After 5 years in South East Asia, one in Singapore as a grad student at NUS and four in Kuala Lumpur as a primarily trailing but very happy spouse, I had subconsciously accepted the region as my second home.
The move to Dar, Tanzania came unexpectedly but surprisingly I found myself willing to take on this new adventure. We only live once, I found myself telling myself.
In the year that I spent in Singapore as a student, I had grown to love the place. The day I was leaving I knew in my heart that this was just the beginning of my love affair with the city. It wasn’t love at first sight but a deep love that had been cultivated overtime as I grew to appreciate the order, security, modernity and opportunity the place provided to all those who sought it.
When we moved to Kuala Lumpur my happiest thought was that Singapore was right in my backyard and I could drop by anytime I wished.
By the end of my first year in KL, I could proudly say that I knew the city like the back of my hand. I started driving there and my silver hatchback, Myvi became my best friend. Together we explored the nooks and crannies of KL. The fact that I wasn’t employed fulltime and am a sucker for bargains allowed me to explore and discover and explore some more. I was in retail heaven and by the end of the year I decided to make a business out of my urge to splurge.
That is how Oomph! was born. More details on that later.
By the end of our 4 years in Malaysia there wasn’t a single island or city that Mr. A and I hadn’t explored together. The more we saw the more we fell in love. Our mutual love for travel took all over South East Asia and also to Australia. Two continents together and now we’re at Continent number 3: Africa.
Back to Dar. So yeah here I am with hubby dearest and my 18 month old, in the middle of Africa. Thus isn’t familiar territory like Asia. Unlike Malaysia, I haven’t visited any place in Africa before. Like most people in Asia, for me Tanzania isn’t the first country I think of when I think Africa. With a demanding toddler in tow, my realities have been altered a bit. I’m not as high on energy or drive as a was I landed in Malaysia. Age maybe? Haha.
But deep inside the passion to discover and explore is still there. Admittedly the move happened so fast I didn’t get time to research anything about my new destination. My only source was Mr A who had made a trip to Dar a month back and had said ‘This is the real third world. You have to decide if we can do this or not..’
I had never been to another place that was less developed than my home country but the pics Mr A whatsapped me from Dar made Lahore seem like the poster child for development and modernity.
We eventually did take the plunge. And as I sit here at the Protea Oyster Bay this rainy afternoon, looking up property websites for apartments, I wonder how the next few years will unfold. Will Dar or maybe Tanzi make it to the yay or nay list? Time will tell.
Till then I’m going to give this place my best shot. Dar, be nice.