Let’s Try …

Well, there’s hope;

  • after some years, I made some homemade Christmas card.
  • after close to a decade, I searched my room for the long lost SIM card; possibly my 4th Indian one bought in Sikim.
  • after countless of procrastination, I finally sent the beads that would make a real difference … life standards difference … as Christmas gifts.
  • after years of messing around with my career I am back to where it has always meant to be!

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It all started a few weeks before Christmas. Needless to say it was hellish with work commitments and deadlines closing in while people geared up to either ‘window dress’ year end performance or get distracted by the upcoming long vacation.

But I couldn’t ignore the invitation to actually receive a snail mail after decades of only receiving bills in the post box! And besides, the invitation was from a very dear person who started off as a stranger whom I had to be in very close proximity for a month.

Fact #1: I am not a fan of people.

Fact #2: I need space; both physical and emotional.

Fact #3: I am not big on sharing – I never needed to.

But when you are well informed and have deliberately sought out to have ‘safety in numbers’, there are some trade-offs. And all in, personalities aside – oh yes, there sure were some BIG PERSONALITIES to deal with which is well expected when you throw an assortment of people from different age groups, nationality, ethnicity, religion, social economic background without a Hollywood production running in the background orchestrating it for viewers and ratings – it was an unforgettable experience with some wonderful memories and friendships nurtured. Her, being one of them.

She is amazing. And for someone who is hard to impressed, I’ll reiterate: SHE IS AMAZING!

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They have definitely left an impression on me. They have definitely shaped my outlook somewhat.

I had plucked the courage to walk up and speak to Sam – finally after stealing side way glances at him throughout lunch preparation and lunch. Being a Samburu warrior who has a trained keen sense of his surrounding, he was kind enough not to have embarrassed me with his knowledge, but rather took on the role of my guardian and ‘sponsor’ amongst his people. This open up great photo accessibility and rich stories – some of which I would eventually pen in my travel blog.

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Photos copyright pHaque

Being semi-nomadic pastoral people, I soon met at least 100 of them, from 3 neighbouring settlements some 2.5 km away from the nearest water source. My best memories was perhaps the laziest moments where I had spent the afternoons under the sparse tree playing a handmade backgammon-type game from a tree bark which I lost every single game!

My greatest regret then, was being too lazy to help tread beads which had not dawn on me its social importance and economics … until my last day.

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Photos copyright pHaque

And it was then as I boarded my truck with modern day gadgets and western food and medicinal supplies that I vow to first, ship the vast amounts of beads I have hoarded over the year, and to work towards returning.

The thought of returning has been reoccurring over the last few months.

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It’s been awhile since I’ve been flying regularly to Nairobi. Not since the last two social trips I had made on my own accord.

The thought of returning has been reoccurring over the last few months. H and I have been talking about it; numerous were intense and serious with timelines and economic realities discussed.

Who would have thought that we’ll revisit the prospects of returning to our adoptive land … one that was very brief (for me at least). H’s time was longer.

What ever may come, at the least, let’s try …

 

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Cuckoo gone cuckoo (again)

Two to twelve.
That means I have to sit at my stairs landing, on a bean bag, for another 6 minutes or so. My cuckoo clock does not chime right at the hour. It has a 3 to 5 minutes delay.

It’s gone cuckoo again.
Not the way that it is late by 3 to 5 minutes.
It chimes… at times. It doesn’t at others.
When it decides, it may chime partially; like you get four cuckoos instead of 6 as dictated by the hour.

It bothers me. It’s a genuine Robert Lötscher Ltd cuckoo clock that has travelled five countries, two continents with me for 3 weeks before it made its way on my wall.

Well, one shouldn’t be upset, I guess.
Well, that’s what Val – my sister – had to say when I lamented about cuckoo being cuckoo.

Perhaps my timing was wrong. Val is in the midst of project managing her new home. To most suppliers she is the “architesh”. In her eureka moment she had decided to use her architect’s contacts for better discounts. In her not so eureka moment she was miffed when they asked her for her details and in a state of panicked she forgot how to spell architect!

Nonetheless with a sluggish economy, no one is going to seriously check if she is legit. Personally, I think she would have gotten the discounts nevertheless.

So, given the bulk of purchases and number of suppliers she deals with daily, defects are abundant at this juncture of her life. So, when I told her about cuckoo – which by all means of measure in terms of scale – the “problem” was small. Her level of empathy towards me, towards cuckoo and towards a nation was lacking;

Val: Hai! Bangla’s are the best employees you can have. Enthusiastic. Eager. Convincing. But that also means it’s a nightmare if you buy anything from them… Look at the lights I got from Tsen. Bangla. The bath from Kohl. Bangla. The ….

