I am fascinated by people's behaviors, what drives them to act a certain way, why they make one decision as opposed to the other...you get the drift. I like watching people, I like talking to them. I also have an annoying habit. The 'why' stage never really ended with me. It just got magnified to 'what does that mean?' I love meanings. That tells you I kill the heck out of a beautiful moment by wanting him to define the poem he is reading me, or explain what the bracelet he just got me meant. Puzzles annoy me, especially when they take too long to solve. I want to know everything. And I mean, everything.
Back to people.
I stumbled across Outliers. I have become so lazy in reading I want it read to me. Enter Audiobooks, Outliers being the first one on the list. One of the few books I can say has shifted the way I think, the way I look at life. He explores various situations that we take for granted, that we think are by chance, fate...Like how Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc came to be the masters of what they do. They have been called geniuses even. All we know is the Bill Gates quit Harvard to set up Microsoft. The backstory, what everyone forgets, is he started interacting with computers at 13, was programming for organizations at 15. Malcom Gladwell speculates that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice in any field to be really good at it. By the time he was quitting Havard, Gates had more than 10,000 hours in computer programming.
Gates grew up in Seattle to well-to-do parents and was enrolled in an elite, private high school, Lakeside. Lakeside just happened to have a Mother’s Club that raised $3000 dollars to start a computer club in 1968, which didn’t even exist at major universities at that time. Most computer programming used an unfathomably laborious technique known as a computer-card system. Gates’ high school relied instead on an advanced time-sharing system that greatly facilitated his ability to program efficiently and effortlessly. When the money ran out for his computer club, a mother of one of the Lakeside boys just happened to need a programmer at a computer company called C-Cubed, which turned into another opportunity to work at ISI then TRW. He happened to be within walking distance of the University of Washington, which allowed him to work on computers between 3 and 6 am. Now none of all that would be that remarkable today. But that was 1968 when computers really did not exist and computer programming opportunities were nil. Gladwell argues that the software billionaires of today all came of age at a very narrow window in time with a narrow timeframe of 1953-55 birthdates: Bill Gates 1955, Paul Allen 1953, Steve Ballmer 1956, Steve Jobs 1955, Eric Schmidt 1955, Bill Joy 1954 (btw a great story of Bill Joy, the founder of the Internet and UNIX code in the book), etc. For people in computer world, sometime in the mid 70's was the best time to be a young man / woman. The first person computer was invented around then. If you were over 30, you were too old. You probably had a fmaily and worked for IBM and thought those huge mainframes would last forever. If you were under 20, You did not have disposable income to spend on an experimental piece of technology. You were still in high school. Perfect age to be? Between 21-25. Precisely what Gates, Jobs and Joy were at that time.
Back to people.
In one Chapter, Malcolm talk about effects of what he calls “The Culture of Honor.” He discusses why the famous American feuds like Howard-Turner (read more here) and Hatfield-McCoy (read more here) standoffs were steeped in a culture that traced back several centuries on a different soil. Gladwell argues that these intense clan battles that centered around familial honor originated in the idea of the herdsman living on the hinterland. The farmer, by contrast, who must work in a team to cultivate arable land, would not risk alienating those around him. The herdsman, on the other hand, living on the rocky highlands must defend his sheep and cattle from the encroachment of strangers and thereby defines a certain code of honor that makes his battles per force openly querulous and staunchly virile. Gladwell discovered that these individuals acted in such a fashion from a legacy that predated their arrival in the heartland of America. Coming from the lawless borderlands of the United Kingdom, these “Scotch-Irish” engaged in feuds and fights because they were classic herdsmen as found in the Basque region of Spain, Sicily, and parts of Greece. Their behavior had been imprinted through generations of predecessors before them. He does not mention this, but in my mind, I thought. Doesn't that explain Maasai, the Pokots and Sabaots... Somalis?
