30 March 2013

The home of peace...

...welcome to Dar es Salaam...
Country - Tanzania, Africa
Time zone - GMT +3
The capital - Dodoma
Dar es Salaam - in Swahili it means the home of peace, it is also the country's richest city and important economic centre
Local currency - tanzanian shilling (tzs)
National anthem - Mungu Ibariki Afrika (swahili for God Bless Africa)
Official languages - Swahili and English
English vs Swahili
hello - hujumbo
goodbye - kwaheri
thank you - asante
how are you? - jinsi wewe?
I love you - i kumpenda wewe :)
Coming to this place for the first time I didn't really know what to expect except a lots of mosquitos and beautiful beaches :)
Because of the bad timing there's not much time to go around and explore so you just have to prioritise... First thing everyone wanted to do is to go for some sea food for dinner, surprise surprise! (sometimes I feel that's the only thing crew wants to do, eat and drink without any interest for anything else -.-)
That's what you call a drink! :))
Still...the girls were up for the beach so we went in the morning to find that Butterfly beach everyone's talking about :)
Long sandy beach, beautiful clean and worm Indian ocean...only the weather wasn't really on our side, and the rain decided to ruin that short time we had, but anyway, we had our beach time :) 

We were left with only one hour to do some fruit,vegetables and souvenirs shopping and get back to the hotel...
Wherever we've stopped to buy something from above we were asked where are we from, and surprisingly as it always is when someone knows WHAT and WHERE Croatia is, I was shocked when they started yelling Šuker Šuker! :))) And also naming other Croatian soccer players, hehe.
So after 10 days when I came for the 2nd time and went to the same place to buy some more of their extremly delicious fresh tasty tomatos and avocados, they have remembered me, giving me high fives :)

Do you know that feeling when you visit a place you have never been before and you just can  feel it...feel the vibe, that something inside of you that tells you ''I feel good here, I like it'' or just simply not?
Do you?
Well I do, and this is one of those places where I felt comfortable from the first second, enjoyed the heat and humidity, breeze of air through the open car window, sun...
People are working on the streets selling as many different things as they can, from fruits, water and nuts to belts, geographic maps, toys, brooms, lighters and all sorts of stuff, some men and women are selling the same on their small stands, men are repairing shoes out on the open, by the road, under the tree, some of them are selling t-shirts in the same way, some are sleeping on the grass, some are waiting for the over crowded buses to squeeze in and go who knows where...
You just drive by looking at them and all of the sudden you wonder why on earth would that girl wave to you and give you the biggest sincere smile you have ever seen, the one that assures your first feeling of comfort, that you weren't wrong about this place, so you just wave back and share the same big smile to her, traffic lights go green and you never see her again but her big eyes and chubby face will stay in your memory for ever...
Asante so much for that :)
On the other side, there's lots of children begging on the street, knocking on your car windows, carrying their smaller baby brothers and sisters on their backs, showing you they want to eat. We don't have food or local money at that point and you just feel so awfully helpless and sad for them...but what they do? Most of them smile and wave, just like the girl from the bus :)
It all comes down to...
“Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love,
a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” 
Mother Teresa
This African country, the home of Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain and the coconut crab (the largest in the world and apparently the most delicious, wouldn't know yet) deserves so much more time than only 48 hours. 
It is the country of diversities that takes time to explore and experience properly...
I'm just happy to have a chance to see at least this small part of it, and share it with you :)
Before I wish all of you a very happy Easter let me tell you one interesting fact about Tanzania I've found online - women here can breast feed in public without covering themselves (and not get any strange looks) but on the other hand they can't have their knees showing and must wear skirts...
I'll have to investigate that next time if it's true ;)
So, Happy Easter to all and have a great weekend!

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14 March 2013

Le bon ton - Vol 1

This post is not gonna be about some beautiful place I have been lately, it's gonna be...how to put it?...about human behaviour one on one? :)
And it's dedicated to You, my unknown reader/passenger/colleague/random person on the street, to You whoever You are and You can find Yourself in these upcoming words and examples... No hard feelings, it's just my personal observation of people around me in general :)

I'll just start from the beginning by explaining what bon ton is, cause many don't know what does it mean (to the most it sounds like something to eat, yes I've heard that).
So let's learn something today, a thing or two about "good manners" - which is the meaning of the french phrase 'le bon ton'.

