Friday, 20 September 2013

My Excitement About Africa + Plans!

So I kind of discussed this before in some other blog post.

It's now past mid-September and I am just twiddling my thumbs, waiting for October to reach so that I know all of my plans for certain. October is also when I will book my (ONE-WAY?) ticket home! 

I have already compiled a list of things I am planning to do:
  • Taking pictures! Will be taking photos of landscape, living creatures and architecture. It'll be so much fun.
  • Visiting relatives. I have relatives galore in Nairobi, Kampala and Juba. And I'm not even mentioning the village. It'll be so nice to meet up with them all.
  • Work related stuff. So I'll be working for Talk of Juba (I'm one of the writers/co-founders) when I'm out there; finding stories and whatnot. I will also work on other things... either way, I won't be doing nothing! 
  • Living life. I'm going to relax, travel, hike, exercise, whatever else I could do in Africa.
  • Whatever comes up. I'm happy to try something new. Who knows what I will encounter? What I will start doing? Whatever happens, happens.
Many I've encountered have warned me not to have high expectations. I'm going with no expectations. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm open to what I will experience... I'm giving Africa a chance. 

Monday, 16 September 2013

A Bad Case Of Road Rage.

Road rage is real. I've just experienced it today.

Last month I passed my driving theory. Compared to last year June (yes, I literally didn't do my theory again for almost another year), I did very little work on it. I guess I did so very little because I knew most of the answers to the questions already. I also practiced the dreadful hazard perception just the night before.

Sleep-deprived, I sat and did my theory at the test centre. I didn't have much thought on the outcome, I just wanted it done and go about my daily life. Basically, the lack of studying, doing the hazard perception last minute and frankly not giving a damn about the outcome, really demonstrated my intense lack of motivation.

I passed!

After the test was done, I sighed and I was glad it was done. I then went to pick up my results and the first line said... 'Congratulations!'. I was immediately cloud nine-ing! I finally passed! Contrasted with last year, I prepared for my theory weeks in advance and went over the theory questions and hazard perception like crazy but still managed to fail because of the damn hazard perception.

I had a showdown with hazard perception and defeated it!

So after all of that, I booked my first driving lesson in months and I did pretty well. My driving instructor thought I'd forget how to drive. Now I'm being pushed to pass my driving test in October, which is literally two weeks from now. I'll give it a try, but I will have to phone the DVLA for driving test cancellations in October since the nearest booking dates right now is early November.

Now onto the actual story of this blog post.

I was driving and I had to turn left. It took me a while to get to the biting point to get off to the left. There was a driver behind me who started to become impatient and began beeping and generally being disrespectful. I was swearing and getting very irate. My instructor told me to calm down and just to ignore it.

Funnily enough, through the anger, I was driving off and heading to my destination (Tesco's because I had to get to the cashpoint). The guy was still following me. I was still fuming.

My instructor suddenly said 'your driving has improved'. Today wasn't my driving day at all, but as soon as I got angry, it suddenly improved.

So I got to Tesco's and the guy got off at Tesco's too! Walking towards him, I really wanted to call him out on what he did.

'How can you beep me and my car is learner's bro?'.

I walked past him and went to the cash machine, I had to just let it go. The guy didn't even say anything to me, funnily enough, only minutes ago he had a whole lot to say.

It's people like him who makes learner drivers nervous on the road. Anyhow, next lesson is tomorrow and I am working hard towards getting my licence. I need it before I head to Africa!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

My First Notting Hill Carnival.

This year was my first time at the Notting Hill Carnival. I went to the Children's Day part of the carnival with my best friend (I didn't really expect to go, I just made a last-minute decision to go, which I don't actually regret when looking back). I've been told that Children's Day is calm and pretty child friendly, so having gone there I kind of missed the big deal of carnival (Adult's Day). However, I was so exhausted towards the end of the Bank Holiday Weekend because I had a whirlwind weekend and was just busy, busy, busy. Plus, as an introvert I felt the need to retreat to my happy place and just relax before I went back home to my city.

I initially went to London to join ISIS to the Woman In The Jungle Hair and Beauty Show. The Saturday was adventurous, at times stressful but highly rewarding... we made it. We received incredible feedback and the love for ISIS was amazing. ISIS is making strides.

We also had an encounter with Valley Fontaine at the event, who ended up interviewing ISIS CEO/Co-Founder Linda Graham on BBC Radio the next night (WOW!!!). So that Bank Holiday Weekend was just amazing for me and the people around me.

Back to the Carnival. The day was hot as hell. We jumped on the tube to Notting Hill and the way we all struggled for oxygen every time the tube doors opened... thank God I went with my instincts and actually wore a T-shirt and jeans that day and also my typical, signature Converses made for comfortable walking.

Despite the seemingly good prep, I messed up. I took a big tote and my coat inside it. Imagine carrying around a big bag behind a float with 100-odd people dancing right behind it, never again.

The first part of the day was calm. There were many people, but it was clear that as the day progressed, more and and more people attended. Me and my friend sort of looked around for the Chocolate Nation float, where my friend Hunii was. After a frantic search which included me and my best friend losing each other, we finally found Hunii and her float. I definitely had a proper workout that day, I'm sure I didn't need the gym for another two weeks after that.

Being someone who does not appreciate claustrophobia, I was surprised that I didn't struggle too much with all the touching, grinding and bumping in. I even danced and genuinely had fun. The only thing that I struggled with was the consistent walking (my feet were done at the end of the day). Also, some creepy guy tried to flirt with me and it became pretty scary at one point but then he got the message.

Now here are some of the pics I had taken with my Canon 600D. I used different settings for the different scenes. I still have a lot of practicing to do and should have also used the grid feature on the camera but hey. Practice makes perfect.

The sheer irony...

Trinidad represent!

In commemoration of the 50th March on Washington

The beautiful sky.

This boy is so cute! 

Paint everywhere.

I personally love this picture.

People everywhere.

Love her locs.

The chocolate lady.
 This woman smeared chocolate on my face!

At the Chocolate Nation float, bottles of chocolate was sprayed all over us. My friend got the most chocolate. I had chocolate on my shoes, T-shirt and my camera! It was all a little messy, but I really did enjoy myself.

'Check me out!'.

These guys asked for a picture, LOL!

I will go again next year!