We returned from Kenya about a week agoooo and as always I’m having some reverse culture shock now I’m in little old Welwyn Garden City. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve gone to London about 6 of the 7 days that I’ve been back. Cue long escalators down to the tube (it’s surprisngly difficult get on an escalator after not being on for so long) and hoards of Christmas shoppers coming at me like an angry army.
These are some of the thoughts I’ve had since returning from Kenya;
1. language – I can’t say my normal ‘asante sana’ ‘pole’ ‘tuannai’ etc etc. I’ve had lots of weird looks as I’ve come out with ‘asanthank you’ to the guy who held the door open for me.
2. Where has the sun gone? Seriously, it’s dark when I wake up, it’s dark when I leave for work (OK I don’t have a job yet but you know what I mean; interviews/seeing my friends/wondering around Selfridges wishing I was rich), it’s dark when I get home. It’s practically dark by time I have my lunch. Who stole the sun? 😦
3. I have so much stuff. So many resources. Why am I not doing business? How do I complain about having nothing to wear when I have so much.
4. I can wash my clothes in a machine. On the flip side, I can’t just dry my things outside for an hour or two, I actually have to wait a full day.
5. I can have a shower with heat options and everything. To be fair, I loved our bucket showers back in Kenya but it is pretty cool to just press a button and have hot, running water. Gone are the days of heating rain water over a fire. Oh and shower gel. No more dried up soap, actual fruity, foamy shower gel. What a time to be alive!
6. I can hear about world news, not just what’s going on in East Africa. Not that great because most of the news is depressing but whatevs.
7. Everyone looks like a moody bastard. But maybe that’s not UK specific, more of a London thing.
8. Why cant I get lunch for 50 bob? Wheres the cabbage and chapati? Also, totally craving street cake and pineapple slices.
9. Sanitary adverts here are so dull. Check out Always in Africa –
10. I want to talk to every black person I see. ‘what tribe you from babes???’ ‘Habari gani huns?!’ – I must remember that not every person with brown skin wants to be my mate. Not every black person is from Kenya…
11. There is so much food in the shops. Any food you could ever want (except chapati and cabbage). I spend 40% of my time standing in the aisles like whaaaaaat should I get. Even the choice of drinks is crazy. I’m not used to having more than 2 options. So overwhelmed waaaaa.
12. And all those things cost like 10 times more than they did a week ago.
13. Christmas lights and decorations everywhere. It’s all anyone can talk about. Don’t really get the hype.
14. I have my own room and privacy and now cows outside my window waking me up at 5:30am
15. It. is. FREEZING.
16. New music!!!! I don’t know a lot of new artists and am a bit confused why everyone’s loving Justin Bieber all of a sudden but still. New music to my eaaaars!
17. No one shouts ‘Mzungu!’ (white person) as I walk down the street?! Street kids don’t harass me (I actually miss the kids loads and loads) and I don’t have to shake hands to greet every single person I meet. Happy days.
18. There is zero choice of tacky posters to buy on the street. And that makes me sad.
19. There’s plenty of excess room on public transport. Nothing will ever compare to our squished matatu journeys home; I’m talking 22 people stuffed onto a 16 seater minibus. Having personal space is not an option.
20. It’s just not Africa. After a combined almost 2 years in Africa since 2012 coming back to the UK just doesn’t feel like home anymore.Not sure if I’ll ever shake that feeling! sob sob.