20 March 2013

Dar Es Salaam

We arrived in Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania today.  Hooray, Hooray, we are out of Egypt today!

Getting our visa, we were surprised there was no ATM’s before passing through customs, and they only take hard currency.  Either Euro or US, unfortunately, we had not been able to transfer our Egyptian pounds to either, and are now stuck with them.  Also we could not get anything from Qatar.  A bit disappointed with that, and we are just lucky that we carry a hundred or so in hard currencies with us, or we would have been stuffed.  Still, we got it sorted and were through.  Grabbing our bags, we found that they had managed to break the stand on our newest one, and stuff up the wheels on the other!  3 Flights, and three new bags.  Not good averages.  Going over to Lost and damaged baggage, we brought it up with them.  Anna decided to check if the laptop was OK, as it was the bag with the fragile stickers all over it that had been damaged.  This ruined our day.


Catch that laptop thief!

The laptop had been stolen.  Someone had unlocked the bag (OK, it is the pathetic one that is attached to the bag, but still), opened the laptop bag and taken the computer.  They had left everything else, including the charger!  We have no idea where this happened, it could have been Luxor, but more than likely in Doha, as there was the 12 hour stopover, and this person had taken their time.

This resulted in us going over to the Qatar Airways office, where we were told point blank that it was our fault that one of their employees had opened our baggage and stolen goods from it.  Apparently we were not allowed to have the laptop in there.  We had declared it at Luxor, stating that it was in there, and getting the stickers for it.  Now it is our fault it was stolen?  Qatar has a one bag limit for carry on, and it was either this or the camera bag.  I was not allowed to take on both!  We tried to explain all this, but we don’t think it will make any difference.  The quality of service with Qatar is very inconsistent, considering the treatment we got from Luxor to Doha was 5 star, and this was, well, I was disappointed to say the least.  I felt like the criminal.  Then we went off to get a police report.  This is a half hour walk in 90% humidity and sun, as it is nowhere near the international terminal, and we had to walk to the domestic one.  Here we were charged 500 shillings for the report.  We still had no money, and at this stage, I broke down.  They waved the fee, and all they could do was finally done, but now we found out there were no ATMs at the domestic terminal, so we had to walk all the way back to international, so we could get some money to catch a taxi to town!
Unfortunately, we have no insurance, and the airline does not care, so nothing will happen about this.  Yet I have to wonder.  We are fingerprinted and photographed everywhere we go, security cameras following our every move, and treated as criminals more often than not, all in the name of safety and security.  Yet their own staff can get away with this?  What if they had put in a kilo or two of cocaine instead of stealing my laptop?  Where would I be then?  Rotting away in a Tanzanian prison for the rest of my short life waiting for the firing squad, and unsure which is the better option?

DCF 1.0

Still, we are here now, a decent (if expensive) hotel, and we are in Tanzania!  So, hopefully we will get over this setback, and get on with our trip, as there is nothing we can do about it now.  The only problem is all the secure data on the drive, and having to change all our passwords, loss of contact details (as I don’t trust the cloud) and all the things that I can’t even think about until we find out we don’t have them any more.  The biggest issue is the blog.  We cannot do it properly any more. So we apologize in advance for the decline in quality, as we can not even shrink photos any more.



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