We added up the hours for three flights and waiting time at airports: 31 hours. Oh, my! From Cairns, Australia to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania is a long way.
We read somewhere that incivility on planes goes up in proportion to the size allotted for passengers. We took three flights to get from Cairns to Melbourne to Doha to Dar es Salaam. Seating was tight on our second and longest flight, and passengers seemed more restless than usual. Babies cried a lot, too.
A woman in the seat ahead of us seemed confused and got out of her seat during takeoff only to be coaxed by fellow passengers back into her seat. A fully loaded overhead bin flew open. A short time later a passenger was sick on the floor. Babies cried some more. Just as we drowsed off, we felt something pushing at our elbows on the seat rests — passengers’ toes (from behind us). When we turned around, we faced the ample spandex-wrapped posterior of a passenger in the row behind us who stood on top of the seat, facing backwards. What WAS she doing? The flight seemed to go on forever.
Our lastflight gave passengers more room, Perhaps that’s why the babies onboard didn’t cry so much and the passengers kept their feet to themselves, remained seated most of the time, and were quiet.
On arrival in Dar es Salaam, we knew the drill (and you do, too) for easing into a new time zone: get outside and get a little exercise. So, we took a look out our hotel room at the city streets and the Indian Ocean visible some blocks distant. We stuck our feet into walking sandals and headed out the door to explore our neighborhood in the big city.
We almost stopped before we started. The road was rutted and unpaved, dust was swirling all around. People filled the streets, many seemed to be just standing around – watching and waiting. Sidewalks were sometimes blocked or impassable. We hesitated. How pleasant would a walk be? Yet, we knew we needed to be outside, in the daylight, so we forged ahead.
At first we just walked. Then we got to a point of observing. Soon we started to take photos.
Why did we hesitate? The dusty roads, if followed long enough, did reveal another appealing side of Dar es Salaam. That night our long flights were forgotten, and we slept well. When we awoke, we were on Tanzania time.