Zanzibar

On the ferry ride from Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar Matt showed his first sign of weakness on the trip: he managed to get seasick (I of course had to make my customary trip to the bathroom as is common practice on boats unfortunately).  He maintains it was food poisoning from the chili flavored banana chips that I bought, therefore his status as superhuman immunity is still intact.  Once we arrived in Stone Town it was immediately apparent I had underestimated the Arab influence on the island; it truly looked like this island belonged in the Middle East, not a three hour ferry ride from East Africa.  The women all wore traditional Muslim dress, many with their faces completely covered.  Prayers at several times throughout the day were announced through public loud speakers. The buildings were very much what I would picture to be Arabic architecture (I’ll let you know if I was correct when I get to Jordan). 

Zanzibar is known as the “spice island” for the spices grown, probably a self-coined term to rid itself from being known as the “slave island”.  We went on a spice tour where we saw both the slave trade and spice aspects of the island.  The slave markets were quite appalling; seeing the very tiny chamber that up to 75 slaves were cramped and essentially starved for two days before being “put to market”, so that only the strong slaves would survive and would fetch higher prices.  The pretty girls had it easier though, they were sold into prostitution.  The spice portion of the tour was much more appealing to see where all the random spices actually grow on trees, bushes, etc. 

On the north side of the island was the beach section. It pretty much looked like a lot of Caribbean Island beaches.  Some local ladies on the beach set up a salon type thing under a bungalow right on the beach.  They offered manicures, pedicures, massages, etc.  Matt, most likely under the influence of being the only male on a truck with 18 other girls for a week and a half, decided he was going to get a pedicure.  He claims that I “made him” do it, however, it was most definitely under his own volition.  My only response when he told me he was going to get one was “let me get my camera first”. 

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