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mid-week link love

Glad tidings, glad tidings! (I always wanted to say that). Hope your week is running smoothly, and the final stretch of September is well-spent. Below are a few links I’ve been lovin’ and some photos from around town, including Ambassador Hotel and La Afrah Tea House, where a friend clued me in to the most intensely delightful date syrup, served up with proper French toast. WHO NEEDS MAPLE SYRUP ANYWAY.


on the beach

I spent childhood summers on the South Carolina coast eating tuna sandwiches with my maternal family, sipping Fresca while the grownups sipped from Canadian beer cans sweating inside fluorescent coozies. I have fond memories of sunscreen, mysteriously persistent sunburns, salt-soaked bathing suits, toes reaching for sandbars, catching crabs in freshwater inlets, and searching for shells at low tide. Nevertheless, I’m no beach lover. Vacation destinations, as far as I’m concerned, should be temperate and ideally windy, cozy, even rainy. What can I say, I’m a cold weather enthusiast. Yet when a tropical coastline beckons, and the timing works out, only a fool would resist. So I found myself in Zanzibar on Nungwi Beach, at the island’s northern tip, slathering sunscreen, kicking sand, and marveling at breathtaking scenery. Blue hues dominate Nungwi, reminding me of another of my favorite destinations. The pace is slow, as it ought to be, and relaxation is the permanent modus operandi, a challenge for a stress-prone tourist trying desperately to wind down from a new gig. Fortunately I had some help in that department from my …

on a boat

Early March, and the dry season continues. A boat tour didn’t sound particularly, well, wet. As it urns out, there is water to be had, and plenty of it, if you’ve got the spirit and a knowledgeable guide.

on the invasion

Where I come from, you make an invitation to the morning. The morning waits for you, at your leisure, until you’re ready to ease back the curtains, slide into slippers, and entertain the gentle follies of birds beyond the window. Not so, in this place. Here, the morning creeps into you, pries you open, and delivers a weighty blow. It starts with the noise, and the noise starts early: a 5am call to prayer from the mosque across the street. and then the heat, lingering just beyond the front door. the brazen sun has no need for stalking; it lies still, waiting for victims to stumble out of their homes and into its stifling trap. Once you’re there, the blurred white noise of the street crystalizes into its thousand pieces, and they come at you from all angles: a cow bellows, ambling by; a huddle of goats next door gab through breakfast; motos tip and dip across holes puckering the dirt road; neighbors call out and chatter; children shriek and cry; dogs bark, hammers clank. …