Maybe its a coincidence, how accurate Gladwell's observations are, but for me, who loves explanations, I have a few answers, less questions. I have been hurt by friends, and they chose to do it all at once. Separately though. I have been asking them why. None seem to be giving me an answer that heals the pain, returns the trust I had for them. In Gladwell's fashion, I have started going through my friendship with these people, the basis on how we started, the history of who they were before we met, in hopes of getting answers. I haven't gotten any yet. Still watching
Back to people.
...is the time. It has been on of those days that your body questions your intentions towards its well-being and your brain goes along with you just because it has limited options. And as they both slowly start to shut down, you fight a battle that you eventually win, and somehow, you're still not happy with the outcome. You are driving around at 3am because you absolutely had to have that meeting that you have been putting off and now it doesn't matter what time of day it is, it had to be done.
You have not eaten, every fiber in your body is exhausted and sleep is playing peekaboo with your eyes. You just want to get home. You are Mbagathi Road, looking at the friend who agreed to drive with you this late because you were worried about being a lone woman driving around in the middle of the night, and you are feeling guilty that your meeting ran too late and now he is going to get only 4 hours of sleep because of you. You apologize for taking longer than promised, he mumbles a halfhearted 'ok' and you shrink deeper into your seat and hate yourself more. You understand how tired he is too.
Then you look up at the road ahead, and you see a man staggering in the middle of the road. You think, great, a stupid drunk who's probably get a run over and die tonight. You feel your heart shrink just a little bit, and shiver at the thought as two cars speed past you and swerve as they near him. They drive on, do not even slow down. As your headlights hit his face, you notice that he looks hurt. You gasp, and your humane side kicks in. Without thinking, you tell your friend to slow down. He looks at you, looks at the man and you can see that he thinks this is not a good idea. You know why. And your cautious side steps in. It could be a set up. He could be a decoy. Thugs could be laying in wait for a stupid driver like you to stop and pounce. 'Are you sure?' your friend asks you. You can hear in his voice that he is not asking you, he is asking himself. ' By now we have driven past him. ' Turn around, Bry.' You tell him. You see his jaw clench. You know he wants to help, but he is being reasonable. He is assessing the situation, probably calculating the risks and planning on the escape if its a set up. Mbagathi Rd is a one way road. He swings the car on to the next exit and drives back. He then turns the car back to the left side. " We should drive slowly, not completely stop. I'll talk to him, you look around.' You tell him. Your voice is shaking, you are shaking. You are scared shitless.
Bry slows down and you see him scanning all sides for suspicious activity. The guy is on your side - the passenger side. He starts to walk towards the car. His face comes into focus. Your breath gets caught in your throat. You stifle a cough. He looks like a walking cadaver that's been sitting for days. His face is swollen, so much so, you cannot tell how he looks like normally. Where his left eye once sat is a thin slit. He looks like someone removed his skull and wrapped a basketball around his facial skin. His mouth, which no longer like a human mouth, is bleeding profusely.
You look over at Bry. He is looking at the man too. You can read his mind. We have to help him. 'Where do we take him,' Bry asks. Without thinking, you say 'Masaba'. It's now called Nairobi Women's Hospital at Adams. Now, you have a love-hate friendship history with that hospital. Every now and then, you are in so much pain you need to go to the ER for an IV drip of painkillers as the oral ones wont work and you need very high dosages. One of those times, your boyfriend took you there. You found a doctor who thought that you writhing in pain, keeling over and almost sitting on the floor was not an emergency enough, you had to wait for him to check an athlete foot infection first and wait your turn. After all he was a foot doctor and he's all they had. Long story short, but you ended up driving to Nairobi Hospital 20 minutes later, you in more pain, boyfriend so angry than you have ever seen him, after giving the foot doctor and earful.
