Today I went into Arusha to eat lunch at a friend’s favorite restaurant. He told me that it’s packed during lunch hours, and so I went a little on the late side to avoid the crowds.

The place is a real local joint, and I was the only mzungu. That’s not an unusual situation for me – I often wander into places where I obviously stand out.

I sat down and ordered my food. Two minutes later, an older white man entered. He walked over to my table and asked me if he could join me. (Note: tables in restaurants are usually shared; you sit where there’s space.)

“I rarely see other foreigners in here,” was his opening comment. He eats in the restaurant weekly. It’s his favorite place to get a special dish called trupa, which also happens to be the dish that my friend suggested I try.

I had intended on eating a quick lunch. Instead, I ended up staying for more than an hour to eat with and talk to Harry. He first came to Tanzania over 50 years ago to work for a shipping company, and he’s been here ever since. He couldn’t see or hear too well, buthe certainly had some interesting stories to tell.

People often ask me how I manage to travel so much by myself. Truth is, although I travel alone, I’m rarely by myself.