at her place, but I told her it’s not appropriate to invite someone like that. I told her it’s much better for you to stay at a hotel.” WHAT!? I don’t get it. I live couch surfing, I always stay in other people’s home. Even when I am At home.
Today I walked around Mbeya and three times I was called by guys, “hey! Muzungo!” It means soemthing like, hey, white person. “You speak English huh? Mother fucker!” another one called “Muzungo! You know English huh you mother fucker bitch!?”
I totally ignored them and thought about Senegal. I thought the people there were rude, I now realize it was nothing. But sure there must be more nice people here than the ones at the restaurant yesterday?
I am now at my CS-host’s place in Mbeya, in south Tanzania, and it feels great. We’ve shared some wine at her terrace, underneath a million stars, overlooking the mountains. Her dog sleeping on the stairs. Travelling is really heaven. You never know what to come.