Dinner at Alexander’s
An acquaintance in Dar es Salaam suggested that we have dinner at a nearby hotel by the name of Alexander’s Hotel. The day drew to an end and the sun settled on the horizon, giving way to the darkness that eagerly followed. We arranged for an Uber to pick us up at our hotel and drop us about 2 km away. It was possible to walk but the streets were dark and safety was our number one concern. An old man driving a tiny car stopped on the main road and the three of us piled into the car. The journey started out okay but then the first speed bumps approached.
The underside of the car slowly scraped over the speed bump and we successfully made our way over. To my horror I see the faint shadows of about four more speed bumps on the road ahead. With each speed bump the screeching car became louder and louder, and I began to worry whether we would reaching our destination.
20 minutes later we find the secret road that leads to Alexander’s Hotel but the obstacles aren’t finished yet. A pothole that spanned the width of the road was to be the final obstacle we must overcome to arrive safely. The driver entered the water slowly and the engine started to patter; my colleagues encourage the driver to go, fearing that water may push up the exhaust pipe. Finally the car pulled up to the hotel and we hurriedly got out of the tiny car, grateful to have arrived safely.
The entrance to the hotel was modest but as we entered elegance spilled over us. Now I don’t want to create a ridiculous expectation and we all must remember that this is after all Tanzania, but I was impressed by Alexander’s Hotel. We made our way to the rooftop restaurant, ordered a drink and took a seat. The menu had very interesting options and my eyes fell upon a prawn curry. My colleagues were both much more selective with regards to food and settled for more ‘normal ‘meals, one had a burger and the other a steak. Once the food arrived I dug in, enjoying every single bite; the prawn curry was absolutely delicious.
After dinner we sat and spoke, the sound of nature filled the quietness that surrounded the hotel. As we made our way out, we met with the owner, Alexander, and he showed us his underground wine cellar and we all stood and spoke of whiskeys and wines. The taxi was taking much longer than expected and Alexander kindly offered to drop us at the Slipway, which we gladly accepted.
Drinks and Karaoke
The club situated at the Slipway Hotel, Paparazzi, was having a karaoke night and we decided to join. I had never actually participated in karaoke, so my nerves tensed up and suddenly I became apprehensive. The two of us chose a song to sing together, just to break the ice. When they called our names I would have much rather run out screaming but I stepped up, took the mic in my hand and waited for the music to start.
The first song went better than expected. One song rolled into two, then three and by the end of the night we had sung three songs each and a few together. I must admit that the beers and shots loosened me up enough to really enjoy the singing.
My watch struck one and we decided to leave; but instead of going to our rooms we headed for the pool.
Early Morning Swim
Having not brought towels or swimming trunks, we then stripped to our boxer briefs and dove into the warm water. The swim was what I need to cool down in the warm Tanzanian night. We swam for about 15 minutes but was asked to not swim so late and to return to our rooms. We tried to be serious but ended up in fits of laughter, running through the corridors with our clothes in our hands, water dripping from our bodies and searching for our rooms.
I took a quick shower and collapsed on my bed, thinking of the few hours left to sleep and drifted off to sleep
Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of this last section during my second day in Dar es Salaam. It was an evening filled with fun and great memories. If you haven’t read the first few posts of my Dar es Salaam trip, check out arriving in Dar es Salaam and the stringy chicken experience
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