Wednesday, December 20, 2006

1st leg of journey

Here are some views from my camera. I am learning to use the different styles it has and haven't mastered it yet. I like sepia tone one and there is another style that highlights a certain color. I will add more pics as I take them. Enjoy.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A midflight proposal

I mulled over where to plug in my computer so I could recharge my ipod but all I could see were sockets that looked destroyed. I was restless and irritable and became more so as people started filling the little waiting area. An hour before the flight was scheduled for take off, I was sitting snugly between two swahili speaking girls and swapping stories. I had also figured out that since I wasn't in the US the plugs in Amsterdam airport had a different look and I had my converter out and my ipod charging. It was fixing to be a nice flight considering it was going to be almost eight hours long. The only scar to the trip was going to be the security officer who tossed my cleanser and moisturizer because it was 18 mls above the limit. Which was ridiculous since the bottle said 118 mls but it was half full. I was pissy as I walked into the plane and ended up knocking into someone with my backpack. I apologized and sat in my seat. There was an empty spot between me and the lady at the window. Finally an aisle seat! I was hoping the middle seat remained vacant but a few minutes later a middle aged man walked up to my seat and started peering at his boarding pass curiously. He was supposed to sit opposite from me but another lady had mistakenly taken his seat. Graciously he said he didn't mind taking the lady's seat if she could point him to the right one. It was the middle seat. Damn it, I thought.

As he settled in his seat, he turned to me and inquired about my well being. We started talking about books, politics, airport security and kenyans. He lived in New Hampshire. His father had died a week ago. He was smart and funny. He spoke about religions. Apparently wearing hijabs is a fashion statement and he inquired to my faith. I pointed to my headscarf in exclamation and his laughter boomed across the plane. I assisted him in operating his movie console and remote, he in turn kept me entertained the whole trip. The lady he switched seats with was as delightful. She was full of wisdom and stories. She was heading home to properly mourn the loss of her first born son. Coincidence? I was going home to visit my great-grandma who was sickly and in fear of death. We discussed death for a while but I decided not to venture too deep into it. I was scared of what would meet me when I got to my great-grandma's bedside. After eating and drinking a couple Heineken, he dozed off leaving me to my ipod and movies. Around breakfast time, I got up to freshen up and nudged him awake because the hostess was coming around with food.

I walked back to my seat to find my food waiting and my drink of diet pepsi fizzing on his table. He smiled coyly at me and says, "I told the hostess my wife needs her breakfast and would be mad if she didn't leave anything." He also points out the diet-pepsi making me gape at his observance to my drinks all night. My admirer was on a full fledged attack now. He spoke of how he never gets along with people under 27 but with me it was relatively easy. He spoke of how he is willing to give up his religion to become a muslim if I gave him a chance. He also spoke of his past which was colorful. I giggled because he wasn't shy about his interest, but he knew he was not getting anywhere. As we got ready to land, he asked if I was staying for a while. I told him nope and wished him a pleasant stay. My trip was over and I had been entertained and I wasn't about to take this man up on his marriage proposal.

Ps:- the pics were taken by me while waiting to board the plane.

Friday, December 15, 2006

tranSIT till my butt fell asleep

I am halfway through my journey to the dark continent and I am already tired. I am exhausted physically and mentally. I wish I could shut off like half of these people on the plane but I can't sleep a wink. So far from Detroit to Holland I have watched three movies in succession, ODed on diet pepsi and eaten breakfast and dinner. My eyes are itching cause my contacts want out and my butt is half asleep. The airport in holland is beautiful but the way I am feeling I couldn't be bothered. I looked for a Wifi hotspot and plugged in but I have to get back to my terminal soon because I want to schmooze with folks and kill boredom of the flight. I haven't read but two chapters of my book and my ipod hasn't had any playtime yet. All I can say is I can't wait to lie on a cold pair of sheets and taking a bath. This is how bad I hate being on transit, I actually went to a KLM desk and asked them to put me on the next flight available to my destination. I can't believe they only operate one flight per day! Are you kidding me? Its Christmas for Christ sake, don't you think you can add another flight on the rooster. Anyway I am done bitching. I am off to look for a place where I can get a decent cup of espresso and maybe go wash my face and freshen up. SAVE ME PLEASE!! Some dude from West Africa just came up to me to ask me about flights and stuff. He can't speak good english and all i can gather is he is heading to Kiev and wants to pick up his luggage. I thought if you are in transit you don't pick up your luggage, the airline takes care of all the headache. Maybe I should be worried about my luggage?? nah.......I got what I need in my carry on: My laptop, my books, my contacts, my feminine toilteries and my cell phone. No wonder my back is breaking. Pray that I don't have to have any issues when I get to Africa, I would hate to have an excuse never to go back there.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Mixed Union

My friend is getting married this December. Its been close to a decade since she met her husband to be and now after all the struggles they are getting married. She will not have any family at the wedding because her mother is against the wedding and its out of the country. When she told me I felt bad for her because a wedding is a joyous occasion to share with all those you love. She will be with her husband's family but no one she can call her own. I will be traveling towards that area so I meaning to suprise her and come to her wedding. Its in Addis-Ababa. I don't even know how I will get there but she is a friend and a sister and least I can do is fly a few hundred miles and see her through the greatest step in her life.

