19 March 2013

Kigali to Oxford

This draft has been sitting here since I got back a week ago, because I wasn't sure how passionate and emotional and angry I was comfortable with being in public. The short story is, as I sat in the coffee shop at Kigali airport waiting for check-in to open, a man who I'd met a couple of days earlier asked me with total sincerity to take one of his children with me back to England so that they could get a better education and a chance of a better job, which for some reason really got to me. A man who totally seriously wanted a total stranger to take one of his children thousands of miles away because he knows that living standards are so much better in rich countries. And he couldn't move himself because of our totally self-absorbed immigration policies. So I'll skip the rant, but sometimes it just breaks my heart that we live in a world where such desperation is so mundane.

In other news, 3 months away is probably too short for any proper reverse culture shock, but I do admit to being mystified by the battery-powered electric salt and pepper grinders in the apartment I am renting, which make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Also a few people have commented that I've lost weight, which I hadn't noticed at all, but seems plausible following a typically overwhelming first-trip-to-the-supermarket-following-a-period-of-developing-country-living. Seriously, no wonder we have so much obesity when food is this cheap and easy.

1 comment:

Emma Redfern said...

This short post has me nodding vigorously and saying yes, yes exactly! Yes to not knowing how angry, passionate and emotional to allow yourself to be online. A heartfelt yes to the causes of the 'almost rant'.Yes to the salt and pepper grinders (they are surely weird even by UK standards of materialism) and yes to the overwhelming supermarkets with huge varieties of cheap food (on trips home my first visit to the supermarket has me both repulsed and at the same time greedily compelled to buy vast quantities of the most frivolous food substitutes they have).

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