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  • Pernille

FROM MY NOTEBOOK: Dar es Salaam, 8 June 2014: 'Why go to South Sudan when you can have chicken a

'Why go to South Sudan when you can have chicken and rice here in Tanzania?' asks Stanley, the guy I'm renting a car from, and whose interest in my personal life and destiny has grown proportionately with the amount of cars I've rented over the years.

Regarding the 'chicken and rice', I obsess with what he doesn't say when he's talking. Like, Stanley makes chicken and rice sound so much better than sex. As if chicken and rice is what makes us happy. What keeps us grounded. Satisfied. Together. At peace. As if what makes him fat, doesn't make him fight. The logic must be that this is why life is better in Tanzania compared to South Sudan. I wonder.

Stanley keeps telling me with pride that he is 'not taken' and is 'still searching'. It is no more 'bado' for the fictional me, as I happen to have two fictional kids somewhere in Europe, and a fictional husband whose identity shifts according to my memory and ability to imagine tolerant husbands. But surely 'my' husband lets me travel, do the hard work, while he does the dishes at home.

'Is the husband white or black?' Stanley requests.

Stanley also told me today that he's fat and he likes to be fat. It means he's strong and healthy. It makes him an asset. He doesn't care if some wazungu think it looks bad just because of fashion in Europe.

I love that part particularly.

Of all the conversations in the world, I often feel I'm blessed with the maddest ones.

This place comes in more than one dimension.

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