You have also brought another stranger here. He was beaten up as you watched. And as everyone ignored his cries and watched as he bled, you put him in your car and drove him to this hospital. They treated him, asked for no money after you explained that you are a stranger who wanted to help. That story is told here
Bry is driving like the wind, you am trying to get information from the man. He can barely talk. Of course. You pick up from his muffled speech that he is a traveling salesman who sells toothpaste. Ironic. I think he has lost all his teeth from the attack. Could have been funny in an alternate universe. He lives in a place called Mukuru kwa Mjenga. You know that slum, you have been there once. You cannot, however, figure out where he was attacked at. You want to know more, but you can tell that its taking all the strength he has left to speak. He says he was attacked between 7-8pm. It's 3 am. Where has he been. You tell Bry that you think he must have been unconscious and he just came to. The man is now thanking us. Telling us how no one would stop to help him, sending blessings our way.
The smell. You cannot quite place it. You think its the smell of death. Angry death. Angry that it has lost its prey. You and Bry speculate. There is definitely alcohol in the stench. Maybe a No.2. Both of you cannot put your finger on it. It's a haunting smell. You roll down the windows. But its too cold, especially for him. You have the sleeves of your sweater around your face and mouth. It kid of helps, but not really. Bry has to drive and focus on the road. He does not show if the stench is affecting him. You know it is. He is not even wrinkling his nose. He is looking ahead, stoically. But he is man, you understand.
She harbours secrets. Those that she whispers in the strong winds that are said to make people lose their minds. It's the secrets in the winds I tell you. Those secrets that taunt and tease you. A word here, a word there, never the whole sentence. The winds knows something we don't, and its not sharing. It hints of tales and dreams and hopes. Tales of men, dreams of women, hopes of sailors, mashed up and served over centuries to those who dare venture her streets. Streets narrow and winding, daring you to turn the corner, daring you to look further. The streets have names, names of people who ones walked them, names of people who called this home. Birds songs blend with the wind whispers. A secret symphony developed from a kinship that only comes from witnessing life and death together for generations. It's a dialogue I have come to love, an orchestra not even the best maestro can arrange, and yet I do not understand it.
Sandwiched between the richness of spices and guns, religion and trade, hot summers and dead cold winters, the town is a mutt of cultures. Warm Mediterranean waters on the right bring stories of a land raped and scarred but still proud, cold Atlantic waters speaks of vikings and kingdoms and the awakening of its lands. Their conversation meets here, where the walls bend their ears to listen.
In this ancient walls, I can see faces of tireless travelers etched in. The peeling paint forming the hard lines of their knowing faces frozen in timeless beauty. In my mind I hear the slow strumming and humming... 'we haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine’ And still those voices are calling from far away. I shudder. Those secrets again. A frozen face on the wall scowls as a car drives past. I hear an imaginary cough as the car churns up some dust that quickly mingles with the exhaust. The wind howls even harder, I swear the bird above me just screamt. This time I understand. This is their home. They love the wind that drove them insane, the streets that taunted them, the seas that took their loved ones. They know the town, the town knows them, they fear they will loose it to unfeeling passerbys.
They have withstood the tests of time, the conquest of empire after empire. They have seen men on horses, men on thrones, men in love, men lifeless on its streets, their blood seeping into its core. I breathe in deeper, maybe trying to smell that blood, the one I am sure the winds sings of. A young man walks by, his Latin features strong and dominant. He smiles as his gaze catches mine. For a moment, I resist to return that smile. You see, another secret. I am becoming very suspicious. Of the way the men tease with their gazes, make love with their smiles. Their teasing gazes tell of lovers bliss that still linger in the confines of the walls that the faces of tireless travelers watch from.
Their smiles reveal allusions love and promises whispered in the dead of the night as the moon shone bright and the ships docked for the night. The gazes and the smiles hint of love not fulfilled, lovers no longer together, bells chiming in the distance as their hearts crumbled and wailed. He casts his eyes downwards, keeps walking. He knows rejection too well. His smile was begging for a connection, telling of a love he lost but still holds. Telling of what he will never replace. He looks back, if only to confirm that I do indeed hear the secrets of the wind, the songs for the birds, the call of his lover in the distance waves. I do. He smiles again. If I smile back, a part of me will be forever etched in the walls of this town that holds its own. Another traveler will hear a part of my soul in the wind and wonder what I thought of, what I dreamt of, what I hoped for. If I smile back, my longing will be added to the secrets of Tarifa.
