Tuesday, June 24, 2008

And... We're Back!

Oh, it feels good to be back in Africa! I thought Sudan would be a lot like Chad, but it's way better - full of life and much more developed. I'm loving it so far! (It has only been one day, and I'm sure I will take that back later!) But I'm definately exhausted.

I don't think I have ever really experienced jet lag until now. I slept badly Friday night in Canada, left for Sudan Saturday afternoon and arrived - after two nights on planes/airport benches - in Khartoum, the capital, Monday morning. So as you can imagine, the lack of sleep is catching up with me. This morning I woke up at 3am, and could not get back to sleep after that.

The flight here was full of all the regular chaos. Flight attendants who spoke no Arabic. Passengers who spoke no English. Overflowing overhead compartments. People sitting in each other's seats. But amazingly, the whole thing went really smoothly. None of the three flights I had to take were delayed. I had no problems getting through customs. My bag arrived unharmed. And someone was waiting for me at the airport to bring me to my ... hotel, if you could call it that.

For $20 a night, the cheapest you can get here, I got a room with paint chipping off the walls, a lizard crawling around, sheets that looked like they had never been washed, and ants everywhere. This morning, I shared my shower with a different lizard. I think he was as scared of me and the water as I was of him, so he wasn't too dangerous.

Sudan is really an interesting place. A neat mix of Arab and African. Actually, my arabic gets me very far here, and when I fling a scarf around my head, I don't look too out of place here. (Most women here cover their hair, and the northern part of the country is governed by Sharia law).

I've met a few people here who seem nice, including another Canadian journalist. And I had a fool (bean) sandwich this morning which reminded me of Egypt.

Hope everyone is doing well, and talk to you all soon insha'Allah!


Asif said...

Good to hear that Khartoum is treatin you well so far... although if I had seen two lizards in my bathroom I would have bolted it right back to the airport :)

Still.Searching said...

If you do not stop syaing "Arabs" and "africans" I will personally put a contract out on you with the help of a couple of water-proof lizards :-). more than half the arab world is African Mme journalist. being light skinned makes Arabs no less African. If it is a question of being "black" versus that mix of colours that is generally referred to as "others" or as I like to refer to it, "tanned to just the right degree to be Oh-so-Beautiful" then say so but please do not deny Arabs their African heritage and do do propagate the myth of Arabs being against Africans...

Having said that, great to see that you are making friends with the animal kingdom :-) Please remember that just like humans, they should not all be trusted and certainly not all the time.

And yeah, you new friends are not welcome back in canada.. customs will surely stop them!

Salooly said...

hebsterrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!! glad to hear you've arrived safe and sound, despite the lizards and dirty bed sheets. ew! although, lizards...i can live with! it's kinda funny that asif is afraid of them and publicly posts it!! hehe! have you seen any snakes yet??? i don't know what your mama is talking about! i've never referred to myself as african!! love you! :)

Salooly said...
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