Stone Town in grayscale

We continued to wander around Stone Town after leaving Lulu ben’s place and saw some more beautiful buildings…

mosque premises

buildings

windows

We walked through the fish market, which was full of interesting Indian Ocean sea creatures but which quite overpowered the olfactory senses.

fresh octopus
dried octopus

We wandered through the stalls laden with packaged aromatic spices, and I picked up packets of vanilla and cinnamon…some for me, some as gifts…

vegetables (the okra was/were huge!)
bananas? plantain?

The midday sun was making us very hot and the sight of coconuts being expertly sliced at a corner made us stop and have a few, despite Lulu ben’s concern about all of us needing a loo afterwards. They were deliciously cool and sweet, and we drank straight from the coconuts, quenching our thirst most delightfully, scooping out the soft, translucent flesh with spoons carved from the husk itself.

I could have easily had twenty of those little coconuts. Wish I could have taken pictures, but my hands were sticky and I was too preoccupied 🙂

We ate platefuls of something they simply call ‘Mix’, which is basically a concoction of fried lentil ‘bhajias’ soaked in a yogurt based curry, spicy and lemony, with a liberal sprinkling of crunchy crisps, made by an old Kutchi-Memon lady by the name of Sughra.

We chatted with two young Kenyan-Indian couples who had been on the same ferry as us in the morning and apparently had no hang-ups about being appropriately dressed in a conservative place. We laughed sympathetically as one of the couples dealt with their two yr old in the throes of a fizzy drink demanding tantrum.

We meandered through another part of Stone Town where there were quaint souvenir shops here and there and we stopped to peruse these before making our way over to the street that led to the ferry dock.

I spent too much time comparing prices of goods from one shop to the next (and they really DID vary rather dramatically at times) but Lulu ben and Tina (much to their credit) hardly betrayed any impatience. The only thing I ended up buying was a colourful painting of Masaai tribesmen which I haggled over rather satisfactorily, asked the shopkeeper to take it off the canvas frame and roll it up as fast as he could, walking out of the shop triumphantly, one souvenir richer, 15000 Tanzanian shillings poorer. Not a bad deal at all!

(It now hangs, nicely framed, on my living room wall.)

shop

It was 3:35 as we walked out of Stone Town and made our way over to a deserted Forodhani in the afternoon. The ferry was to leave at 4 pm, so we bought some cold soft drinks and found a place to relax for a bit and enjoy the sea view before heading over to the ferry that would take us back to Dar…

(to be continued..)

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13 thoughts on “Stone Town in grayscale

  1. photokunstler August 20, 2011 / 11:34 pm

    Nice Munira!
    That one photo of the church – looks like it says hairdressing, plaiting, screaming…

    Coconut water is the elixir of life! Did you know that it can be used in place of blood plasma in surgeries if blood is not available? Incredibly healthy to eat and drink!

    Thanks for the great peek inside the market in Stone Town – very cool! Reminds me of the markets in Japan.

    • Munira August 21, 2011 / 12:55 pm

      Thanks Patty! Haha, it probably reads ‘steaming’!! 😀
      You’ve gotta be kidding about the interchangeability of coconut water and plasma! That’s so weird…!
      Love it though.

      • photokunstler August 21, 2011 / 11:32 pm

        Not kidding! One of the graduates of our college is an MD who has worked all over the world, including very poor areas in India, and he’s used it. We have a TV show in NAmerica that was supposedly doctors working in the Amazon, and they used it last season as well. It is magic stuff – not much healthier than that!

        • Munira August 22, 2011 / 8:51 am

          I have new found respect for it then! What a miracle of nature 🙂

  2. Kathryn McCullough August 21, 2011 / 12:17 am

    Wow, Munira! I don’t know that I have ever seen a photo of fresh octopus. They look like fascinating little creatures.

    But the shopping looks like it must have been fabulous. I love to look for jewelry and bags/purses.

    How fun, my friend!

    Kathy

    • Munira August 21, 2011 / 1:29 pm

      I could never eat anything with tentacles…and suction cups! Blech.
      The.shopping.was.fabulous. I loved everything! And don’t you hate it when you come away with the feeling that you didn’t shop enough?
      Hate that feeling.

  3. zachynyoga August 21, 2011 / 1:03 am

    Great photography, I love your keen eye for the beautiful black and white photos.

  4. sparksinshadow August 21, 2011 / 4:34 am

    Wonderful again, Munira, and I so love your delicious photography! I also love the sign that said, “St. Monica Beauty Saloon”! I feel a little story coming on! 🙂

    • Munira August 21, 2011 / 1:33 pm

      Thanks Sparky!
      That bunch of signs just struck me as extremely odd, and very funny in an irreverent kinda way.
      You have mad story-writing skills, so can’t wait to see if you come up with something. Scribble away!

  5. rashmi August 21, 2011 / 11:36 am

    hey hi munira,

    Waited long for ur next post and the result is worth it… I just adore snaps in black and white..
    Nice snaps dear… And ha, today is lailatul-qadr na??? U have to pray whole night??? Good luck..

    • Munira August 21, 2011 / 1:34 pm

      Glad it was worth the wait Rashmi! And thanks for the wishes….I’ll need them. 😛
      Good luck to you too 🙂

  6. Kathryn McCullough August 22, 2011 / 12:57 pm

    I would love to see your sister’s work. Please do a post about her! Please!

    • Munira August 22, 2011 / 3:21 pm

      I will! I promise 🙂

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