I’m not in Nairobi anymore

Boarding ticket stubs. Ergh

I have actually been back in Australia for a month now. I planned for this return to let me catch up on writing and editing, but instead I have squandered my time here. But I’m ok with that.

The decision to return sprung up quickly on me. I had been staying at my mum’s house in Ngong, Kenya, for most of the last 6 months. She was returning to Australia to see the family, and she wanted me to come back too. Being a mother, she realised that the only way she could guarantee that her, me, and my little bro would be in the same room again, was if she offered to pay my ticket back.

I almost declined, I thought about it, but then I got continually more and more excited about the idea of seeing my brother (20 months since I had seen him last). So, I agreed, and about 2 weeks later I was flying out, on a different set of flights to my mum (it was cheaper when I booked). Nairobi – Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi – Bangkok. Bangkok – Hong Kong. Hong Kong – Sydney. Sydney – Albury. So 5 flights, 6 planes (one plane had a mech issue), 6 hours sleep, 6 beers, 7 meals, and about 48 hours later, and I surprised my unknowing brother by walking off the same plane as mum.

That was a month ago. In that time, I have gone drunk camping, thrown out/given away/prepared to sell half of my belongings, gone boxing, eaten far far far too much western food and desserts, gone boxing more to try and counter the food, hitch hiked to Wollongong, visited friends there and in Sydney, photographed Simple Plan, caught a ride back to Albury, and gone snowboarding. I did succeed in doing some editing, and I do plan on writing about my backlog of adventures in East Africa, but they will no longer be in a chronological order, because:

Tomorrow (was meant to be Thursday but I pushed it back twice) I hitch hike to Melbourne, and on Monday I fly to Bangkok.

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Time For A Holiday

Just as I was settling in to Split, I received an email from my mum. She was inviting me to either meet her in Rome for one week, or come to Kenya for two. She also offered to pay my transport there and back. I was stoked! So, spoke with Dora, my new boss, and she gave me the all clear to come back in two weeks.

3 days after I heard from mum, I booked my flight. The next day, I left Split, via overnight ferry to Ancona, Italia. To be honest, I actually felt weird leaving Split. It has only been a couple of weeks, but the place feels comfortable to me, and it feels right for me to stay there for a while.. Anyway, back to the ferry… After wandering around this massive ferry for about an hour, I managed to run into Cherri and Ashlie, two Canadian girls who had stayed at the hostel 2 nights earlier. Couldn’t believe it, because it meant my 11 hour ferry might not be so boring. Slept on the floor of the deck, and managed a couple hours of sleep, thanks to a lot of tossing and turning… The next day, I parted ways with the girls, and hopped on a train to Rome. Unfortunately, it appears that when I fell asleep on the train (thanks to my shoddy sleep), another passenger decided to relieve me of my camera. Tops. That’s what happens when you get complacent, I guess… Also, this explains the lack of photos on this post.

I arrived in Rome, and wandered between some sights for 6 hours (with my backpack… didn’t want to pay for luggage storage). Rome is sweet, but I definately felt like there were more tourists than Romans there, especially at the Colloseum. Yes, my big backpack made it obvious I was one of them. 

Come darkness, I returned to the train station, after spending my last coin on food. Got onto the Leonardo Express to the airport. Took me two stops to realise I was on the wrong train (express trains don’t typically stop). Made it to the airport an hour later, and after a bit of a wander, found a quiet enough spot to sleep. Was kind of obviously the best choice, given the 12 or so homeless people already set up for the nights sleep. After I had my sleeping position corrected by one of the homeless (Not on the back, gotta lie on your side on those tiled floors..), I logged a decent 5 or so hours sleep.

Come saturday morning, I felt like Tom Hanks’ character from The Terminal. Packed my sleeping bag up, went into the toilets to wash my face and feet in the sink (walking barefoot around Rome makes your feet dirty), charged my laptop, and ate my breakfast. After wasting a few hours, it was finally time to board… and MAN, I love flying with non-budget airlines! Complimentary foods, drinks, vino, pillows… It was mint! The flight was complemented by the company of Mary, the young Italian passenger in the seat next to me. But, when I arrived in Nairobi, I was hit by my last obstacle. I had 0.65 euro in my pocket, and the Kenyan visa cost 20 euro. I blame the lack of sleep.

But, it all ended well. I’m here, at mum’s place. Met the three kids she is looking after, saw some elephants, ate some Kenyan food and drank some Kenyan beer. Tomorrow, I get my dirty laundry washed.