Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A little light reading..

So, I was schlepping around my favorite internet political watering hole when I came across this funny thread: Check out post number 8 for some whimsical suggestions on light reading for bedtime or seaside holidays.

What I don't get is why are we currently being tortured by passe intellectuals from The Hill (yes, that was a potshot at Shivji and Gang) when some of these forums are riddled with people who know stuff, have interesting things to say and can say them in a colorful way that challenges the mind? Come back and teach, Game Theory.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I was going to post about something fun, and then...

Daudi Ballali passed away. Or so claims Tanzania Daima in today's edition...The thing about the local politricks circus right now is that it just keeps the show rolling. Anywho, I am on tenterhooks since the last time a big fisadi was declared dead he simply answered his phone and told the reporters that he was hale and hearty.

I suspect that will not be the case in this instance, seeing as the government has been so busy declaring that they have no idea where Ballali is in the spite of the Minister of Finance going to look for him in well as several investigators...days before he turns up dead in Washington. Yup, that crumb trail leads straight to Evil Conspiracy Land.

The hot debate in Jamii Forums (formerly Jambo Forums, that heaving online nest of Tanzanian political information, disinformation and speculation) is whether the former Governor is actually dead or whether he is currently enjoying a new face and witness protection in the wilds of Middle America. Strong evidence is being offered to support either theory. Being grim and ghoulish, I am in the 'Ballali was quietly helped to meet his maker' camp and will remain so until he gets spotted shopping for tomatoes in Michigan.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Post Number Twenty One

Day: 21
Posts: 21
Blog Comments: 10 (Thanks Dee, Crazy Pet Owner)

Blogging Lessons Learned:
1. HTML helps. As does megalomania, to counterbalance writers' insecurity.
2. Don't kid yourself into thinking posts will be regular, unless of course you are a) earning money off the blog or b) freakishly organized
3. Write. Edit. Re-write. Have someone proof-read. Edit. Post. Discover multiple typos and missing words that you missed the first fifteen times around. Edit post, again.
4. Carry camera everywhere.
5. To self-censor or not to self-censor is a perpetual quandary.
6. It is nearly impossible to remember to justify a post before it goes up. Why, kwa nini!!

Coming soon...ish:
1. Wider, prettier blog thingy. Refer to Blogging Lessons Learned number one. The you-tube lessons aren't cutting it yet.
2. Links section. Still shopping for the list.
3. Hit meter. Potentially depressing.
4. Maybe recipes. Maybe.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Blue Pill Hotel

Madam X is a friend of Dee's from high school days who lives and works in Jo'burg. She flew to Dar do some training at the Hill this weekend, and just before she came she tried to get some information on the hotel that her hosts had booked her into: The Blue Pill Hotel. When she couldn't find it online, she started having visions of getting kidnapped and sex-slaved to some rich Chinese businessman here on a rhino-horn buying expedition sponsored by Viagra. Turns out she was booked into the Blue Pearl Hotel, a relatively harmless establishment in Ubungo. Another victim of the Ello Arra ploblem...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Manifestation of Evil?

I have been incredibly disturbed by the story of Ramadhani Mussa, the youth who killed and ate parts of 3-year-old Salome Mbatia. It is one thing to try and regard instances of sociopathy in Europe or some place far from me, but the thought of coming across someone like Ramadhani creeps me out completely. Is this what evil actually looks like? Slithering amidst us in a schoolboy uniform?

I normally shy away from using the word evil but in this instance I can't really think of a more appropriate term. Is Ramadhani a sociopath, a psychopath, cracked-nut-crazy? Maybe not. After all, he and his mother have apparently been practicing cannibalism as part of their, um, witchcraft (another term I don't like) for a number of years now. Just a part of their religious observation. A bit reminiscent of the body and blood of Christ, come think of it...

What makes this uncomfortable is that it is a cultural practice that we sanction. Maybe not all of us, and maybe not in the glaring light of day, but this is the same guy who entertained us a few months ago with stories of falling out of an ungo during a night-time flight to who-knows-where on some dark mission. Haha, what a funny/strange human interest story. Nevermind that we feed his bloodthirst everytime we resort to consorting with witches and warlocks in search of money, power, love. Who fuels the trade in albino body parts? We do.

And we are ill-equipped to deal with this head on. I wonder if the mental health experts, the police, the courts have what it takes to cope with such cases. With the reports of witch-hunts and the trade in human skins, I have a feeling Ramadhani is not going to be the last of his kind to make the papers.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Thieves: 7, Mom: 0

My poor Lady of The Wan Smile sent a rather forlorn message yesterday: her car had been broken into and she had lost her powerwindows. Again. Somehow after the fourth or fifth such incident, one can laugh about it. A friend got jacked right outside our house a few weeks ago, and it was very quick and efficient job. When we reported it, the cops were about as useful as they usually are in these incidents but they did confirm that there's a new trend: they take power windows and headrests. Headrests for goodness sakes! Apparently they cost a chunk of change to replace so it is worthwhile for the thieves. So, beware all you Suzuki-driving folks. They are out to get your headrest.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Chessboard Reception

Went to a lovely reception last night, where the color theme of the wedding was Black&White. I have to admit that upon hearing about this I wondered if it might not be too somber but it turned out to be a wonderful look. The flowerkids in particular didn't look like demented little confections that had escaped from a bakery, for once.

The best thing by far was that the reception was a cocktail! Oh, the sheer joy of it all, I cannot describe. Of course I managed to get a severe attack of the Grinches when my bloodsugar took a nosedive as several waiters deftly avoided feeding our table but that was the only drawback. It was a casually sophisticated affair, relaxed, with a live band and a number of happy kids underfoot. Frankly gorgeous.

The Smiling Lady pointed out later on that the reception was throughly enjoyed by the 'younger generation' who knew how to make use of the lack of structure (read: protocol) that a cocktail provides. The older generation...well, maybe not so much. Most of them glued themselves to their chairs hoping that something recognizable might happen, like a long speech maybe or a committee bearing gifts, or some high-table drama. No such luck.

A little birdie told me...

Follow MikocheniReport on Twitter