ER and I are staying in a hotel in a neighbourhood that is relatively innocuous during the day but which transforms itself into a dance party zone at night.
Last night the back alley behind our hotel room was lit up in neon pinks, purples, and greens and we could feel the music until past 4 am. A spotlight was installed on the road adjacent to our hotel.
The bar underneath our hotel room also transformed itself into a spectacular pick-up joint. Our first indication of this came when the night guard tried to charge us cover when we returned to our hotel after dinner. The bar was shimmering with sparkles and sequins and crawling with creepy male expats trying to pick up prostitutes. ER said that it was ironic that we had spent the entire day trying to gauge whether it was appropriate to wear knee length skirts only to return to our hotel to be confronted with an array of thigh-high skirts and dresses with strategically placed cutouts.
The set list included Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life, the theme song from Grease, an unknown version of It’s Raining Men, Rednex’s Cotton Eyed Joe, and–because there had to be at least one country song–Shania Twain’s Any Man of Mine. These classics pulsated into the humid east African night until the sun rose and the thwump of the music was slowly drowned out by the chirping of birds.
One of my favourite bloggers about life in Dar es Salaam explains that Q Bar “serves as one of the most wide-ranging and profound introductions to Africa, mainly because it includes all the stuff you would like to repress the existence of. Go sit upstairs on a Friday night and you have an excellent panoramic view of some of the most characteristic personalities acting out under the black sky”.
ER and I are determined to find an apartment by sundown tonight.