No worries for the unprepared

Hungry for some vitumbua, the fried rice buns? They're very popular and many passersby crowd around to buy..

Hungry for some vitumbua, the fried rice buns? They’re very popular and many passersby crowd around to buy…

If you happen to leave the house without proper preparations for the day ahead – no worries.

All you need can be found for offer on the streets around.

For early morning thirst, small and large bottles of water, even cooled, are for sale everywhere.

For something more substantial go find Mama Ntilie, who start cooking at sunrise.

At every strategic corner there’s the familiar smell of chapatis being baked.

Usually there are muhogo as well, the deep fried cassava.

Omelette or maharaghe to go with it will keep you going for many hours to come.

For something on the go, there are maandazi, cooked at home very early and being sold out of large containers.

Or maybe vitumbua, the fried rice buns, less easy to find as special cooking plates are needed.

They’re very popular and many passersby crowd around to buy.

Are your shoes looking a bit dusty or did your lace break as you tried to leave home in a rush?

No problem, a small table with all types of polish and laces in different colours can be found along the way.

Even small repairs of a loose heel can be done on the spot.

If you wake up one morning feeling it’s high time for a new pillow, look around while you’re driving.

Machinga hang their wares on fences along busy roads or even come to your window to offer the goods at traffic lights.

Has a screen wiper mysteriously disappeared overnight?

At busy junctions you’re bound to see them for sale.

Towards weekends and public holidays it’s time for family fun — so balls and other beach games will be around at every corner.

When rain is expected, umbrella’s appear out of nowhere for unprepared wananchi.

In short, life here with all its challenges can also be very convenient!

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About the Author

Josie van den Hoek
Josie first visited Dar es Salaam in 2000 and is still here. She writes about encounters on her daily walks and Tanzanian life.