Friday, December 12, 2008

Music and follies.

Went out last night to listen to some live music at a new place by the beach. I love, absolutely love this new place but I have to say that the entrance fee was an unwelcome shock. Watch out Dar Alive, if you keep that kind of thing up you might encourage the fickle Dar crowd to wander right back to their old, free haunts. I guess the gate fee was for the musicians- they've got to eat, right?

Carola and her band, Shada, offered some excellent music which was balm for my restless soul. They did a section with traditional instruments and sang some fusion songs- very, very excellent (although they need to work on their endings which sounded more like abrupt abandonments than endings). And then, the moon was full. So we were on the beach, in the cool night breeze off the ocean, watching stars and listening to Carola and Co. The urge to run away to Cape Town and live a bohemian life was somewhat alleviated.

While in Die Kaap and Jo'Burg we listened to some radio, and I really missed the Paradisan stations. Saffie talk radio is pretty damn fantastic, and there is a good selection of music but...but Paradisan stations are very broad in their range of music. I haven't had to choke on that effing 'If I Was A Boy' track more than once a day here which is a blessed relief. Just today at work I have caught up on all my Utake, took a trip down memory lane with Koffi Olomide and visited some Dirty South.

So, in Cape Town, like right in town, there's this fly-over that end abruptly. It is a fantastic piece of urban statuary, soaring up about ten meters into the air and just hanging there, going nowhere. Apparently the engineer made a mistake in the calculations and the two ends of the highway were not going to meet. Funny, yes, but let us not forget that is an unemployed, disgraced, possibly alcoholic engineer out there trying to hustle a job under an assumed name and fake resume.

I love that the Mother City hasn't bothered tearing it down. I hope they never do, as every city needs its follies. Dar has a few, but they are so fugly they give little or no pleasure. My favorite Paradisan urban quirk is the peacocks. State House used to have a sort of zoo on its grounds, a throw-back I guess to Sultanish pleasure gardens filled with oddments of the animal kingdom. Well, President the Second, Mzee Ruksa, let things degenerate. The deer and other protein was probably put down and eaten, but the peacocks escaped to survive on the streets of Dar es Salaam. Ornamental, yes, but tough. Their offspring are still around, scrappy little city birds that have an astoundigly loud shriek. They nest in ministry parking lots. I can never help smiling when I see one dodging Land Cruisers as it crosses the road from a bank garden to an office pavement, brood in tow.

Have a quirky, musical weekend.

1 comment:

  1. That made me smile. I would love to see a peacock trying to wrestle with traffic. What a beautiful sight that would be.
    Oh your city sounds so quirky! I must visit.


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