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Yellow Street MINI MAG VOL. 1

Fresh From

Zanzibar!

LET YOUR SENSES GUIDE YOU ON A ZIGZAG TOUR OF THE FAMOUS SPICE ISLAND TO THE WHITE SAND BEACHES AND ECLECTIC BOUTIQUES

SCAN THIS! TAKE YOUR NIFTY SMART PHONE AND GRAB OUR CONTACT INFO!

YELLOW STREET PHOTOS

Heather & Skyler Burt Muscat, Oman / Los Angeles, USA +968.9887.0650 / +968.9634.8913 info@yellowstreetphotos.com http://yellowstreetphotos.com


CONTENT 14

MESSAGE FROM

EDITORS

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ow often do you see travel imagery that truly illustrates the pulse of a community? Images from far away places tend to only highlight negative social issues or aggrandize the natural splendor, distracting from the subtle beauty each community has to offer. We are Heather and Skyler Burt of Yellow Street Photos and we live to seek out new experiences and translate them through visual stories that are elegantly authentic. Our newest collection of work from Zanzibar is featured in this mini mag, we hope you enjoy it.

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ON THE STREETS ETCHED IN STONE Straight from the tarmac, the family

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AMBROSIA FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD

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Stick this mini mag in your bag, then hit your favourite coffee shop and unwind with a mental trip to one of the most enchanting islands on earth.


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ETCHED IN STONE

ky was leaning over my shoulder and I was leaning over the shoulder of the man sitting to the left of me so we could get a glimpse out the window. The beauty Zanzibar boasts of, even from the sky, immediately impressed us. Our nearly 2-year-old daughter, Ciela, kept mimicking our

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loud “wow.” Everyone in the plane reacted the same, aside from the few locals who must already know how beautiful their country is. We planned to spend the first few days of our 12 day trip in Stone Town but we soon discovered that we needed an additional 12 days for Stone Town itself. We went immediately to our guest house and checked in. Then it

was “calm down” time in the room. Travelling with a restless toddler means orchestrating a carefully drafted schedule and not deviating from it so that you can get the most out of “adventure time.” Although we don’t usually travel with Ciela for work, this was a family holidy. Our windows of opportunity are from after breakfast- noon, which is


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lunchtime followed by nap time. After 2, a cup of milk and a snack, then it’s exploring until dinner at 6. Staying out late and ignoring certain “times of the day” could be a disaster waiting to happen. Accepting those terms makes it much easier to have fun and not get defeated. Sky leaned his face up against the guest house window as we drank our coffee and let Ciela

calm down from the trip, he was as anxious as I to get into the action, but I hide it better, waiting for just the right time. The first step into Stone Town is exhilarating and overwhelming all at once. You almost immediately feel lost, and the best thing to do is just go with it. We walked all afternoon until dinnertime; we walked,

and talked and took pictures. Ciela was in utter shock, the amount of visual simulation was too heavy and she eventually just went to sleep, which meant we could take our time exploring the chaotic streets. The narrow, never-ending paths that form the city cut through houses, shops and various neighborhoods. Life in Zanzibar happens on the streets, and


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Visual Poetry

Grab a coffee and a window seat at nearly any cafe in Stone Town, and watch life go by for hours.


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Around Every Corner

Around every corner another path, no matter which way you choose they all lead to more of Stone Town.


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Grey

The narrow grey walls, the plastered posters and the low hanging electrical wires all contribute to the authentically gritty feel of the city.


YELLOW ST. PHOTOS | 11 in public; communication, work, relationships, transportation, they are not hidden parts of life, they are exposed and everyone is vulnerable in a way which has become nearly extinct in many other parts of the world. There is a certain feeling of disconnect between people in many societies around the world that you will not find in Stone Town. Visually, the grey coral walls were littered with pasted paper flyers and writings. One read, “money can buy a house but it can’t buy a home,” another read, “money can buy education but it can’t buy intelligence.” Hundreds of others lined the stone alleys, some in English, but many more in Swahili. They shared the space with various drawings and occasional street art. The walls became a space for

There is a certain feeling of disconnect between people in many societies around the world that you will not find in Stone Town.

the community to share their ideas; ideas that might inspire or inform the community in the least formal way. When compared to modern communication, it is the most primitive Facebook status, and yet the people found much more intelligent ideas to share than what they had for breakfast. Laden over the grey walls are the colourful people passing by. A mirage of bright reds, oranges and blues worn by local ladies all standing out from their surroundings like a meticulously engineered fashion shoot. After several hours we made our way through countless alleyways and found an old church in what felt like the centre of Stone Town. Being a Muslim country, we were shocked and had to enter. It was like putting headphones on in a busy subway, all the chaos and motion of the street ended as we walked into the massive Catholic sanctuary. It was December 23rd and nuns were running here and there preparing for Christmas Eve Mass while a young man practiced Christmas songs on the piano. One nun explained to us that the church was over 120 years old.


