Tuesday, May 27, 2008

UK Life: Today

What differentiates us Kenyans from my current hosts? Basics. Please bear in mind that the UK doesn't have a written constitution. It's never had one. Yet by doing basic things correctly, they've run half the world at one time; still dominate the financial sector world-wide and are generally in the top 10 of every good measure. Basics are things like time (is the clock on your mobile or that expensive watch for decorative purposes?), courtesy (thank you, please) etc.

What info does the govt hold on you? Well, the other day I was applying for something and discovered that the UK govt not only knows who my mobile provider is, how many loans I do or don't have and when my parents got married!

Being a Kenyan who is still a Kenyan abroad presents a lot of problems.One feels the need to constantly be around Kenyans; you run after "Kenyan" events mainly held in dodgy hengs (I can only remember where I could take family friends for "nyamachom-Lincoln's); to visit Kenya often; to keep in touch with folks back home; read about Kenya; invest heavily in Kenya (often into bottomless pits courtesy of your relatives) et al. Some of this costs a lot. So what is a good solution? Marry a Kenyan...

The English are a strange lot in some ways. Unless you drink a lot and often, you may never really get to know either your work colleagues,neighbours and even (dare I say it) church colleagues. So how you to do you build the rapport so you can work/live effectively with them? Pray that you have/get a sense of humour. An English sense of humour...

The "mohican"-an ugly hairstyle the first time round is now back this time being the hairstyle of choice among the young black-men of UK. Class (or lack thereof) it seems has no color barriers.

A guranteed of making your sure your kid underperforms in the UK is to send them to a comprehensive school. The teachers will pick on them; indiscipline will give you nightmares and education is rudimentary.

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