So I got stuck going to Zanzibar.
It’s not that I didn’t want to go. It’s just that, well, I’m not a very social person. Really. The so called bubbly side of CB exists only in my head. And with my loved ones. But with Joe Public and [the British equivalent of Joe Public…sth about a plumber] then I range between wallflower and ice queen. It all depends on how [or if] you say hi. So having to lead a tour group to a place I’d never visited armed with boat tickets, plane tickets, and the name of a hotel was…well…let’s just say I’d rather go home.
Boarding the boat, the cute ticket guy [I know I know, they’re all cute. It’s the .5 thing, it produces gorgeous babies! I totally advocate mixed marriages] The boat ride wasn’t what I expected. I’m a cynical romantic, like Pink M and Val. So I had all these visions of a tropical paradise and a boat swaying in the breeze and silly things like that. Of course it wasn’t like that at all. I couldn’t see the sunset coz it was like 4 p.m. and the sun was so bright bouncing off the ocean that I couldn’t see jack…or anyone else for a while.
But I did stand near the…er…bow?…and let my hair down and let the wind blow through it and let the salt spray my clothes, heehee. Note: never go sailing in a white t-shirt. Stuff happens. J] For a moment, I could swear I saw some white birds hovering and some fish jumping out of the water as the birds swooped low to catch them. Flying fish? Nah. And it faded so fast that I must have imagined it. Oceanic mirage maybe. Or Pemban Juju.
I was in a nice quiet corner by myself, enjoying the waves and all when this guy comes out of nowhere. Well, ok. I was standing near the pilot’s cabin, so he came from in there. He was actually kind of cute. Light, with curly hair, like the lead in my story. Kinda short though.
For some reason, he misread me as lost little tourist girl and pounced. I was leaning over the rail looking into the water. The boat runs on a motor, so the water foams at the sides and makes you kinda dizzy, you almost feel like you can tip over and fall in. I’m average height, so yeah, I thought I could tip in.
“Are you scared?”
“You look scared.”
“Not scared, just dizzy. When I look in like that I feel like I can fall.”
“You can’t fall, there’s a rail.”
“I’m tall. I can fall.”
“Mbona we’re the same height, you can’t fall.”
Give him the once over. We are NOT the same height. I’m 5’5.5 and you’re…not.
He’s leaning over to fake cooler – and taller. No comment.
“Where are you from?”
Blah blah blah – nonsense about me looking Kenyan, which I refute because there are 42 different tribes so I cannot possibly look ‘Kenyan’. He insists that he is well travelled and can tell, blah blah. Then come the standard questions. Am I a student? Where do I work? How long have I been in Dar? Is this my first time in Zanzibar? What am I doing this weekend? I told him I’m going to rest. And I was. I’d been working past midnight for seven days straight, all I wanted was sleep.
Oh, he asked what my name was somewhere in there, then told me his name was…heheh better not say, he may have RSS. But then again…anyway, he says his name is Jamshid [he pronounced it jemshid, and it took me a while to get it right. At first I thought he’d said Jumpsh.. that one.]
Then he asked me if I’d ever been to Mombasa. [I was born there, but I said no], and goes on to explain how his name descends from the Sultans of Mombasa, Hehehe. Pretty boy, I’m an editor, so I know my history. But of course I don’t tell him this. Instead I play along and ask if he’s descended from the princes. Fortunately [for him] he doesn’t take the bait – it’s just a name…