Zanzibar airport should be called Cessna Caravan International. It’s like a show room for bush adventure. Abeid Amani Karume greets us with calls to prayer. Hot guilt hangs in the air between the banana leaves. Loudspeakers everywhere reminding you of your sins and mosquitos reminding you of passing blood, passing life, passing out. African energy under religion claims a unique enthusiasm. We’re dodging scooters, trucks, young girls in shrouds cartoonishly veiled darting across potholes and a suspicious education system. Zanzibar men are born in a white sheet with cellphone attached to the ear. Luminous green grows out the island pores. The locals have more words for bananas than eskimos have words for bananas. It’s a banana that should be on their flag. Hanging over their deep turquoise ocean blue.
We spend the evening sipping safari lagers and diving off a dhow called cuppicino with friends we make from the UK, Germany and Sandton Center. It’s one of those afternoons you’ll recount forever. I almost broke my back diving into paradise. The crazy german who tweets for Adidas is paddling out on the lid of the coolerbox with Canon G9. WTF. I want whatever he’s having. “MY MUSIC IS GONNA SMASH IN THE FACE!,” says DJ Mukada as he blazes our beach party into the night until Zanzibarian Micheal Jackson in gold tights takes over the dance floor through flames and cheap chinese lasers. I can’t watch. This island smells like sex and suncream. Blue painted Australians on acid are jumping over campfires with wild eyes and redbull tequila. I’m trying to find my hotel at 4am when I can’t pronounce the name. Nungwi. Nungiviwi. Nuguliwini. Nungiwini.