Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Spice Island. Day 4 and 5.

By our 4th day in Zanzibar, we moved into a 4th hotel. We totally would have stayed in the one we were in, but seeing they were fully booked, we used it as a good excuse to upgrade once more and find ourselves a place with a pool (the latter prompted a by a nasty jellyfish sting, from a Portugese man o' war, to be specific, which, although quite stunning, is a real bitch that leaves these whiplash marks across your bod - or in my case, thighs. And you know what? One week later, those whiplash marks are like, growing? Or expanding or whatever? Apparently, they can do that for weeks after!)

Sorry went off a tangent there. Anyway, so off we went to our new hotel, where we got our own pretty, little cabin:

And a nice deck for lounging:
And a pretty fantastic beach:

PLUS they had complimentary sun hats, which made Johan really happy. Look at that guy - he really does make one fine-looking tourist:
He also jumps when you tell him to:
We set out for this place - The Rock, it's called. It looks kind of dingy from the outside, but inside awaits a surprisingly fine-looking restaurant, which is sadly also THE WORST TOURIST TRAP I have ever come across. Their starters were $17! And the staff super rude! So all in all I would absolutely encourage you to invest your tourist-$$$ at a more deserving place.
Angry and disillusioned, we walked back to our hotel...

...and cooled off in the pool. (Figuratively speaking, because the water was really hot).
And while there, Johan pulled his most interesting face yet:

And that was pretty much the last photo-worthy highlight from our trip to Zanzibar :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Spice Island. Day 2 and 3 and 1/4 of the 4th.

When booking our hotel for the rest of our trip in Zanzibar, Johan and I decided that we didn't want to stay in a fancy, overpriced resort and settled for some kind of bungalow situation for $60 a night.

Turns out this was not a wise decision. For one, they had 7 different kinds of bathroom tile, which I found really upsetting ;) Secondly, the room was just really dark and ascetic, so when we went out for lunch at a nicer hotel a bit further up the beach, we thought hey fuck it, we're only in Zanzibar once. Then we promptly went back, packed our bags and moved in there instead.

Anyway, as you know I'm a sucker for chronology, so why don't we go back and start where we left off: The beginning of day two.

Here's Johan. In our first hotel, I'd say 30 minutes before getting a sunburn on that fine chest of his. And also approximately 30 minutes after finding out that he had lost his iPhone in the cab that took us to Jambiani Beach. We tried luring back the driver by offering a large finder's fee, but that plan didn't pan out at all.

 Here he is from another angle, mostly because I really like that photo too.

The difference between high tide and low tide at the east coast of Zanzibar is kind of mind-blowing. This is high tide. Or approaching high tide, at least:

Here's me at low tide:

And here's a puppy we met when we were out for a walk during said low-tide. It was so adorbs I wanted to tuck it into my bathing suit and smuggle it back home! Unfortunately it wore a collar, so I decided against it. But seriously, look at 'em big paws. Squeee!

And look at it biting into our beach basket! (For some reason, dogs always give Johan way more attention than they give me, which I think is unfair considering the fact that I love them so much more than he does. In fact, I think this might be THE thing I like the least about Johan. That dogs like him better, I mean.)

Anyway, that's about when we sat down for lunch at that nicer hotel, I mentioned. See, isn't that nice:

And then we moved in here:

And got to enjoy this view from our balcony:

Here's me not getting a tan (sunbathing in my grandma's old kimono, in case you're wondering):

And here's Johan looking kind of sweet and handsome:

It was a wise decision to move here, because see how happy it instantly made us:

And srlsly, how can you not with this view?! Loved this view. Generally, I love views that are framed by something.

The Gas Delivery Guy

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Spice Island. Day one.

Sup yo! Me, I'm in Nairobi visiting Johan, and we just got back from a 5-day visit to Zanzibar, where interestingly, there were a whole lot of sunbathing Germans. Like, to the point where it almost had us googling "what's up with all the Germans in Zanzibar?!"

The wifi situation was pretty bad though, so instead we chatted up a German guy in a restaurant, who informed us that at some point back in the 19th Century, some Brits and some Germans got together over drinks and were all "hey, why don't we make this Island ours?" and then they all raised their glasses and toasted to Imperialism.

