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Why read books if you can watch movies?

27 Apr

A friend of mine once asked me this question. At the time, I tried my best to convince her that books are worthwhile to read, but it was obvious that she was not taken in. I am not saying “Don’t watch movies, read books instead” but “Hey, books are really interesting”. Note that I would also say the same thing for movies, only that I am not crazy about movies, but books. They just have me intoxicated, and singing under the influence! Here is one of those songs:

While I was young I fell in love with X. It was the typical love at first sight. The Spanish call it “flechazo de amor” and they are right, it was like a poisoned dart that can’t do anything else other than that for which it was meant for. I don’t know if my dad knows it, but he is the one who introduced me to this chap. “He is really nice, and besides, has loads of interesting stuff to share”, said dad. I checked him out, and I liked what I saw. As time went on, I grew so fond of him that we were seeing each other everyday, we spent many hours together. I treasured those moments. When I think about those hours now, all that comes to mind is the image of being high up in the sky, with my hands stretched out, the wind in my face, and wearing a big smile. Yeah, that’s what it is like to be in love with X.

What did we share? We talked about this and that, other people, their passions, hard times, and their cultures, history, laughter, fantasy, open places, the classics… which made me wiser in a certain sense. Not to mention relaxation and comfort just by being with X. And happier. Definitely.

Translate X for books and you’ve got my reason for reading books. Now I know what to reply to my friend’s question. Hope that you get to discover and fall in love with your X.

Good luck,

From Mary, X’s lover for life!

What really is a zebra crossing?

17 Apr

A zebra crossing is a type of pedestrian crossing used in many places around the world. Its distinguishing feature is alternating dark and light stripes on the road surface, from which it derives its name. A zebra crossing typically gives extra rights of way to pedestrians.

However, in Kenya, a zebra crossing could be many things, including a live zebra crossing the road!

Long live diversity!

Of spring and spring forward

31 Mar


(The following little story happened to a friend of mine. This is my attempt to let her know that life is like that)

Date: March 25, 2012.

Time: 6.30 a.m.

Place: a little town in a not so little European country.

I turn in bed, reluctant to get up. Yawn. Eyes hardly open. Stretch. Must I really go through this superhuman effort to get my body in the vertical position? Then I remember: the plane. The plane to the capital, and the plane from the capital to my beloved African country. I must catch that plane, and consequently, I must get up. Kicking the beddings off my body, I place my legs on the cold floor. My head slowly looking downwards and hands on my hips, just to get my balance. Another yawn, and stretch. 6.45 a.m. I must get moving, otherwise the plane will be lost.

9.20 a.m. finds me already at the airport heading towards the counter to check in. Being a Sunday morning, there are not too many people around. I take my time, as I know there will be no queues. As it is a local flight, 40 minutes are more than enough to do the necessary. The lady smiles as I approach. I smile back. I hand her my ticket after acknowledging her greeting. She glances at it, then at me. I smile. Then her face changes abruptly.

“Signorina, your plane left an hour ago!” she exclaims

There must be a mistake. I look at my watch: 9.25 a.m. My plane is scheduled to leave at 10.00 a.m., I try to explain. There can be no doubt about it. But the lady shakes her head and insists that my plane has left. This is becoming too much. Incomprehensible. A colleague of hers comes to the rescue. After hearing the whole story, she also shakes her head. The plane has left. What could have happened?

Then light dawns. It is the spring forward, they explain. We changed time yesterday, that is why you have lost the plane as you did not change your time.

Gosh! It is bewildering. I did not change the time on my watch. I did not know that everyone agrees to change the time on their watch the same day each year. I was one hour behind everyone else. I have lost my flight, no, my flights. I am too dazed to reply. Since it is my fault, I must buy the tickets again. I hastily do the reservations for the possible flight out of here and to the capital and to my country. Homesickness hits me like a Saharian heat wave.

Much as I love the flowers in spring, I think that spring forwards are horrible, especially if they make you miss your flight!

Hibernation: of animals and humans

24 Mar

Ireland is called Hibernia in Latin. The Romans never conquered it as they did Britain. There are no roman ruins or highways inIreland. Aqueducts and forums only exist in Irish dictionaries. The story goes that the reason why they never reached there is because of the cold in that island. That’s why they called it Hibernia, which means winter.

We read of animals that hibernate-sounds familiar-when it is too cold. They only “wake up” when it is spring and are active until the next winter comes along. This reminds me, the humans do it the other way round! We are active in winter, we go to school, we work, we even play winter games, and we even have got winter Olympics! Come summer time, we are all like lizards in the beach soaking up the sun!

I am not saying that animals have the better deal. We are obviously very different; we are the higher “animals”. Sometimes it helps to observe nature and to laugh a little bit about ourselves. And to tell the truth, from time to time we all need some moments of “hibernation”!