A few days in, there are a couple of things that still take some time to revert back to:
I think my body is still trying to adjust to the difference in time, going to bed at roughly 4am, I still have so much energy as, of course, this is like going to bed at 1 back in England, which is pretty much a normal day, but it takes a solid hour to get up in the morning. And I thought waking up in winter is hard…
I’m not really sure I can even call it that. Zebra crossings may as well be chalk drawings on the ground, streetlights are more of a formality, pavements are just smoother roads and there is an extraordinary amount of traffic. Yesterday, we managed to cover a grand total of four miles in three hours. Seatbelts are a myth, it’s totally acceptable to snapchat your girlfriend on the wheel and indicators are nothing more than a waste of money for some drivers (and I thought black cabs were bad at this..). However, at night, when there is no one on the roads, I can tell my dad is totally enjoying taking turns at 60 (although last time we ended up on the wrong side of a dual carriageway!) and generally letting his inner 21 year old loose!
Being off line
Only recently have we managed to get our WiFi up and running, hours have been spent trying to resolve compound IP issues but even this is a massive privilege. It feels really alien not being able to check my phone constantly, Facebook in a long queue or watch YouTube videos in the back of the car. It’s ridiculous how accustomed we’ve gotten in the last 10 or so years to constant connectivity. Don’t get me wrong, I love it! I just wonder how we’d get on without constantly being able to know anything anywhere.
It seems that everywhere you go, you’re offered tea. And plenty of it! If you like tea, come to Kenya. Otherwise, get ready to slowly drown in the hot, leafy substance. It’s so lovely though, how everyone’s so willing to give you what they have and share with just about anyone, I just don’t like tea! What I don’t understand is that they take it even in the scorching midday sun; “dawa ya moto ni moto” – the cure for fire is fire, a concept I’ve yet to wrap my head around, as I watch them neck the boiling liquid from the safety of my ice cold Coke.
In England, people start preparing for Christmas well, well in advance, months, some even years. When it gets to January, you often see adverts on television trying to get people to sign up to these Christmas saving schemes to make the holidays affordable, or something; it’s crazy! Fairy lights everywhere you look, tinsel, mulled wine and pumpkin spice lattes and, of course, the big red man himself. It’s not like there’s nothing resembling santa or a bauble in sight, there are some decorations, and adverts are geared towards the festive season. You may also, if you’re lucky, catch a carol or two in the local supermarket. However, the overall level of “christmas spirit”, in the western sense, is completely absent. There’s no where near as much hype and hubbub over the holidays, they’re just another holiday here. It’s very unusual having this much less materialistic view of Christmas, I’ve not even thought of going shopping once! Most people, I think, us being no exception, will just travel home and spend time with their folks, which I think should be a bigger focus, because although I’m feeling slightly nostalgic about my classic English christmas, turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets, I don’t really miss it as much as I thought I would, so maybe next year will be different!