In the third post of my “Be My Guide to Your East African City” series, I asked about your favorite local spa. I also mentioned that it dawned on me that I had never been to a spa before, having always received my beauty and body treatments in beauty salons or fitness facilities. Shortly after publishing that post, I was graciously invited by Ramona Kashmiri, the owner of Lemon Spa in Masaki, Dar es Salaam, to visit her spa for the first time and sample some of the treatments offered there. Continue reading
When did you last send a fax? For me, it’s been 2 years and 5 months. The occasion? I was on a long visit to Dar es Salaam and desperately needed to fax something to Nairobi. I didn’t expect it to be difficult, but for many days, every internet café I tried to send a fax from either had a problem with its fax line or fax machine. Eventually, a resident of Dar es Salaam who often sends faxes decided to take me out of my misery Continue reading
Update (November 17, 2011): Zain Tanzania has now become Airtel Tanzania.
I am an unhappy Zain Tanzania customer. Why? Because, among other things, I rarely ever know how much I am paying for calls that I make or SMSes that I send through my Zain Tanzania mobile service. Getting someone from Zain Tanzania to answer my questions satisfactorily can also prove a huge problem even when I happen to call customer care in the middle of the night at 3am (which is one of the only times I can actually get through to customer care) or when I visit a Zain center where I know I will probably have to talk to more than one agent before I get an adequate answer to whatever question I may have. At other times, even after all this, I simply have to give up and make peace with the fact that I won’t be getting an answer to my question after all. Oh well! It’s how it is but, as I said, I’m not happy about it. Are you a Zain Tanzania subscriber who feels the same way? Before I get to the point of my post, allow me to share with you the story that inspired it. Continue reading
In the developed world, almost everything can be bought and sold online, and so it often is. On my most recent visit to the US, a couple of years ago, I asked a good girlfriend to recommend stores that she thought I should visit during my then-quest to buy a new laptop. My friend seemed a little flabbergasted. She couldn’t understand why I would go through all the trouble of shopping for a laptop in person when she felt I could do so more efficiently online. Her reaction surprised me a little bit. The African that I am (or at least that I was at the time) was used to shopping for things in person and, especially in the case of an expensive purchase, much preferred to physically see the item I was purchasing before I actually paid for it.
This experience was to be my first aperçu of how pervasive shopping online had become in the Western world. Later, during that same trip, I often saw my parents (who were soon to be 60 years old at the time) and brothers do the most mundane things (like buying books) as well as some not-so-mundane things (like buying complex musical instruments) online, seemingly without giving it a second thought.
This was a far cry from my reality in Kenya at the time. Although I moved in pretty technologically savvy circles, partaking in e-commerce was not a main stream activity for most people that I knew. Although the reasons for this were many, I am pretty sure one of the main reasons for this was that so few of the people I knew had credit cards (and this was pre-M-pesa days in the case of local e-commerce). Speaking for myself, the lack of a credit card was definitely the reason I never sought to buy anything online or even subscribe to some of the online services that I found interesting. Do you find yourself in the same situation? Continue reading
Auto Assured Ltd.
The Motoring Centre, Lenana Road
Tel: +254 -(20)-2711420/1, +254-(20)-2727914/5
Mobile: +254-(722)-752543, +254-(733)-730763
Yes, I know Christmas is right around the corner so I would do well to write a Christmas-related post today, but frankly, I am not a big fan of Christmas. What I will offer instead, in an effort to appease my readers who are in the throes of the holiday season, is that the service I am going to tell you about today would make an excellent gift for a loved one whose life you would like to make (safer and) easier. The company I am going to tell you about today, Auto Assured, provides among other services, a road rescue service which I can vouch for a hundred times over. (To find out more about Gift Memberships, visit their website.) Continue reading