Monthly Archives: February 2012

Love Actually

It is with horror that I find myself drawn to write a post on Valentine’s. About love. It’s especially curious because I’ve been trying to  complete my holiday posts and it’s been difficult finding the right words and everything I write doesn’t feel good enough to be posted.  And yet here I am with sentences rushing through my mind begging to be let out. So here goes. But be warned, this post is more rambling than anything specific so bear with me.

Never is an emotion revered, vilified, ignored, ranted at and blamed as love is during this time. The ones in love can’t gush enough about it. The heartbroken are asking why, the cynics are dressing it in sarcasm. Love is everywhere.

Most of us, especially girls, got our idea of romantic love from the Cinderella and Snow White books that we read at a very early age. We would suffer, then our prince would come rescue us, and then we’d live happily ever after. As teenagers this notion was reinforced by the Mills and Boon books we sneaked into our rooms, filling our young impressionable minds with fantasies of tall dark handsome men who will come sweep us off our feet. This mindset usually set us up for our first heartbreak. Of course nothing works out as the books had suggested. Some of us become quickly disillusioned while others continue to hold on to the idea that he was just the wrong one. The real prince will come. Years later, we get on with the business of living and the dreams we once held about happy ever after are forgotten.

But there’s something I’ve noticed about my age group as far as love, especially romantic love,  is concerned. We don’t like admitting it’s a big part of us. When in a relationship, we try hard not to appear too in love. When we break up, we pretend it didn’t matter. Tuck it in out of sight. No one likes to see love’s disappointments  . Better go get drunk. We seem to be a generation scared of our feelings. My apprehension at writing this post shows how much we avoid expressing or talking about love. Don’t wear your heart on your sleeves, it’s unseemly

What am I on about? I guess I’m just lamenting the loss of love. These days people love in bits, always with an exit plan. We’re disillusioned and cynical. And afraid. That’s why the men walking with flowers today are behaving like they’re committing a capital offense. Yet I know of someone who married her first love, years after they broke up and lost contact. 2 people in fact. Then there’s also the couple that dated for 10 yrs. There were so many obstacles in their way, it always looked like they will never end up together but finally got married. Stuff that romantic books are made of.

So maybe there’s still hope for us. Maybe love actually does exist.

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The Traveller: Getting to Dubai

I’ve always wanted to travel. The idea of going to far-away places, meeting different kinds of people, experiencing different types of cultures has a certain appeal. I always say that if I got really rich, instead of acquiring material stuff like most people would do, the money for me would mean freedom to go anywhere I want to. Live a year in Brazil, 6 months in Nepal , 2 years in Egypt (may they get peace and stability soon). Different places, different people.

Last year I finally decided to actually do some traveling rather than just fantasize about it. Even if it’s on a low-budget. So in December when my friend told me we should visit our other who lives in Dubai it was the perfect opportunity. The three of us have been friends since we were like 10. The friend who lives in Dubai has been asking us to visit her for a while but it’s never come through. So it was pretty exciting for us to finally get a chance for the three to hang out. At first we weren’t sure we’d make it this time either, and we almost cancelled a couple of times, but luckily we managed to get our stuff together and set the date for end of January. Due to logistics we ended up traveling on different dates with me travelling a day earlier and my other friend travelling the next day.

My trip was uneventful, thank God. Since this was my very first time venturing beyond our East African borders I was a bit apprehensive and my mum gave me enough warnings of “”don’t help people with babies, they hide drugs in their diapers!’ My flight was for 1640 and I arrived at around 11.pm Dubai time. Dubai airport is pretty simple cos everything is clearly marked and I went through immigration ok, though the guys there were rather unfriendly. Guess they didn’t like working at that time of the night. But I was happy that I was out of the airport in a short time.

I managed to get a taxi and direct it to where I was staying. My first view of Dubai was at night and it was amazing. Lots of lit up sky scrapers decorated the skyline.

Dubai at Night. Sorry for the not so clear photo

The taxi managed to get me to my friend’s house with her giving directions. One thing I noticed is driving is complicated. If you miss a turning, you have to go quite a distance to get back on the right road. There’s no U-turning on random places and you can’t go up pavements. Someone said as much as fuel is cheap, they do a lot more driving for short distance.  Oh, also the driver stopped at a red light at an empty road until it turned green. I imagined what our Kenyan drivers would have done. lol.But the roads are amazing. Super highways and complicated networks. Hopefully this is what the Chinese have in mind for our roads.

I spent the first day doing some mild sight-seeing while waiting for my friend who was arriving at 2am. I feel asleep at around 9 and was woken up by her “We’re in Dubai” screams.  She had arrived safely.

Finally the 3 musketeers were reunited!

Next: The Traveller: Confessions of a Shopaholic