Dar is a crazy town

After the departure of Ben and Julie I set about trying to buy materials for the MSABI project. Dar is great for a few days, but really it is too much. The traffic sux. It can easily take over 2 hours to get into the city centre - a trip of only 5-10kms. There are too many people, too many cars and not enough roads. Combine that with poor driving ability, a lack of common sense, too many 4wd wannabe road kings, too many crapboxes that escaped from the wreckers and police that control intersections - though seem too busy texting their friends than to actually look up and direct traffic. Also, the climate is hot and sticky - and the place is dusty. By the end of the day I resemble a sticky comanche idian from one of those 1950s western flics -where they shoe polished white people to act as indians. The business districts are mad and crazy - no rules other than money rules. As a whitey you are fair game - you never really know the true price but expect it is 2-3x less than what you are first told. Like many Asian cities Dar has streets designated for selling specific things - for example I was focussing on swahilli street which has most of the hardware stores. The hardware stores are almost exclussivly owned by Arabs who migrated from countries like Oman and Yemen during the slave trading days. A recent trend though has seen an influx of Chinese moving to Dar to sell cheap (crappy) hardwares. I had one funny experience where a young Yemeni guy was taking me in his car to his brothers shop - he just started rambling on about how he makes too much money and everything in his store is marked up 100%. Each store is about the size of a single garage - and there are literally hundreds of them. I spent most of the day searching all the stores to find the specific tools that I required. I was trying to buy equipment so that we can start building another 2 drill rigs. Two days of this was too much, but thankfully I found all the things we need and was able to escape Dar to the relative peace and comfort of Ifakara. Oh, I forgot to mention I also bought another 2 Gutas (work tricycles) which have now been delivered to Ifakara.