She trails on … she had lost me coz OMG! It was a Bangladeshi that sold me cuckoo in Lucern!

Now I know.

Don’t expect something named cuckoo to be sane.
Don’t expect anything sold with a great sales pitch to be a great purchase.

men! they just don’t listen do they?

OK. I shouldn’t be complaining. 
H finally delivered Hermes – after four transits with 3 immigration officers raising their eyebrows, causing unnecessary exchanges along the lines of:

yes, it’s a typewriter. You know, an old fashion mechanical one.” 
{pause} 
yes, yes, they still exist. yes, it’s in working order.” 
 
The “why?” question by the immigration officers is a tougher one to explain and I shall not bore you. Suffice to say, H got Hermes home and Hermes did have a small home coming party.
 
See, H “listen” only because he didn’t really have a choice.
Let’s say, I had listed down 8 choices of typewriters – ranked by preferences and furnished the list with enough technical and detailed information for a cave man to work a jetliner.
 
Simply put, the margin of error was so slim, that only time (arising from flight delays and transits) could deny Hermes from re-homing all the way from a wayward sleepy town 2.5 hours drive from central London. 
 
Read differently, with my Idiots Instruction for Men, every man I have known or shared any gift lists have remarked: “if only my {insert other half} does that. My life would be simpler.”
 
Point is, men! they just don’t listen, do they?
And here’s the most recent incident with not one, but two men on the same matter at hand: 
Bottega Veneta + iPad
 
I for one am not an embracer of electronic gadgets. 
  • I dread my Blackberry coz it’s work and more so, coz my work place is too cheap to get me a decent hardware.
  • I own a hand-me-down iPhone 4 (I think, could well be 4s – if there’s one) coz my older hand-me-down iPhone 3 from my 3-year old “died” and I needed to have my alternative private number going with a handy camera that’s decent enough for Facebook uploads.
  • I still miss my ol’ faithful Mac PowerBook G4 and kept it for 10 years! until it was brutally taken away from me by force.
  • I happily owned and watched a 14″ TV (you know, the rotund type with colour tubes at the back!) for years until the security camera company decided to take matters into their own hands by hooking it up to the security cameras and installing the flat screen TV (courtesy of a credit card company) in the rotund TV’s place – the flat screen being so flat has been lying against the wall in its original box for ages.
  • … and you get the drift …

So, it did come as a surprise when I bought a Bottega Veneta iPad case early this year. I do not own an iPad. I do not see a need or point in having one. 

{call me an irrational idiot, but uh huh, i did see a need want to buy a Bottega Veneta iPad case though}  
Let’s just say it was a distraction for me from buying the Ardoise Intercciato Nappa Convertible Bag, which even with a 30% off it was a small fortune…
 
And with that, I was on a mission to get myself to a Mac store and grab an iPad… until my girl friend, the very same one who handed me down the iPhone 4/s, mentioned that there was a little contest going on at work which she was in pole position to win due to the sales extension given to her by me! 
 
So, the wait started at the end of Q1 … with us checking in intermittently to know if “we” were still in pole position to win the iPad. 
 .
Well, fast forward 4 months later – “we” WON! Instruction was given to the procurer was: do NOT get the iPad mini
 .
As you will be able to guess how this story ends since the procurer is a man… well, the point is: men! they just don’t listen, do they?
.
bottega-veneta-tech1
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things to note:
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ONE 
Man buys things at the very last moment. 
 .
The iPad mini was bought at the Hong Kong airport, just as he was about to board the plane to Manila … receipt including what he had to eat pre-boarding is in the bag! 
 
TWO 
men! they just don’t listen, do they? (I) – coz whenever a woman talks, their brain is processing various other things that includes seriously trivial stuff or how to get into your pants!
 .
He bought an iPad mini coz all he remembered /retained was “iPad mini” in the midst of thinking of other things …
 
THREE 
men! they just don’t listen, do they? (II) and makes the stooopidest remark whenever a woman is upset like: “what’s the difference? they both work the same and a mini will fit into your handbag better
 .
H said that when I told him how disappointed I was as the iPad mini is of no use to me given that it’s raison d’être (for me at least) was the Bottega Veneta iPad case …
 
FOUR 
men! they just don’t listen, do they? (III) and makes the most idiotic promises that upsets a woman even more like: “just buy another Boot-leg whatever and give the current case away
 .
I am certain H will regret this statement if his credit card is swiped! and will remember for life that it is Bottega Veneta and not Boot-leg-whatever!!!