I want to have an adventure. It’s been too long since my heart beat with anticipation because I had no idea what to expect. It’s been too long since I was somewhere I have never been doing things I have never done with people I would not have otherwise met, it’s been too, too long.
I want to just leave. Get on a bus, get on a plane, get on a train and begin to go somewhere. I am at a point in my life where it doesn’t matter where. It just needs to be somewhere new. Somewhere where the air doesn’t smell like Nairobi’s, somewhere the people think differently and speak in a different tongue. Someplace where the food is different and the drinks are too. I want to enter this place and look for the most affordable place to sleep in. Having found it I want to dump my bags there and head out into the cold, dark night or the warm, musty evening or the fresh sunny morning. I know I will be too excited by the prospect of what I will find out there to contain myself in a room whose four walls remind me too much of other four walls I have seen. For, how different is a room from another one anyway? The basic components are to be found lurking there: walls, a window, a door, a bed. This is not what I want to see.
I don’t want to stay in a hotel because they seem too antiseptic. Thanks to franchising the Hilton in Nairobi looks like the Hilton in Khartoum looks like the Hilton in New York looks like the Hilton in… and this is not what travelling is about not for me. I love to see the similarities in things. I love to see that part of the Caribbean that looks like my shags, just like it down to the rickety kiosk and the black men standing under it considering the rain with a slow cigarette. This I love but not the artificial similarity created by hotel stays. A similarity that ends outside the four walls. A similarity created to protect you from the country that you are visiting.
For, though I have always had a problem with the phrase “the real” when applied to anything I can understand the need to apply it. Objectively there is no such thing as the real Kenya and the fake one. The Kenyan living in a 4 acre mansion in Karen is going through life as much as the hundreds living in a four acre shantytown. The frame of their realities may be different but that alone doesn’t make one experience less authentic than the other one. Still I want to see a country populated by the people of that country. I want to misunderstand what they say, I want to use sign language because I don’t know what they are saying. I want to get so lost so late at night that there is no one to ask for directions and I have to wander up and down streets that look menacing and shadows that seem threatening until dawn breaks the sky the sun’s rays spreading their fingers of hope everywhere and I finally find my room too late to use it.
I want to know if the language of love really is universal, if the fact that the only words we can speak to each other are hello and thank you is enough of a barrier to stop us understanding what it is we want from each other. These are things I want from my adventure.
I want a late night foray into a place that has an authentic feel of their culture because, everyone drinks. In that bar I want to sit down and ask what I should order. I want to know just how friendly these people are, if they will sit with me and be curious about my story if they will tell me where I should go, if they will ask for news about where I am from. If their curiosity about me burns as bright as mine about theirs does.
I want to make a friend, a good friend, a true friend. A friend that understands that we may never see each other again. I have one friend who is concerned about the ephemerality of chance encounters, about the beauty of seeing someone who you may never see again, I know because he writes about it over and over again(i can’t find the specific posts but i remember him writing about it, look for it it will be an interesting journey). I can understand what he means. Some relationships like some people are lighters, they burn with a flame that’s steady and long lasting, its blue at the bottom with a vacuum and you can be sure the wind will not blow it out. Some though are matchsticks, you strike them against each other and the blaze burns red and yellow and short. It’s soon over but while it lasted it lasted. I want a matchstick friend because when you are travelling it’s much better to have a pack of 50 than a lone one.
I want an adventure to finish up this year and I heard somewhere that God only gives you the things you really want so this year I am going in search of an adventure.