friday june 20th, 2008 - the green book
“how fast does a zebra have to run before it looks gray?”
- dimitri martin
quite fast apparently. and planes have to fly even faster, bt ours isn’t flyingfast enough. we’re in the air somewhere above the sahara desert we’re about seventeen hours into travel — only three or so to go, and i can’t sleep for the life of me. so here i sit consigning my silly words to these pages and giggling at my kenyan seat-mates who, for four people in a row, have burrowed so low into their fleece virgin atlantic blankets that they resemble four sleeping figures clad in exceedingly bright, full length burka. i don’t think i can even see a nose.
the white drone of the plane’s engines have become a constant in my mind by now and so when meg offered a pair of earplugs i jumped at the chance. it’s nice to sit in silence for a moment and let my mind wander without the varied and disruptive noises of all the other passengers…or the unrelenting drama of the four - yes, four — movies i’ve watched so far. it’s definitely time for a break.
i have to say though, 10,000 b.c. gets a B+, Vantage Point an A, The Heartbreak Kid a B, and the Golden Compass an A. i either had a really good run of it or the long flight’s made me delirious and anything seems great at this point.
we’re over the libyan desert now and the names showing up n the map are so deliciously exotic i can’t wait to touch down. N’Djamena, Umm Durman, Addis Ababa, Kinshasa… these names got me to thinking that although i’ve traveled a fair amount for my age, this will be the first completely new culture i’ll get the pleasure of exploring. europe was a change of pace, but their lifestyle bears semblance to ours in so many ways that traveling back and forth isn’t really all that difficult. mexico was the same way. but now i’m sitting awake in a pressurized cabin above the north east of africa, on my way to spend time with people who drink cow’s blood and actually have to worry about lions.
i’m going to nairobi, where the extent of poverty and violence is going to be startling for me, i’m sure. we whine about our political problems but theirs have hounded and terrorized the nation, stripping the wealth from the people and widened the gap between the rich and poor, the powerful and the helpless, even further.
it puts things in perspective — the fact that i’m even sitting here bears testament to my luck and good fortune. i owe my family a lot ! i’m off to see elephants and giraffes, lions, gazelle, monkeys, wildebeest and crocodiles in real, truer-than-true life !
(but i’m REALLY looking forward to the elephants)