It also means "in the fashionable mode". I know, I know, that can be hard to understand as well cause fashionable doesn't only mean wearing nice (expensive) clothes it's also about how You ACT doing so.
To make it easier for You to understand I'll put it this way - BONTON is a book or a code of manners that every member of our society should know. Well, at least the basic ones, the ones You should have learned from the age of...I don't know...zero!?

Examples - how to behave in public, how to behave 'by the table', in the movies etc and how to interact with other people, the simplest ones don't You think?
I believe those are more or less the same in every culture, if not there's so many ways to learn them and still plenty of You out there find it difficult to do so. Can someone tell me why?

This is a list of top 3 most annoying (and yet so simple and easy things to learn) which I encounter every single day in this big and crazy World of ours...
As I've said at the beginning, it's my personal opinion, so enjoy it, or don't :)

No.3 - politely, understandably and clearly speaking to me,
or anyone else for that matter.

It is very hard to understand a person if we all come from different countries and we speak english with different accents.
Specially if You speak too fast, don't pronounce the words clearly (f.e. when I'm in a hurry and my taxi driver is lost in time and space and he doesn't know where he's going), or on the other hand if You keep Your head down, mumble something without opening Your mouth so quietly that You don't even hear yourself (specially if You work in a pharmacy or a bank and You're wearing braces).
Addition to all of that there's always some noise around us in the aircraft so it's pretty clear that You can't help me and for sure I can't help You that way.
So please lift Your pretty head up a little higher, no need to be ashamed or affraid (most of us we don't bite), tune-up a little bit that precious sound of Your voice and/or try to slow donw a bit using the words You can actually pronounce in the right way, it will be easier for everyone, for sure! ;)

No.2 - I doubted about No.1 and 2 as I believe they are both equaly impportant in the Miss Manners book, but I've decided to place this one on the second place of this little list - putting Your hand over Your mouth while You're caughing and sneezing (specially if my face is a few centimeters/inches away from Yours!).

Really people?! Come on! So many things I could say about this one but every single time this happens I'm left speechless and to be honest - disgusted.
I got used to the fact that some eat with their mouth open, or yawn without covering their mouth but caughing! Or sneezing!
You know You are not the only one on this planet, there are others around You healthy at that point and not wanting to recieve whatever illness You might have, straight into our noses and mouths. We don't know how sick You are and damn sure I don't want to be sick as well.
So please please PLEASE cover your mouth and nose while doing either of two. It's not a difficult movement, You won't get tired doing it and the best thing is that no one around You will think about the lack of Your manners. If You even give a _ _ _ _ about it :)

And the first place goes for... 
 Hello, Goodbye, I'm sorry, Please and the big fat Thank You!

Do I ask too much?
Did anyone tought You these beautiful words when You were little?
Did anyone explained to You what does it mean to be polite?
Or respectful?

I could go on and on and on about this cause I'll never get used to the fact that You ignore me when I say hello or goodbye, or even worse when You want something and You just say 'I want!' or 'Give me!' instead of please and thank you... Will never ever understand that!
So I wonder... if You don't learn these phrases and appropriate time when to use them when You're a child, will You ever?
If Your parents didn't taught You, can anyone?
Is there a certain age at what people stop learning how to behave themselves, or they just don't care??? 

Actually I'm not looking for an explanation cause there is none! If I can learn how to say thank you in 10 other languages besides english and croatian then there's no excuse for You not to say it at least in Your own language, whether I understand it or not... Hard thing to do? Looks like...
But haven't You heard about the first impressions? It's so easy, if You would just try!

This 3 points apply to everyone but working this job, interacting with hundreds of different people all over the World made me write this down, who knows maybe someday someone reads this and actually gives an effort to change some of his/hers questionable 'manners'...

The most annoying thing of all is that this is NOT all and it