So I smile.
...to tell you that she is Spain-bound tonight. Then Zanzibar.
I noticed that every time I say I have been busy and 'will tell you all about it' I actually never do. So I am not going to make that promise this time round. However, I will promise to take enough photos to make you jealous for the next 3 months. Since Nate is still in Los Angeles, I am also not going to be posting 'Close your Eyes' lyrics as a goodbye to him.
The past 2 months have seen me raise about KES 170,000 for IDPs in Ndaragwa who were eating cats due to lack of food- something that made their MP so guilty he went there after a long time, complete a TV show pilot whose presentation went really well, get the gifted soulfool to work with me in my company, half of my Kibera Film School students to work on the set of a feature film for a month and the rest to work on a video for a conference presentation.
So that was the work update. No love life update. Still in love, fight now and then to remind ourselves we still care.
See you next post.
I was thinking of how long its been since I blogged. It felt like a lifetime. See, since coming back to Kenya, I have been having 15 hour days and none of those hours have been free enough to slot in a post. Apparently, its only been 10 days since I last posted.
It's Saturday, the first free day I've had. Okay, maybe 2nd. Last Saturday, I went to Lake Naivasha for fishing. After 3 hours, I did catch some fish...
...from another boat that happened to be passing ours. I threw my line to the other boat, instead of bait, I had soemthing better attached to the hook.
...and have been since Saturday night. I have a rant about Dubai ( where I spent 4 hours), but that is for another post.
So I land at JKIA, go through customs very quickly because I am not 'carrying any gifts, or did not buy anything new in the USA' ( yeah right!)...and I am hoping to see my friend and her husband waiting. They are not... I see a tall white guy who looks like my friends' hubby's brother, I walk towards him and he looks at me funny. Thankfully, I had not been wearing that, 'so glad to see you smile..'
I crisscross the meeting area, accosted by taxi drivers who surreptitiously try to get me to use their cabs. Finally, I am convinced they forgot to pick me, or they looked at my itinerary wrong. They moved house immediately I left the country, and have no idea what part of the new estate they live in.
I figure that I have a phone that I can out a SIM card in and call them. So I walk to the nearest Safaricom shop and ask for a SIM card. It's KES 200. Now, I know that inflation is high in Kenya, but not high to an extent that a SIM card that used to go for KES 20-50 is now KES 200. Apparently that is how much they cost if you buy at the airport. Poor foreigners!
I have no option but to buy this SIM Card. So i get my phone out and alas, it died somewhere between the last time I used it in Canada and 7 months later here in Kenya. So I have to buy a phone. I ask for cheapest phone they have. They show me. It's a cheap Nokia that I know I have bought for clients who are in Kenya for a short while. They go for about KES 1,500. The suckers at the airport wanted KES. 3,500. I only had KES2,000 in shillings and was not about to exchange money at the airport. The upside to getting back to Kenya right now is I get more shillings for my dollars...and I planned to get the best rate possible.
I walk to the nearest ATM - Barclays. I put in my Barclays ATM card, it tells me I have negative. Since i rarely put money in that account, they have been using the little balance I had to pay for ledger fees. Then when the bank went to zero, they started charging me for having a -ve balance. I try out my KCB card. On the screen it says ' Select One Option Below.' There is only one option available - Return Card. Not good.
As I prepare to walk back to the Safaricom shop and tell them I cannot afford the phone and can she lend me hers to make the call ( Then I can refund her airtime, no?), my pal's hubby shows up.
Long story why he is late... but we get home. I cannot sleep.. my body thinks its midday but its midnight here. The following morning, I off to Kibera to check up on our film school kids (okay, most of them are 5 years or less younger than me, but they do feel like our kids). I am there till midnight!
I decide to buy them dinner. Ati fries are KES 100. Nothing says welcome home than having to decide whether to feed your 'kids' or to fuel your car.
Was shopping around the Net. Either I am damn cheap and do not understand fashion, or there is something wrong with these listings!
