columnBy Natasha K'okutangilira
This is the time of the year I best in Dar es Salaam. The rains are over and the cool weather has set in. I can now sleep peacefully throughout the night. It is not too cold either and it gives me a chance to try out different types of clothes without worrying about comfort or the lack of it. For my hair, the weather is totally agreeable.
My natural coiffure shrinks and shrivels into a tidy mess once I sweat so with the change of weather I have a more civilized look at the top of my round head. I am almost tempted into trying out dreadlocks as the last time I experimented during the hot humid season the locks fell practically apart.
Another plus about the cool weather is that make up stays on longer and does not disappear just because you accidentally wiped your face with your hankie while trying to get rid of the sweat. On the romantic side the weather provides the perfect excuse to cuddle up close with your better half.
A couple of years ago I ventured out of cool Dar to chilly Mbeya in the middle of August for the first time in my life. Along the way at night we stopped somewhere for a bite. Used to sitting outdoors in heat friendly Dar in the name of eating out, my colleagues and I were just too happy to sit indoors and down cups of hot tea while we impatiently waited for the food to be served by waiters in thick jackets and coats.
On reaching Mbeya just after midnight we were shivering and the rather thin looking blankets at the almost empty hotel were far from welcoming. The following morning we checked out and looked for a place with thicker and newer blankets. I had forgotten what it was like to wear sweaters and cardigans and felt like a stuffed teddy bear with the extra clothing. In Dar less clothing is the key phrase.
Too cold for comfort I have promised myself that the next time I am in Mbeya I will choose a warmer time of the year. My motto is cool and not cold. I gladly leave winter like temperatures to Eskimos. Warm blooded creatures like me respond better to sea, sand and sun.