Solbit says, “DES … and You Know What That Means.”

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

Hi. We left Australia, after 2 1/2 months, landed at DES this afternoon. You know what that means, don’t you? It means three things:

First, DES is “airport-talk” for the name of the airport where we landed.  The city of Dar es Salaam!  Here’s a picture that Nona took of me looking out from our 9th floor hotel window at the city.


Second, Dar es Salaam is an Arabic phrase that literally means “the abode of peace.” Yeah, we’re in the place where peace abides.  We just got here, so I haven’t seen that for myself, but I sure hope that’s true.  I like peace.

(Hey, if you want to sound cool and experienced, you don’t say the whole name, Dar es Salaam. No, people just say, “I’m in Dar” or “Just got to DES.”  Papa, said that he thinks that’s “affected,” but I don’t know what that word means. Do you? Anyway, he doesn’t say “Dar.”)

Third, guess what country Dar es Salaam is in.  Give up? OK, I’ll tell you: Tanzania.  Tanzania is a country on the east coast of a huge continent called Africa.  Africa is bigger than North America, Papa says. Yeah, we’re in Africa!

Right away, Dar es Salaam introduced me to three things that I hadn’t seen before.  You’re probably thinking “Africa” and “things she hasn’t seen,” and you’re thinking lion, elephants, and hippo.  Right?  Well, you’d be wrong.  Here’s what I just saw all in one place, our hotel room:


There’s World Cup soccer (football) games on TV, a bug zapper (that’s the cage on the floor), and a scale.

Nona, Papa, their friends Ellen, Craig, Jo, Jack, and Betsy, and just about everybody else in the hotel — hey, the whole town — were glued to the opening soccer games.  What’s so great about grown men running around like they have no arms kicking and heading a ball?  I don’t get it.

Now, that bug zapper, I get.  The little biting mosquitos go looking for light, they land on something in that cage with the blinking neon light, and zap.  They’re fried.  That sounds cruel, but Nona says it helps prevent a bad disease, malaria, from spreading.  The scale is for us to weigh our luggage, so we don’t go over the weight limit on plane rides inside Tanzania. Gosh, I sure don’t want our plane to be overloaded.  How do those planes stay up in the air, anyway?

Hey, I know I’m going on too long, but I have just one more thing that I have to show you. I met the most wonderful fella at the hotel restaurant last evening at supper.  I think he’s gorgeous.  I think he liked me too, because he kept trying to kiss me!  No luck though.  Here’s why.



He couldn’t get through the aquarium glass.  I blew back a kiss at him, but that didn’t satisfy him.  He just kept puckering away. I could tell he wanted more.

I know I said just one more thing, but I’ve got to show you this.  We’re taking a ferry ride from Dar (don’t tell Papa I said that) to Zanzibar. It’s in Tanzania, too.  We had to leave very early in the morning.  I thought you’d like my sunrise photo at the ferry. Enjoy!


Remember, I’m your friend.



June 2014

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

2 thoughts on “Solbit says, “DES … and You Know What That Means.”

  1. So happy to see that the Ancistrus (a genus of freshwater fish in the family Loricariidae of order Siluriformes, commonly known as the bushynose or bristle nose plecos) made the photo cut, Joe! I like the contrasting textures of Solbit and the bushynose! Hugs to Beth! Betsy

    • Hi, Betsy,
      It’s me, Solbit. For a moment, you confused me when you said “Joe” and “Beth,” and then I realized, oh, that’s Papa and Nona. About that fish photo, Nona did say it wasn’t good enough to put into my blog, but then she changed her mind. I’m glad she did because now we know that you are a fish expert. Who knew one fish could have so many names? You did! Thank you for identifying him. He’s forgotten me by now, but I’ll always have the memory of him wanting to kiss me. -S.

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