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The Big Pour

Storms can descend quickly on Zanzibar, but no need to fret just hop over to the bar for a bit because most of the time they leave just as quick as they came.


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We sat down for a quiet second and suddenly changed our point of view from the streets, to the architecture. Various empires through history ruled Zanzibar, its strategic location made it a desired possession for hundreds

of years. What is written in history books is an intangible idea of countries past, but the architecture which remains, from the mosques and the Omani doors, to the sole Church, tell a tangible story of this tiny island’s

weaved past, and give reference to the current, vibrant society buzzing just outside the church doors. It must have been the silence that woke Ciela, just in time for us to head back for dinner, anxious for the next day.


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Christmas in Zanzibar

The juxtaposition between the quite church and busy streets were overlaid with the Christmas hymns being rehearsed.


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FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD

asta, Grilled Chicken with Rice, Cous Cous with Beef, maybe a night of leftovers, then soup from a can; these are what our weekly culinary adventures consist of. Then we get to the weekend and that means take out, another night of Thai from the place around the corner where after 2 years they know our order but not our names. I assume most families are like ours, in a habitual course of unexciting dinner foods, or at least I rationalize our unenthusiastic menu that

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way. That’s the best part about travelling, breaking routines, and experiencing something new. We talked about our trip to Zanzibar for weeks before we left, we would eat our leftovers and talk about how the food in Zanzibar was probably amazing. Our first meal in Zanzibar was a tuna sandwich on rye from the cafe below our guest

house. The cafe had a patio with a few tables which faced a very busy main street in Stone Town, no inside seating. We had just gotten off the plane, and it was our “recoup” meal after having checked in. There was a complete juxtaposition between the cafe patio filled with little tables, overflowing with travellers huddled together, silent and in a shock from the chaos and the busy street of colour and action. Men and women walking in every direction, all of them carrying things with them, suit cases on their heads, sacks of rice, jugs of water, babies, one guy was even carrying a goat. The street was also of course filled with cars, motorcycles and bicycles of all sorts and never ending honks and hoots. Looking back now the coffee was instant and the tuna sandwich was something that I


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18 | YELLOW ST. PHOTOS Samosa Heaven

Stop by the Africa House Hotel for these tasty treats while winding your way through the maze of allies in Stone Town. You might like them enough to stay the night, we did.


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Grilled Snapper

With over 14% of the island’s population involved in the fishing industry, there is no lack of delicious dishes on Zanzibar for the traveller looking to sample the catch of the day.


20 | YELLOW ST. PHOTOS Sweet Potato Bruschetta

An island variation of the Italian classic, sweet potato grilled to golden perfection topped with a mix of fresh tomatoes and red onions.

could have made at home. In a cafe back home I might have even complained, or in the least, not been back for seconds. And yet, we ate at that cafe several times over our 2 week trip, each time as optimistic to try something new on the menu. Stone Town, Paje, Bweju, Dongwe, we ate our way across the Spice Island. Many restaurants served freshly grilled fish and fresh juices, a few served Zanzibari curries and authentic island flavours and many, many more served faux Italian food catering to the masses of Italian tourists. Our meals ranged from ambrosia to laughably bad. Every cafe we walked into was different, each one was an experience, each had a different menu, decor and vibe. Some were born out of opportunity created by tourism, others were born in the hearts of people passionate about creating good food, and that is what separates the quality of their food. I have a theory about “travel mentality.” While travelling, people adopt a more adventurous personality, and have a more easy going approach to everyday situations. When people leave their comfort zones, they are more willing to try something new, to put the effort in to exploring, and when that turns out to be not as good as they had hoped, they roll with it. When it turns out to be amazing, they boast about finding it. Most importantly, travelling forces the most stubborn, glass half empty thinkers to take life lightheartedly. It turns one of our most usual rituals, eating, into an adventure. Adopting “travel mentality” in our daily lives might just break us out of our daily regimens. When we landed back home in Muscat exhasted and with an empty fridge we hit number 6 on speed dial. “Lai Thai,” “hi, it’s us, Pineapple Curry and Laksa,” “ready in 20.” We are going to adopt our new outlook tomorrow.


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Tropical Fruits

You’ll find colourful, exotic fruit plates on nearly every breakfast table on the island; overflowing with new tastes to explore.


YELLOW STREET PHOTOS

Heather & Skyler Burt Muscat, Oman / Los Angeles, USA +968.9887.0650 / +968.9634.8913 info@yellowstreetphotos.com http://yellowstreetphotos.com


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