Leaving home

22 Aug

A 19-day-trip to South-East Asia, attending IC, AIESECs largest conference, this year hosted in Malaysia.
Packing for a trip from my room around Thicka Road felt strange: It means that this is my home now… Interesting.

I am flying with my colleague Prashant. Three of my Kenyan friends drop me at the airport. Kenya Airways strike was fortunately over just some hours before our departure, still the queues of the passengers and plane resulted in a huge chaos at JKIA. I am in an unbeatable mood, looking forward to the trip: The probably most exciting day in Kenyas airindustry for a year and I am at the airport!

Only 2 hours delay (is this Kenya??), 11 hours of flight, then touchdown in a different world. Two days in Bangkok before going to Kuala Lumpur!

It is actually raining. Water is standing on the fields around the airport. A country where the rainy season still produces water from the heavens. Coming from Kenya we undergo a quick check at the health counter, as Europeans we enter the country without applying for a visa.

First impressions of Bangkok…

A huge city, stretching into all directions, skyscrapers, ghetto-like living areas. Highways with 6 lanes on two or three floors, traffic flows really nicely until we reach town. Exotic snacks are sold in the street. Thai letters look like artwork, chinese restaurants. McDonalds and Starbucks. Influenced from the India trip and movies, I expect some asian chaos and am not disappointed. Quiet clean though.

Telecommunication and transport is cheaper than in Kenya. Humidity and heat. Feels safer than Nairobi, 10pm, am walking alone. Tesco and Carrefour Supermarkets. Finally cheap drinking water (5 Bhat for 1,5 liters). People look differently: Not into your face, not on your hips. Polite smiles, not a “no” comes of the lips.

I find myself using my usual strategy for foreign countries: Smiling too (?) much, Stereotyping to prevent mistakes, trying to observe other people, laughing nearly hysterically about language problems, forcing myself not to compare.

Now I am eating Icecream, looking out of the window of our apartment at the 12th floor, feeling the heat, seeing the skyline. Am just a visitor looking in this so different culture. 2 Nights in Bangkok…

One Response to “Leaving home”

  1. Moritz August 26, 2009 at 4:54 pm #

    Nicely written post! I can totally feel with you, has to be strange but exciting. Enjoy your time!! 🙂
    Big hug from Germany, Mo

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