96 – Bits of travel wisdom
2nd Mar, Milimani backpackers & Safari lodge, Nairobi, Kenya
Early morning i was up having breakfast.. I stayed in the whole of today. After three trips in Nairobi, i had no desire to walk around the city again. There were of course other activities, like a jaunt to the upmarket neighbourhood of Westlands, or even a safari that can be done in half a day in Nairobi National Park nearby. But i was frankly too bushed and in my mind i’m down one gear already. So i was content to stay here. Instead i wrote down thoughts about the last 3.5 months over the day.
1)Self-catering: Too much milk gives you the runs, even though you may not be lactose intolerant
2)6am in eastern East Africa is bright, but 6am in western East Africa is still dark. Don’t walk around town alone at this time.
3)No matter how much i deny it, everyone concludes i’m from China. So yes, i’m actually Jackie Chan, in disguise.
4)Don’t use the flash when you take pictures of a lioness sitting 2 metres away.
5)Cattle trucks are best left for transporting cattle.
6)Tuck in your shirt when you bungee jump
7)When complete strangers walk toward you, get out of their path. Or you might get a bloody nose.
8)No matter how full a bus / boat seems, there is always room for one more
9)When you tell someone ‘No’ when they ask for money, be prepared to reason why.
10)Everything changes, unless its a ‘samosa’. These triangular meat-filled triangular tasties are the only constants from country to country.
11)Bodha-bodhas, piki-pikis, dala-dalas, so good you have to name them twice.
12)Injeera, one man’s bane.
13)Ethiopian buses help you master the zen art of sleeping on your forearm while sitting at the edge of your seat.
14)Never climb mountains with no rations, and equipped with only 10 hardboiled eggs.
15)Lonely Planet’s inaccuracies make you want to cry sometimes.
16)If you want to be a millionaire, or at least look like one, go become a Somaliland money-changer.
17)A better way to get rich quick is to buy a toilet roll and stand outside a public toilet in Egypt’s tourist sites. At 1 pound per entry, and 10 busloads of 40 pee-filled tourists as your customers, you are set.
18)Don’t mess with tribespeople with sharp teeth, and sharper daggers. Politely refuse when they ask if they can beat you up.
19)Half the world calls it chai, and the other half calls it tea. Someone needs to do a poll and settle on one name. And one teacup size. Preferably a big mug. With milk and sugar.
20)The following anti-mosquito techniques should be used as a step-by-step guide in conjunction with your room stay. (a) spray the closed room with insecticide to excite mozzies. (b) burn a mozzie coil, go for dinner. (c) come back and go on a mozzie killing spree in the room. (d) put on repellent (e) hide inside a mozzie net.
Other random thoughts. I weighed myself, still 69kg =) Peeling skin badly from the beach excursion. Also, by the end of the day, i was something of a hero, having got the wireless router working again. Tomorrow it’s back home.