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