Yesterday morning, our landlord’s nephew took us on a tour of the fish market in downtown Dar es Salaam. Probably to distract us from the fact that our apartment was still not ready because the fundi (plumber) had failed to show up.
The fish market is adjacent to the beach. It houses hundreds of stalls and every morning, in choreographed routine, the fishermen row up to shore and unload the fish they caught the previous evening. The floor glistens with fish scales, blood, and intestines and the narrow corridors between stalls are packed with people and sweat. Sellers boast about how big their fish are (as big as one tip of my finger to the other) and whip out large scales in order to provide objective evidence of this, while buyers poke and prod at the fish and try to haggle for a better price.
Just outside the fish market, some men have set up a series of stalls which sell cooked squid, octopus, and prawns. You pick up a toothpick, stab a piece of seafood, dip it in the red chilli sauce, and then roll it in salt.
Down the street, there are competing stalls that offer tiny fried fish for sale in take-away rolls of newspaper.
We spent about half an hour going from stall to stall and trying all the seafood snacks on offer. Delicious.
Dar is renowned for its street food and I am looking forward to sampling the rest of it.