It has been a while since I’ve posted on my blog and I have a very valid excuse. New kid, new job, new country, new house, new schools, five new bosses… you get the drift. Technically, writing a blog post only takes about five minutes of my time. But I’m so physically overwhelmed by the end of the day that sitting in front of the computer to write (again) sounds neither fun nor relaxing.
I just took time out today to say, that I miss Pakistan. Or rather, I miss Pakistani banks and Islamabad’s roads. Nairobi is beautiful, people are warm and friendly. I have no reason to complain… except two. The banks are slow (“oh, we lost your money, don’t worry, it will come”….. two weeks later: “hey, don’t worry about it, these things take time”) and casual (as I line up to be the tenth person in queue, the tellers decide to chat and laugh, and joke and flirt for fifteen minutes while we wait). There is nothing you can do about it. You don’t fight with people here. Kenyans by nature are not quarrelsome. They are in a continuous state of zen. It’s a country where people take a nap in the office gardens during lunch breaks. So I miss my super-efficient bank where I would be done in five minutes (as opposed to a minimum of 45 minutes ere). Where if I was unhappy I could yell and get away with it. Kenyan banks have caused multiple silent screams inside my head, which will never find a voice because this is not my country and we don’t yell here.
The roads are small and the traffic jams are ridiculous. Picture the old route to Murree, then insert a pot hole every ten feet at random locations, and then at every crossing add a fifteen minute waiting period. Every traffic jam consists of 4×4 mini tanks interspersed with Matatus (local mini vans). The people in mini tanks are scared of matatus, there are no street lights and therefore, every one must travel with lights at full beam, blinding the over cautious drivers like myself who are scared of both the tanks and the matatus. And no, you don’t honk or yell or get out of the car and get upset at people. We smile, give others the way, and generally, are civilized.
So I miss home. The roads and the banks. Of course there is more that I miss, but today, I miss being able to yell.