How to re-engage when your world has been rocked? Spent the last few weeks travelling to Dubai and then Tanzania- remember the visa sagaI blogged about earlier? Well they finally let me in.
There are insights too many to name or mention. I will need to digest and savour them before I can blog meaningfully.
One night sitting in the bar of our hotel talking to some incredibly brilliant and talented people, sipping Konyagi and tonic (Konyagi is the Tanzanian brewed spirit- gin like in flavour but much milder), we hardly notice as the hands of the clock go right round and when we look up it is 4 am and the hotel staff are starting to set the tables up for breakfast. What to do? Keep talking and then order a slug of strong black coffee and keep going. A magical time is had by all.
The next day a colleague marvels that in spite of the fact that Tanzania is one of the world's coffee exporters, properly brewed coffee is hard to come by. Instead we are served little boxes of instant coffee. I frankly do not mind, not being a coffee aficionado. Growing up on Nigerian Nescafe, I do not have the kind of high standards that led an Italian classmate to once spew out a mouthful of Starbucks coffee and then head for the nearest phone booth to ring Mamma in Italy, asking her to send her coffee machine ASAP to London.
Ah, Chimamanda! What more can I say that hasn't been said already and more eloquently? Read the interviews
http://books.guardian.co.uk/orange2007/story/0,,2098238,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=10 and leap as I did for sheer joy
Back in the UK I see Big Brother immersed in another row over the use of the N-word- what's that all about? I wonder
The day I arrive back in London, I go with a friend to the new Whole Foods shop on Kensington High Street. The food is piled high in glimmering heaps- twenty-something different kinds of peanut butter alone. After the austerity of Tanzania, it all seems faintly obscene