Sunday, January 20, 2008

SS Liemba - Day 2

Spent the night with the boat docked. Finally got out of Mpulung at 1030.

First class cabins consist of a couple of bunks, loset, a table/chair, a sink and mirror, plus a couple of cockroaches here and there. Very basic... worth 50 bucks? considering the alternative (a spot on a wooden bench and/or deck), it's a damn good deal.

the night went ok. The old hags camping outside the door wouldn't shut up for the longest time [ed. note: can't believe i wrote that. but Africans are really good communicators. they love talking. i swear if mzungus didn't have TV or video games they'd be good talkers as well. wow, talking to one another. that'd be a shocker]. However, the mellow tunes played by my roomie's laptop helped sooth the situation.

D-day on the Liemba. Ironic that the Liemba was orginally a german ship. that's my pal Oguda with his wondrous Dell puter.

My roomie's name is Oguda Joshua Robert. He's Zambian [actually he turned out to be Tanzanian, my bad] on his way to Kigoma (like the rest of us). He's working on his master's degree in environmental health administration in Lusaka via correspondence with the University of Leeds. He's a really nice guy. Loves his eighties musak. I made him change rooms today for no apparent reason. according to "gopher", the ship's purser, we're in a room with better air circulation now.

Docking in Kasanga, Tanzania

whole lotta cargo. get to work boys...while i go get some toilet paper...

tough, tough, tough job...

fit for the pit...
We're in Kasanga taking on a load right now. Kasanga is the first stop in Tanzania. It's been 6 hrs so far. People are mesmerized by the loading process. Most of it are bags of corn kernels. Except for the trucks and crane, it's all done by brute force. 90 kg Bag by 90 kg bag. These "cargo handlers" are built tough, working hour after hour, building neatly stacked piles for the crane to load into the cargo hold using a net.

Life as the lone mzungu took a turn for the worse today. I've noticed that the loo doesn't provide TP. It'd been 2 days since I've gone. I asked the ticket guy, Faust, where I can get some toilet paper. I know. That's weak. In all my travels, I just cannot do the left hand assist. I dunno why. There's no shop on board. Before I knew, Faust starts asking the deck on how the mzungu can get some TP. Really embarassing... Lots o laughs at my expense later, I hopped onto a motor bike and was taken, along a bumpy dirt road, to the closest village with a TP dispensary. I bought the biker a litre of gas and called it even.

Got to go use it before I suffer some kind of toxic septic explosion.

Weak, my friends.

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