Tanzanian habits part three
This third article dedicated to Tanzanian habits will focus on different things, sometimes little things, nonetheless helpful to understand the Tanzanian way of thinking.
Shops, for example, are very interesting as interesting is the way in which Tanzanian women approach them.
Apart from butchers and pharmacies, duka la dawa in Kiswahili, the other shops are not specialized. They can sell clothes, shoes, soap, ironing boards and a huge number of other articles.
They open directly on the street and a part of the items is put outside in order to attract clients.
The rest is inside on shelves, walls or hanged to the ceiling.
It’s very common that women touch a lot of articles, ask for prices and then go out without buying anything.
They compare things in different shops before deciding where it is better to go back. The owner of the shop is aware of this and always greet them with karibu tena, welcome back, hoping to see them again.
On the streets it is also possible to find open markets and stalls with any kind of goods: even telephone companies offer their products on a little table and under the shadow of a big umbrella.
Mpesa is a service that allows people to charge cash on their phones, withdraw it or send it to another number if they need to pay someone or something in a place far from them.
It’s quick and it works also during the weekends.
For what concerns the means of transport, bicycles are very popular. Tanzanians can use them to go to work, carry things or decide to bring all the family to church on Sunday, challenging all gravity rules.
The Tanzanian national sport is soccer, mpira, and everybody is in love with it. It’s not rare to see young boys play on improvised fields or groups of fundi, mechanics at the end of their working day, have half an hour fun in front of their workshop before sunset.
This brings the attention to the Tanzanian clock.
It starts with hour ONE, seven for us, because the sun rises and sets more or less always at seven, morning and evening.
For managing things in a quick way, look at the short hand: the Swahili hour is rightly the opposite. Let’s make an example. Two o’clock in a Western watch are eight o’clock in the Swahili one. Easy, insn’t it?
I hope you enjoyed this trip into the Tanzanian habits and I hope it will help you to understand better the culture and the people of this beautiful country.