It was our first full day in Paje. Paje has a slower pace of life than Nungwi, which has a much slower pace of life than Stone Town. Pole pole (Slowly), is the foremost mentality here. Meals take forever to order and come, and the philosophy of pole pole here is present in every aspect of every-day life.
One time we sat down at a lovely-looking beach cafe, which wasn’t even busy, and pole pole came into play immediately. It took half an hour just for them to give us menus, and literally ages for the food to come. We must have been sitting there for 2 hours between the time that we sat down, and the time our food arrived. Pole pole.
Many other things incorporate pole pole into their circumstances. Things are just overall way more loose and easy-going, so that many things are only “Meh.”
Lets say the internet is down (which it is often). We ask them to fix it. The answer is “Pole pole, it’ll happen eventually.” Same thing with many other parts of living here. If your house runs out of some food product, you just tell yourself “pole pole, i’ll get it later.”
That also means that there is much more of the “just chill” vibe going around. This place doesn’t have AC, but problem solved with a simple “pole pole, hakuna matata,” meaning “slowly, no worries.” After a day, they got us a stand-up fan, and we are okay. Maybe the situation will get better after a week.
Sometimes I like it, because it doesn’t make me feel rushed, and it help me appreciate what is happening in the moment, and to slow down and think about the present. I’m sure many tourists might be irritated by the way of everything getting done slowly, and I have to admit, we might get frustrated sometimes, but it sure ain’t going to go away.
Wifi cuts in and out, practically no free kitchen time, and pole pole is floating, drifting, soaring, flying, zooming, speeding, and darting through the air and wind that gently blows against my face all day long.
And it’s not just slowness and boredom, but also appreciation, peace, realization, and a very interesting way of living. It is beautiful, even if it means waiting 30 minutes for a menu.