Anyway, Zanzibar! What an absolutely dreamy and also dirt poor place. Quite heavily dependent on tourism and at the same time a little corrupted by it. And also, super hot, which meant we couldn't really muster the energy to see any of  all the cultural sights, nor did we go on the Freddie Mercury Tour, which my sister, a die hard fan, had suggested we go on.

Instead we spent our first day wandering about Stone Town, the old part of Zanzibar City, marveling at all the beautiful vistas and breathtaking Swahili architecture, ate plenty of good food and took a good long stroll along the beach, waddling in the bathtub-hot water.

Not bad. Not bad at all :)

We stayed at the Emerson Spice Hotel, in a room that felt very One thousand and One Nights
It also had an interesting layout - interesting in the sense that the bed and living room section and bathtub and toilet were all in one room. Like no doors, none! (It suffices to say that we established a whole new level of intimacy on this trip ;)

This was the view from the ground floor interior courtyard:

And this was the view from our floor down: 

At one point, all the lady bloggers in town went: "We've had it up to HERE with snake plants! Now we're all about fig leaf trees!" - and then they all disposed of their snake plants in an alley somewhere and forgot all about them. (Are you getting this joke at all? Or am I reading way too many style blogs?!)
We had lunch at the Livingstone Beach Restaurant, which was insanely picturesque. 
One of those places places with an old-world feel that makes you wonder: "Hey was colonialism really so bad after all?" and then you remember yes, it totally was! And one minute later, you look around and see that you're surrounded by nothing but white people and you realize that colonialism is not over at all, in fact it's thriving! And it's partly thanks to the likes of me! (insert 1,000 ashamed emojis here)
My travel companion. In pink shorts :)

Here I asked him to pose with the bougainvillea and that cute bus. 
It amazes me that he always obliges, even though in this picture he's clearly thinking: "She's so weird it's almost a little sad" ;)

And finally: THIS SUNSET! How 80s can you get?!

And that, my friends, was the end of our first fine day in Zanzibar.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

10 South African Outtakes

So, as I went looking for my clam yesterday, which I guess technically wasn't even a clam but a sea snail, I came upon so many photos from our trip to Cape Town that seemed kinda blogworthy. So here goes, 10 South African outtakes:

First, I give you Johan and a minion! 
If minions were for real, they'd be the world's number one pet, I think. Because who in their right mind could ever neuter let alone put down or abandon a minion?

Johan and I went to a nice coffee shop one morning, and they served me a cappuccino with the letter S drawn into the foam. I don't remember them asking my name, nor did the name of the shop start with the letter S. So go figure.

I guess S has a simple and organic shape, whereas R can be quite a bitch to pull off latte-art wise. So perhaps this is what they teach you in barista class. "In our first semester, we're going to perfect the letter S. Come fall, we'll be making hearts and leaves, and by the time you graduate, you will be mastering The Jacko."

Here Johan is all: "Spectacular? What scenery? Where?

Just me and my man Darth Vader hangin'.
Know those ankle length cardigans that some of the tall, fancy girls wear? Yeah? Well, I should not be wearing those. Vader IM'ed my this photo and wrote: "Girl, you know I dig you, but you CANNOT pull off a cape!"

By the way, in the photo below Darth Vader went: "Hey Johan, get a photo of me slicing the air with this huge pink feather!"
We mounted 3/4 of this! 
Lion's Head it's called.
At first I was all, yes, I can do this. 
Feeling cocky, thumbs up and all.

But as we approached the top, I may have cried and gagged a little. And that's when Johan decided to take a photo of me.
Guys, seriously, I was staring into the abyss! That's how steep it was. And there was no security fence! Or security net! And I'm afraid of heights! And honestly, one misstep and that would have been the end of me. What I didn't get though was that little kids and barefoot joggers kept passing us. "DON'T YOU WANT TO LIVE?!" I called out from my fetal position on the ground.

But at least the view was breathtaking even three quarters up.  

And on an almost final and quite unrelated note: Tourists looking at penguins. 
And also, synchronously holding back a fart?

Meanwhile, the star of the show was pulling all the tricks it learned while majoring in hospitality management: "Oh really, all the way from Montana? I've got a cousin in Montana."