I was thinking about her mother's objection to the wedding. It used to be she needed to finish school but she is done and still the objection remains. Could it be because the guy is half Ethiopian-half Italian? Could it be a discriminatory objection? Would my mother object if I did the same thing? I love my mother but I would like to think if I chose a husband and he was a God fearing muslim she would accept him. Is there something in the older generation that makes them think that mates should be from within their own race? As transportation gets easier and people move from place to place its getting more common for men and women to find mates from other races. Yet, in somalis there is not much conformation to this thought. In my family alone I have had cuzzins, grandpa and aunties who married white people. They have never being accepted by our extended family but in our house they found refuge. I remember the guy who married my cuz even came to my grandma's funeral at our house, even though his marriage had being destroyed by all the talk within in the family. I remember him wearing a khamis and giving hugs to us and telling us sorry. Instead of accepting his condolences the extended family kept asking what the hell he was doing there. I felt so ashamed and made it an effort to keep him a company during his visit.

Its unfortunate that we get caught up in our differences instead of our similarities. There are Mashallah plenty of great somali guys out there but if Allah places a brother (from another race) in your path who seems to meet all the criteria shouldn't you then say Alhamdullilah and accept him? Shouldn't your family be happy that you found a person to complete your deen with? I also noticed a trend that many woman prefer reverts as husbands because they tend to be more steadfast in their faith.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Di Dutty Wine Anyone?

A new craze on the dance floor ladies and gentlemen. Fair warning though there have been cases where injury occured while getting your dutty wine on. I luv dancehall and ragga, hell anything that can keep me on the dance floor (my room) for more than five minutes sits well with me, but i am not sure about dutty wine. In Jamaica a girl got injured and now some people are asking for the dance to be banned from clubs. Seriously, forget getting injured, I am wondering what a man watching a girl do the dutty wine is thinking. The dancing is more than provocative it is plain suggestive. The neck is rotated with the same vigor as the ass, not to mention the splits performed in the dance. Watching Tony Matterhorn perform with audience members onstage, even he can't resist grabbing the woman and resting her squarely on his pelvis. Its a nice tune and all but looking at the different clips on youtube I can only imagine what messages this dance sends.

My fav clips of Dutty Wine is by a Colombian Dude and he kills it!

Ps:- For some reason the head swinging makes me think of arabic dances. In mombasa at weddings the bride used to swing her head till she fell. Wondering if thats arabic influence on dancehall?? I can't tell.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Concept of Forgiveness

I ask for no forgiveness father, for I have not sinned. I only did what I had to do to survive. A small boy asked me once if I was a bad man. If I could answer him now, I would tell him that when I was his age, I killed a man to save my brother. I am not sorry for this... I am proud of this. I was not asked for the life that I was given, but it was given none-the-less... and with it, I did my best

I am thinking of this remark made by a character in the show Lost. Eko, who is the character, caused his brother's (priest) death due to his greed and has being followed by his demons since. The scene in which he makes this remark, he is been told by the ghost of his brother to confess and ask for forgiveness and the above is his reply.

Sometimes I question the obvious but when Eko said what he said it triggered something in me. There are moments in my life, and I am not ashamed to admit it, where I ask the same thing. People accept many things in life and one of which is the religious doctrine we are handed. Sins and the concept of sins has always alluded me. I could be just thick in the brain but from the creation of Adam and Eve, humans have being slated to sin. Our life revolves around either dodging sins or getting caught up in it. The DOs and the DON'Ts. See, I don't think its blasphemous to ask or maybe its due to the nature of my upbringing (my dad always told me to question everything someone handed to me including religion). So, here are a set of questions.

  1. Why is our life revolved around sins?

  2. If our time on earth is a test, and many of us failing this test, what is the point?

  3. Forgiveness is granted to the sincere and remorse, but if they stumble again they are eligible for forgiveness. How does that work out with an end goal?

  4. "I am human, I stumble and fall." I do my best but what if my best is never going to be good enough?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Please Leave Your Senses at the Door

I do. I forego my senses everytime I walk into this room. Its not an ordinary room. The whole room is made up of mirrors and not just mirrors but mirrors of different properties. The mirrors make me see things I never usually pay close attention to, like the crinkle by lips that is getting deeper due to the increase in the number of forced smiles or the clearing up of my skin due to my use of proactive. Today, I walk to the center of the room and turn to stare at the different individuals looking back at me. They each take form. One is mad at the world. One is patient with the world. One is in love with the world. One is betrayed by the world. Each individual showcases their emotion clearly on their faces and bodies. They take on a form in their own entirety, shedding me in the process. I stand watching as each starts speaking. They have voices! Angry voices! Smart voices! Nice voices! Sweet voices! Loving voices! Crying voices! Sad voices! I struggle to understand them but their voices rise together like waves and crash with a roar upon my ears. Their emotions jump across the mirrors and envelop me, caressing me and touching me, begging me. I cringe yet its not out of disgust. I know what these emotions are. I have continually denied them in my life, always pushing them to the back of my mind and hoping they would stay there. I hug my arms to my body and kneel on the ground. I rock back and forth in the familiar motion of mother to a sleeping child. Pretty soon the roar subsides and when I look up the mirrors reflect only me.