How much do you think this dress is worth?
I love that song. It's a sad song, but very true. At one point in life, you will find yourself alone. A loved one will leave (not necessarily for good, but they will be away) or they will die.
I am at the airport again, naturally. This time from Indianapolis to Charlotte to Los Angeles. I am sitting at the boarding area waiting as the flight is delayed. They have free WIFI, on a condition that you fill in a survey and sign up for their offers. They think they now have my email address...so they gave me access. What they don't know is I created a yahoo email address just for junk. Whenever I have to sign up for some useless shit, I give that address. Never checked it in about 3 years now. Clever, huh?
So, anyway, I set my bags down and get ready for my favourite airport activity- watching people. I don't have to look far. Next to me is a woman in her late twenties. Or not. I can never tell Caucasians age but I can tell she is not over 35. She is on phone, talking softly. Not too softly though. Airport seats are designed to make you be in contact with the person next to you. Maybe some sort of bonding idea, which never works as no one talks to anyone. She is sobbing too. She says something like ' You know I never meant to hurt you.' Now I am paying attention. She then says something like ' I realized I wasn't ready and I know I said I loved you, and I still do, but I don't know why I feel I am not ready' She is apologizing for embarrassing the person on the other side of the phone. I am now fiddling with my email on Entourage, pretending to be typing furiously. I am actually typing what she is saying...the bits I can catch.
I get from her conversation that her wedding was on Saturday. (She says 'the past 2 days have been hell for me'). It's Tuesday. She did not show up, left her man standing on the altar. She says 'I have known all those years that I wanted to marry you...' and I can tell they have been dating a long time. Her voice is cracking, she is distraught. She says she 'has been thinking about all this' and she has decided to get out of town. She says she cannot tell him where she is going as she wants to be alone and think. I can tell the question from the other side is ' why are you telling me' as her answer is 'I did not want you to worry, I just listened to all your voicemails. This must be the first time they are talking since then, I guess.
This makes me thinking about that Gilbert O'Sullivan song, Alone Again, naturally. That is what the jilted man is. And I hope that he is taking it better than the man in that song.
The rest of the conversation is her apologizing over and over again, telling him he has all the right to be angry at her, etc. You can tell the conversation has moved from him listening to her excuses to calling her selfish from her defensive talk.
It's time to board and she has told him so. She has said goodbye and I have to get up too and board. Will leave you with the lyrics to the song :
In a little while from now,
If I'm not feeling any less sour
I promised myself to treat myself
And visit a nearby tower,
And climbing to the top,
Will throw myself off
In an effort to make it clear to who
Ever what it's like when your shattered
Left standing in the lurch, at a church
Where people 're saying,
"My God that's tough, she stood him up!
No point in us remaining.
May as well go home."
As I did on my own,
Alone again, naturally
To think that only yesterday,
I was cheerful, bright and gay,
Looking forward to, but who wouldn't do,
The role I was about to play
But as if to knock me down,
Reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch,
Cut me into little pieces
Leaving me to doubt,
All about God and His mercy
For if He really does exist
Why did He desert me
In my hour of need?
I truly am indeed,
Alone again, naturally
It seems to me that
There are more hearts
Broken in the world
That can't be mended
What do we do? What do we do?
Now looking back over the years,
And what ever else that appears
I remember I cried when my father died
Never wishing to have cried the tears
And at sixty-five years old,
My mother, God rest her soul,
Couldn't understand, why the only man
She had ever loved had been taken
Leaving her to start with a heart
So badly broken
Despite encouragement from me
No words were ever spoken
And when she passed away
I cried and cried all day
Alone again, naturally
Alone again, naturally
Been in Cleveland, Ohio for a few days now for the Cleveland Int'l Film Festival. It's been cold, so cold I can feel my insides shrinking at every breath I take. Of course in the evenings, have met girls dressed in what would be considered, even in the Sahara, too little.
