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Published: November 10th 2017
Geo: -8.30873, 33.4863
Okay so we have successfully negotiated the Zambia/Tanzania border crossing. Both were not without significant frustrations. We were primed by other Tourists that the Tanzanian go slow strategy was a plan to elicit bribes so we were prepared for the worst. We were not prepared for the arrogance, aggression and pig headedness of the officials. Darren sent me packing to mind the car as I was definitely going to kill someone. The really frustrating thing is the agents (present at every border crossing), for some reason they assume we "Muzungu" (?? Derogatory term for a white person) are incredibly stupid and need help to fill out the arrivals form. Gosh I only have two degrees hence I really feel I need someone to point out where I need to write my name. I did point out that if they just stopped talking and P**ed Off I recon I could do it myself.
Three hours later we were through. You can appreciate why it takes three hours to get three stamps, (we already had our visas). On principle we did not part with any cash we did not have to hence the annoying, smelly, frustrating stand off.
Enough about that experience, as you may notice Darren has temporarily got writers cramp as he is a bit down on the whole Tanzania experience. We seem to have met a lot of very aggressive unhappy people. We are stating to loose count of the number of times we have been abused for something we unknowingly have done. As we don't speak Swahili and there is next to no English we struggle to work out what we have done wrong and can't argue in our defence. Darren seems to have taken the abuse to heart and is a little down. Tanzania also seems like a huge step backwards, no decent shops, the road are plagued with Police Check points, by the time we get up to highway speed we hit another check point. I really would like to ask their job description to see if the actually know what they are checking for but they seem to like to pull people over, direct them to park on the side of the road then wander off seeming ignoring the car. It is either the height of rudeness and arrogance or just another bribe strategy. Either way highway travel has been annoyingly slow.
My little contribution… well!! I have been abused for being a white person.. shoved out of the way & shouted at.. well get stuffed I say!
The driver door window winder had broken, it would get half way up & down and stop and make a grinding sound.. yep no matter how fast you wound it the dam thing would not go. Now normally this is not a problem however with the large number of Police checkpoints I had to resort to opening the door. The opening of the door seemed to increase the Police's authority as we were more exposed.. I pulled it out and headed into town looking for somebody who may help repair or replace.. we ended up at a truck body builder who did everything from chassis extensions to enclosed bodies.. Humm I think VSB6 could be better utilised in Tanzania.. dodgey is the only word for it. They welded everything with stick and as they had no eye shields they did it with their eye's closed.. some very crappy welding was produced. No bolts needed just weld everything direct to the chassis and axles. No wonder most trucks seem to have axle issues. The good news is one of the fellows took the window winder and headed off, I went out to Lisa and said.. well they are hitting it with a hammer it is now too late to get it back so we will just have to wait and see what happens..Even better news it we got it back and it works nearly the full deal.. nearly all the way up and nearly all the way down.. better than a poke in the eye I recon. There is now some stinky welder $25,000 Tanz Shillings richer and wearing a Paracombe CFS cap.. one happy chap.
Heading to Dar tomorrow hoping for a little more travellers infrastructure, like food!! We have not been able to purchase decent stuff since Lusaka.. The Shorty is lighter with less food however is still struggling with the heat of midday and the large hills we are now traversing.
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