Out of Kenya (part 1)

Image uploaded by degreeszero on Flickr

So… I have been back in Rome for over 100 hours now, but I still haven’t got round to blogging about my recent trip home. Live-blogging would have been great, if I had more patience with the Internet speeds. I therefore had every intention of sharing my experiences and views as soon as I got back. Being the procrastinator that I am, (alas, part of my personality) I have miserably disappointed myself by not blogging sooner. However, once I decided to look for an image on the theme of procrastination and found this hilarious flow-chart, I found myself motivated enough to start blogging.

In brief…

This was my third trip home in almost a decade; I was well aware of the fact that I’d feel more like a tourist than a native. It is a weird feeling—slightly uncomfortable and somewhat confusing. For example, my bedroom and my most important possessions are in Italy, but on the immigration card (that all people entering Kenya fill out), I filled in “Kenya” in the blank space relating to “country of residence”. (Had anyone asked me exactly where in Kenya I resided, I’d have been at a total loss, since all the (four) members of my immediate family had moved house since my last visit). As I said, uncomfortable and confusing.

Week 1

I remember very well from school that different cloud types form at different altitudes. What I didn’t know was that there could be more than one layer of clouds simultaneously. To a person who does a lot of plane travel on cloudy days, this is not at all remarkable. But to me (and all other earth-bound folks), seeing clouds both above and below the plane (flying from Rome to Zürich) was quite a novel thing…

The guy seated next to me on the Zurich-Nairobi leg of my journey had a serious case of BO and no idea of the concept of personal space. He also couldn’t operate his personal entertainment gadgetry, and resorted to watching mine. Annoying. What I didn’t realise is just how much of a loner (and therefore a cherisher of personal space) I’ve become. When I got to my brother’s home where I’d be staying, there were 3 adults and 3 children there beside me. It was jarring to hear all those sounds and see all those people in one house. I must have seemed rather aloof and snobbish during those first 24-36 hours; I was a little overwhelmed by the unfamiliarity of the situation, but I recovered soon enough ( I think).

One of the aforementioned three children was my three-and-a-half-year-old niece. I last (physically) saw her when she was about two months old. Unlike then, she now needs constant instruction on good behaviour and correction when she deviates from acceptable norms. I don’t know if I’ll ever have children of my own ( their prospective daddy hasn’t shown up yet), but I sure hope that we won’t end up needing the help of a Supernanny (not that my adorable niece does 🙂 ) Raising well-adjusted children isn’t easy, and I wonder whether I’ll be up to the challenge…