There she is. Standing firm through the thin blanket of clouds over the African planes, a great big square chunk of rock dumped in the middle of Africa. Kilimanjaro, viewed from my airplane window looks amazing. The cloud line is barely halfway up the slopes and she looks a barren, lunar wasteland above, with hardly any snow covering or vegetation.
I'm going to climb that!
ME? Am I sure?
Surely theres no air above the clouds?
Surely the wind will blow us all off?
Will we be higher than this plane? But for now, that must wait and brood.
This plane is taking me to Zanzibar for new years eve, with its turquoise seas and golden sand-bar islands, Stone Town with its 200 year old crumbling glorious houses and Nungwi with a big-old beach party rave to see the New Year in. Midnight strikes on the beach, the dj drops a bangin' rave tune, people from all over Africa and Europe cheer and start dancing crazily.
Someone lights a fire doused in petrol that is hanging from a bamboo frame (sure theres a political significance here, but i'm not sure), and a tall hippy is making a flamethrower from a deoderant can. The african-style conga around the fire continues all night and the music becomes a mish mash of Scandinavian pop, american R&B and African dance tunes. Although there are faces and couples from all over the world, there is a definate majority of African men, or boys, who have the visiting white women in their sights, approaching, charming, bogling and then making a move. I'm here with my Vienamese freind Nat, who stands out with her great looks, and confuses a lot of the beach-boys as shes not white, not black. At one point a very young lad charges up to her, grabs her hands and dances with her by spinnning her arms around in huge acrobatic circles.
After about 2 minutes he leans in and say "lets go for a walk" Nat laughs and says "why?' The young lad, about 12 years old releases his grip and says to Nat "tomorrow!".
As international beach parties go, the Thais dont have to worry about being knocked off the top slot yet, but for sheer danger and lack health and safety, Africa goes the extra mile.
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