One of our colleagues went to one of these Asian countries for a tour. He was on leave and decided one fine morning he will break the porcelain piggy bank and collect the little shillings he has, to get on a plane and travel east, some four thousand miles. His shillings were few but he was sure he will pull through an east trip and be back home without needing to wash dishes anywhere.
He wouldn’t sleep he said. It was his first time both on a plane and in a foreign country where his whitest teeth could be mistaken for ivory. Si you know those people?
So he woke up hyped that morning got to the airport as scheduled and waited for his flight. He had prepared everything from hotel bookings to taxis to airport transfers in his package. He wore new clothes, si you get how we Africans are, we have the normal clothes and the ones we put on when travelling. We cannot and will not wear old dingy clothes on our detours, just in case a white is reading this, take note. If you see an African on a plane to wherever and he wore some dingy looking coat and a tattered shirt, know that we as Africans have denounced him and our ancestors look down on not only him but his spirit as well.
Let’s move out of cultural talk. So this chap left airport to travel 50 minutes before seating for a layover of flights which was actually 7 hours. He sat until the sun went down. The evening news came and he read all the magazines against him, even the ones which were for expectant mothers. He whatsapps me a picture of an obese man trying to fit in a sofa too small for him, I would have uploaded it but it would need viewer discretion. He types, and types and types and goes offline for 2 minutes and then comes through a message,
“Boy! You should hear shirandula talking, he has a teen girl sound“ he puts a smiley at the end.
I send one back,
“I am on a prayer mat asking God, please lord let shirandula not see my brother snapping his stomach and sending his pictures across the globe.”
The message lingers for a few minutes before its blue ticked. He goes offline. Perhaps he caught feelings. That means I wouldn’t be getting that DSLR lense I ordered. The thing with people is that when you are travelling out of the country, even if it’s Uganda, they would send for unimaginable things. Like this poor chap has been asked ka-iphone, three fast chargers from one guy in office who apparently wants one for himself and two for selling within the office, Kenyans waah! , another lad asked for some funny looking shoes, the ones which cover even your ankles, I don’t know if he wants to pray in a mosque with them on. Ladies in the office asked for makeup among other things. He has a list in his bag. A list I don’t see making to Kenya again.
So this chap stays a few days in the country before his ivory is not nicked. He sends snaps of bullet trains, (like we won’t buy the un-roadworthy ones from Russia) He spends his little money and comes home in style. Nobody gets anything, the list was eaten by a hotel rat was the reason. Perhaps next time his piggy bank will be heavy then we shall order again. To pacify us he bought everyone ka-tshirt , you know those saying “I LOVE KENYA” type, the ones we end up wearing at night to sleep on with, yes those ones.
But I have observed that we, Kenyan travellers, can bear the discomforts and nuisances that come with travelling easier than other nationalities, because we are so used to the poor quality of life caused by heavy traffic, crowded transport system, noise, pickpockets, slow internet connections, pollution, hot weather, corrupt politicians, Airport strikes, teachers strikes, nurses strikes, students strikes, lecturers strikes, Doctors strike, we are yet to see politicians strike and that fine day we shall send them home, and the list goes on. Because of those, we become more stoic, and patient when we travel. Especially to the people we owe some billions.
Si you have a good week ahead without needing to break the piggy bank!