no alcohol and no music

We just got back from venturing into downtown Dar to eat at a restaurant. It was the first time I’ve been outside what’s known as “the penninsula,” which is where most of the expats from America, Canada, England, South Africa, and Australia live. The place was an open-air Indian restaurant called Delhi Darbar. After being seated, I looked over and saw huge letters across a wall that read “NO ALCOHOL AND NO MUSIC.” I looked around and noticed that most of the women there were wearing burkas or at least some type of head covering. It was a muslim-owned restaurant, which was the reason for the rules (about 33% of Tanzanians are Muslim). I could sort of understand the whole no-alcohol thing, but does anyone really roll into a restaurant blaring music? Our Swahili waiter overheard one of the people at our table comment on the sign and repeatedly apologized and even looked a little embarrassed. Nothing like a bit of culture shock before dinner. It was worth it, though… that was the best Indian food I’ve ever had. Everything was just so delicious. I highly recommend the restaurant for anyone traveling to Dar. I couldn’t tell you what I ate, though. I tried all sorts of dishes I never would have ordered but for a woman who was dining with us. She was from another city in Tanzania and a 3rd generation Tanzanian, but happened to be of Indian descent. She was sitting right next to me so we chatted the whole time. She was a lot older than me (probably older than my parents) but I really enjoyed her company. She told me how she got to name her nieces- in the Indian tradition, the eldest daughter gets to name the brothers’ children. Since I’m the oldest of three brothers I think that’s a pretty awesome idea, hahaha. Anyway, I’m so bummed that I wasn’t able to get any pictures. Theft is a huge problem here and I didn’t want to risk bringing my camera downtown at night. Good thing I have this blog to record the memory while it’s still fresh…


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