Friday, February 25, 2011

Somali Pirates, Leggo My Eggo!

I suppose I doomed myself at the tender age of eight when I declared that my favorite Gilbert & Sullivan musical was The Pirates of Penzance.  Or maybe I can blame it on my father for when he violated Child Humiliation & Mortification Rule #1 and auditioned for a community production of Pirates of Penzance at my high school.  Despite who ends up footing the therapy bill, it is without question that pirates are causing me distress.

For one month I was unable to buy tahini, a staple ingredient in hummus.  Imagine that!  In other months I have had to go without cheddar cheese imported from New Zealand or Ireland.  And I’m frequently buying off brand diapers because Senor Huggies seems to be stuck out at sea.  Can you say humanitarian crisis? Yeah, yeah, there is poor transportation infrastructure, slow implementation of EAC common market conventions and rampant mismanagement at the ports.  But rather than get down on Tanzanian inefficiencies, I choose to blame the pirates because let’s face it, that’s about as sexy as Johnny Depp and will make for great cocktail party chatter once we come back to the US!

The other day a friend told me that in making a decision on what car to import from Japan it was important that it be a diesel vehicle because if Tanzania ever devolved into civil war or other violence there would always be diesel but likely no petrol.  I kind of chuckled at the doomsday sentiment but fast forward to today when I went out in search of petrol for the generator and I had to go to no less than three gas stations – absent any civil unrest.  Why did those first two gas stations have no petrol?  Oil tankers being diverted and/or hijacked by pirates of course!

And speaking of sexy, Somali pirates have digitally kidnapped my husband.  The international legal implications of their pillaging and plundering on the high seas of the Indian Ocean have taken hold of his brain and his fingers and led him to the darkside…the blogosphere.  The only ransom they will accept is cold beer, meal times, heavy eyelids and demands for Elmo DVD’s.  Go over and check out his musings so we can compare site stats over dinner.  His avatar is a Southpark pirate, how can you resist that?

[Disclaimer: Somali piracy has once again touched our lives with the tragic death of four Americans sailing around the world.  I send my deepest condolences to the victim’s families and in no way reduce the piracy situation to my own lack of unnecessary extravagances.  Please keep in mind my tone is completely tongue-in-cheek and is really just a shameless plug for Roger’s blog]


  1. I fully endorse this post.

  2. I need to come visit you all again as I have become obsessed with the pirates as well. Can't wait to read Roger's blog.

  3. Here in the States the stories of piracy seem so far away. I can't imagine having my daily life actually affected by piracy. Living abroad presents such unique challenges. Thanks for this story, and for reminding me of how colorful life can be.