I never thought I would see traditionally dressed Massai men in their red sarong wraps and lady-like sandals drinking vodka and kissing drunk white girls at a party in a hostel in Zanzibar, the former slave island off the coast of Tanzania, East Africa.
But seriously, last night I did.
I went to Zanzibar on a whim. Partly because I intended to go during my original African adventure, back when my love affair with the forgotten continent first began, but then I feel way too hard for Mozambique and never made it. Now I wanted to see what I’d missed. It was also to do with some visa trouble I had a couple of weeks ago when I entered South Africa overland.
Zanzibar is beautiful. So fucking beautiful. The beaches are probably some of the most eye-catching in the world. White sand akin to that of my picturesque home in Western Australia and as usual the Indian Ocean, lazes on the shore line, seductive as ever.
The Massai guys roam the beaches slowly, all dressed similarly in their traditional attire, carrying wares to sell. They are funny and will happily walk with you and teach you a bunch of Swahili words without actually trying to sell anything. In fact, they’re actually horrible salesmen.
Anyway, it does seem slightly out of place, the young guys keeping up their traditional clothing like a uniform when they’re surrounded by dreadlock dudes in tie dye and kiteboarder chicks from Holland with washboard stomachs and nut cracker thighs. I half expected that they would take off their sarongs at the end of the day, don their western clothes and hit the bars with everyone else.
Which they do, expect they keep up the Massai thing like it’s legit.
As it turns out, it is.
So anyway, there was a party last night at the run down hostel I have been staying at. I didn’t go, which is pretty out of my usual character, but I stopped in to watch some drunk people struggling to dance in the soft sand. And that’s when I saw the strange strange juxtaposition of the tall thin Massai dudes, battens hanging from their wastes, dancing to Kei$ha and kissing the washboard stomach girls on the dance floor.
I never could have predicted such a thing.
Anyway, it seems I have now fallen over the edge of oblivion a little bit and am not ready to return to Mozambique just yet. I booked a flight to Egypt for Wednesday and plan on heading into Israel and Jordan over a three week period. Who knows what will happen, but I can be sure it will be interesting.
Wish me luck.