It has been a terrible experience (not just the weather), but the whole aura of the city too. It's depressing, and hauntingly so. We were staying at the Holiday Inn Express on Euclid Ave and walked everyday to the Tower City Center where the film festival was taking place. And the walk there everyday opened my eyes to the skeleton of what the city, I bet, used to be in 1950. A little history tells me that in the 50s, Cleveland was the USA's 7 largest city, with a population of just a little over 914,000. Now, its the 43rd largest, with a population of 396,815 as of 2010 census, placing the city to be one fastest-declining cities in the United States. In the early 20th century, when manufacturing and steel industry was the shit to be in, Cleveland boasted of the famous 'Millionaires Row' on Euclid Ave, where families like the Rockefellers, the Hays and the Hannas lived in mansions. (Google them if you have no idea who they are.)
Walking down Euclid Ave, you do get the feeling that at one time, something used to happen here. The surviving buildings from its days of fame bear diverse architectural design, but mostly the unmistakable neoclassical architecture. It's like looking into the the hollow eyes of a once famous, once beautiful, legendary icon, and kind of getting a glimpse of a light that once shone bright. Or a lighthouse that stands majestically against the sea, defiant still, but without the blazing glory of nights past when it withstood the angry ocean waves and guided weary seafarers to safe harbors.
But that is not just the problem. The people too. When they finally come out to the almost-always deserted streets, they remind me of a scene from I am Legend. They have haunted looks, empty gazes, pitiful. Maybe Nate and I were reading too much into it, but a few bump-ins with some of them did confirm that.
|Inside the Tower City Center|
|Outside Tower City Center|
Very few things in this world leave me speechless.
This one made me leave my jaw on my desk!
…is what I am thinking this morning, with my earphones stuck to my ears, laptop on lap, an overpriced plastic cup of Starbucks hot chocolate next to me, sitting next to two snoring travelers at LAX. I am on my way to San Jose. It's also the name of the song I am currently listening to, sang my the soulful Edwin McCain, whose voice i am so in love with. He reminds me so much of the American south, not only because that is where he is from, but it's in Myrtle Beach South Carolina that I got to see him live at the House of Blues. I am sure I blogged about that. Seeing that I am typing this on TextEdit as I cannot seem to connect to any of the few joys of being at the airport - free wifi- I am not able to pull out that particular post.
Beautiful life is probably not the thought people have while sitting on a cold airport bench at 6.15 am. But I am not most people…It's also not a thought that you have the pleasure of allowing to cross your mind if you just had 1 hour of sleep. Same goes if you do not like mornings, like I. I love my sleep. All 12 hours of it. Yep, the 1 before the 2 is real, you did not imagine it. I can sleep for 24 hours… continuously-- much to Nate's chagrin. That man is annoyingly chipper in the morning. It's like he lies in bed dreaming about morning, while I lie in bed hoping to stretch the night in my dreams. If he was the whistling kind, thank heavens he ain't, I'm sure he would be waking up with a tune on his lips. He wants to get up, get going. I want to get up and speed a few minutes being angry at the sun for showing up. You'd think that by now I'd be used to the idea of the sun rising, what with it doing so everyday for the past billions of years.
Yesterday was a Kenyan night event at Universal Studios. It was an evening of Kenyan food, music, art and film. It was so nice to see so many Kenyans together, that are not trying to show off the little they have amerced in America (read with a Kenyan shags accent). I love my countrymen, don't get me wrong, I just hate how they congregate to show off once outside the country.
Case in point.
Our anniversary falls on Valentine day, Nate's birthday is 2 days later and that also happened to the be the weekend that the USA Sevens were taking place in Las Vegas. The Kenyan Vegas parties were all i saw on Facebook posts of Kenyans in the diaspora. The rugby matches are on Saturday and Sunday, but the parties start on Thursday. Apparently it is THE event of the year. Kenyans from all the nooks and crannies of USA take over Vegas for the entire weekend. Vegas being a 5 hour drive only, we decided to check it out, if we had time. Our schedule was all up in the air, which meant we could not book any hotels until we were sure we would make it. This confirmation happened on Saturday, which not only mean we were going to have to go with whatever last minute hotel rate we got, but we had missed the red-carpet welcome of the Kenyan rugby team, the Saturday game and the better part of the parties. Now, this Saturday game is very important. It's the one that our boys win, a friend told me. On Sunday, they are too exhausted from the celebratory partying that happens on Saturday night. And true to that, they did win on Saturday and lose on Sunday.
