A Travellerspoint blog

February 2011

trip hazard

semi-overcast 5 °C

It is a relief to be able to pull out a wallet and hand over a £20 note without worrying who is scrutinizing your dosh. There is no batting an eyelid, either, when I go out running. I have taken full advantage of not being ogled at and been running each day since returning.
I was paranoid about how I’d feel about coming back to the ‘West’, but so far, I have enjoyed the simple pleasures of life in a country where things work (for the most part). I mean, seeing workmen in safety overalls (with BAM written on the back of their jackets for some reason) fixing street lights has amazed us. As has seeing cones on the pavement further down the road warning people of a ‘trip hazard’. Watching traffic follow the rules of the road and being able to anticipate cars stopping at a red light or staying in the one lane around a roundabout is a refreshingly enjoyable experience. I have even felt courageous enough to drive again, after a year not being behind a wheel in Kenya. My only experiences of driving in Kenya was learning to ride a motorbike, the traffic system confusing me so much that I crashed twice. The fear of traffic coming at you from all angles coming down the ‘wrong’ side of the road or taking short-cuts by driving down the pavement has vanished! In fact, life is a little more predictable (and some would say a bit less exciting…). And you will probably likely live longer in the UK as there is less chance in dying in a nasty accident.
Trip-hazards for stick-men

Trip-hazards for stick-men


It has been strange being so inconspicuous coming back to the UK. Back in Kenya, I was very concerned that everyone would quickly notice I was a returning ‘missionary’ because of my lack of understanding of fashion and clothes which had been worn out by the sun and getting a bit tatty. Because of my fear, I bought clothing off of e-bay such as a pair of flared hipster jeans (which are a little tight, it is always a risk buying clothes off the net). Being in Reading, I have not (yet) felt out of place walking down the street. It’s a nice feeling to fit in, though sometimes I wouldn’t mind someone noticing me and saying ‘hi’. To be honest, it has been sad to see so many angry or depressed faces while walking around, people who seem too preoccupied with their own thoughts to even look at you if you smile and greet them. In Kenya, I got too much attention just because of the colour of my skin. Here, I imagine what it might take for people to take notice…
Simple things such as being able to drink water from the tap amazes me. Other simple things such as remembering how to top up a mobile phone in the UK have been forgotten. It has been a real pleasure to have some smoky bacon crisps again…
Amelie can't resist the hot chocolates

Amelie can't resist the hot chocolates


Amelie has impressed me by how well she has coped with the cold (though of course she is bundled up, however still not as bundled up as Kenyan babies in the heat). She has really taken to her first lot of grandparents, her aunt Zoe and uncle Matt-shoe for the first time. The only thing I think she has missed so far are the bumpy roads which help send her to sleep, the roads a wee bit too smooth here…
Am-Z dressed to go out

Am-Z dressed to go out

Out in the Englandshire countryside

Out in the Englandshire countryside

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Grandpa cuddles Amelie who loves patterned jumpers

Grandpa cuddles Amelie who loves patterned jumpers

Granny Plum has been an extra pair of hands for changing Am's dirty bum

Granny Plum has been an extra pair of hands for changing Am's dirty bum

Amelie has discovered football on telly

Amelie has discovered football on telly

Most of the Burnell clan with the Craigs

Most of the Burnell clan with the Craigs

Matt-shoe finds a way to quieten Amelie

Matt-shoe finds a way to quieten Amelie

Posted by africraigs 15:44 Archived in England Comments (0)

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