Every city has an Irish pub. Dar es Salaam is no exception. Monday night is trivia night, and the place is overrun with ex-pats.

Never have I been so overwhelmed with a sense of boredom as when I walked through that door. All of the ex-pats looked bored. Bored with their evening. Bored with their lives. If I hadn’t been meeting a friend of a friend, I would have turned around and left.

I chatted to a woman who had been living in Dar for a year and a half. The first thing she said was how tiring the social scene is. Every day of the week there is a certain hot spot. Every day of the week, the same people meet up and drink. They never do anything else. There isn’t anything else to do.

I left that evening with the following promise to myself:

I accept that I will probably become an ex-pat for at least a couple years of my life, if not more. I accept that there will be a limited number of places to go in the evenings. But I do not accept that those are my only options. And I do not accept that an enjoyable social life – anywhere in the world – is limited to pubs and clubs.

Where has people’s sense of adventure and creativity gone?

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