There are several Kenyan parties that happen that weekend, all trying to outdo the other by having the 'illest' Dj's, MCs, location…all charging between $20-$30 entry charge. They all promise (a) night (s) of mayhem, 'Vegas experience, etc' They all sounded the same to me. A party is a party, right? And since they will all have Kenyans, what's the difference?
Anyway, I called a couple of friends to get advise on hotels. One told me that she was staying at a penthouse suite that was costing no less than $2,000. Call me cheap but no way on earth I'm I spending that much on a hotel in Vegas. I'd rather take that money, add some, and fly to Montego Bay and stay an all inclusive resort. Did it once, would do it again in a heartbeat. That's just how I think. For me, Vegas represents the kind of fun that superficial, that is blitz and lights and quick- fading. My kinda fun involves exotic excursions, ziplines at 300 feet above the the Jamaican jungle, some sand and sun, 2.00am jerky chicken indulges. So I did the math. The suite is $2,000, the parties are $40 for all 4 days, the rugby tickets about $60 per day. So far, $2,180 is out, and we haven't even had the $18 Margaritas, at least 2 rounds at the slots, a round of black jack, and the $30 meals a pop. Then the flight, no less than $200, then car hire, which I don't even have a clue as to how much they cost. All I know is that there is a 'competition' to see who hires the flashiest, most expensive ride for the 4 days. You are looking at spending just under $4,000 in one weekend. And for us, multiply almost everything by 2. No way Jose.
As I talked to her, it dawned on me why most of Kenyans (especially our generation) don't go back to home, or ever send money home, despite the fact that most are here due to fundraisers done by generous villagers or sacrifices made by their hardworking families. Over 90% of them do not make $3,000 in a week. Every time they spend that, they have to spend the next half a year earning it back. I even joked with this friend that they come back to a diet of water after Vegas, having cleared out their bank accounts. Now, not all will stay in $2,000 suites, but the extravagance is evident.
I would love to translate this video for all my non-Kenyan readers. I'm sorry, its just one of those - you ahve to have been there to understand. Fellow Kenyans, especially those who went through the 8-4-4 systems, here's a trip down memory lane.
..is the name of an alternative rock band I love, and also how close we are to the Oscars. We live less than 5 minutes walk from the Kodak Theatre, and if i strain my ears hard enough, I can almost hear the conversations. Since we are not famous enough to be invited, we are watching them from the comfort of our apartment
Yesterday we took a walk down Hollywood Blvd to see how the preparations were going. The street has been closed for about a week now. It's amazing to see what is usually a main street, now completely blocked off. In reality, the Oscars red carpet is a road! They created diversion for people traffic, that took crowds via alleys inside the Egyptian theatre.
I took photos of the area, enjoy:
|they constructed a bypass in the middle of Hollywood Blvd|
|the grand stairs|
|The entrance to the theatre|
|view from Highland Ave. The poster is H.U.G.E|
I am always fascinated by beggars / homeless people. I am curious to find out how and why they ended up on the streets. It might be a sick obsession, but I like hearing those stories. Could be because I am a filmmaker and subconsciously in search of the next movie story? I don't know. I will talk to some, even help them, and some I will ignore. I don't have a criteria, some I just don't feel drawn towards.
|Even the stairs to a parking garage|
looks like the the stairway to heaven!
|Santa Barbara County Courthouse|
|A section of State Street|
I commented on Mrembo's blog that none of ladies tagged on the "What's in My handbag?" posts had included pads or tampons in them. I thought maybe women stopped doing that and no one gave me the memo...So, she tagged me. And now I have to tell you whats in mine.
**dumps all contents on couch**.