Monday, June 28, 2010

The New Acropol:

In Morogoro, we stayed in a decaying colonial hotel called e the New Acropol. Pitch dark when we arrived crashing around in the dining room and we could find no one in the bar full of papier-mache trophy heads with an autographed photo of U2 under the Tanqueray and a kudu, but we could hear laughing and pots banging. Everyone was in the kitchen trying to fix the oven. Which set the tone.

The hotel's run by a Canadian woman who had come out to Tanzania 25 years ago to fix the railroads. Which she did. Tuesday night we sat with her on the veranda (which was draped with yellow argiopes the size of thumbs and you could hear them clicking when they caught moths and baby birds) with all her little dogs piled up around her in mosquito coil smoke, candle light, and her cell phone that kept ringing and she's say, "Well, he can stay here the month if that's what they're paying, but if he tries that bit with the razor again....Alright. See he doesn't." and she tore the filters off her Marlboro Lights and talked about how Tanzania's gone to hell, glacier's are gone, bushmeat's free ("I can't compete with free.").

But now, the railroads wrecked again, and her rooms are booked with International Development agencies come to fix them. "We're expecting a crush of Danes," she said.

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