…life from my perspective
He knows that I blog and understands that any and all information can and will be used for that purpose. And while it has always been my practice to protect the identity of persons mentioned in my posts, I sure hope he don’t read this and think I’m not trustworthy. Eh…..what you gone do? The exchange was worthwhile and the information gathered was useful so why not share his story? He’s my age and was raised in a village in Kenya, right outside Nairobi. Growing up, the homes in his village were round huts made of sticks and clay. His country borders Lake Victoria, one of the largest lakes in the world, which makes catching and preparing your own fish a daily routine in his tribe. He said “back when I was a kid, we didn’t eat meat everyday, usually once a week or for special occasions and chicken was served once a year during Christmas. I couldn’t imagine eating chicken everyday.” (proof positive he’s NOT a Black American) And while Kenyans who lived in Nairobi were a bit more affluent and could afford to dine on meat more frequently, animals grazed his farmland and were readily available to be slaughtered for food but the villagers decided against it. They ate vegetables and fish instead. So needless to say, when he told me about black pudding I was taken aback. Early on he DID mention he was a free spirit so I shouldn’t have been surprised.
I asked him if there was a place around here where I could get some pancakes. He said pancakes were too much of a hassle to prepare and I wouldn’t find too many restaurants that served them. He strongly recommended that I go out for a “traditional English breakfast” that consisted of a dish called black pudding. I was thinking to myself it’s probably not a good idea to have all that sugar first thing in the morning. Then he hipped me to what black pudding REALLY was. Black Pudding is cow’s blood that when submerged in boiling water solidifies and according to him, looks and tastes like liver. He said “you have to try it.” I said “hell no!” After I stared at him for 2min straight with wide eyes and a dropped mouth, he decided to switch the conversation from bugged out foods to his plan to retire by age 40.
He said he wasn’t sure if they would marry, marriage was something SHE wanted not something HE deemed necessary, because whether they married or not it wouldn’t change how he felt about her and HE would make sure she was financially secure for the rest of her life. If he DID decide to marry someone else, his wife would have to accept his decision to financially support the woman he’s currently dating. He said there was no way he could leave her and not continue to take care of her. (Well if I had a dime for every time I heard a black man say THAT, my account would be in the red) He mentioned they’ve been dating for a while and she’s been kind, loving and very supportive. They don’t have any children together. He went on to mention how he’s never been “in love” but has been “quite fond” of his former girlfriends and that he doesn’t believe that there’s one person who can fulfill all of your needs and that people need to explore relationships with others blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…He was talking that talk so much I smacked my lips and told him he sounded JUST LIKE a Black American man with a Kenyan accent. His response, “my replies are quite staggering?” Jokingly I said I would hide a voice recorder to tape our conversations cause no one would believe the stuff he was saying. So I guess he DOES kinda know I’m sharing his story huh? At least I told him before hand.
My apartment is tiny but beautiful, my block is quiet and apparently safe and I’m only 2 train stops from the bullring mall and UOB campus. I blend in with the college kids so my fear of appearing too old and sticking out like a sore thumb has vanished rather quickly. It rains often but only for a few minutes and if we’re lucky the sun comes right back out again. I walk everywhere and have at least one Tesco and Primark bag with me at all times. 0800 numbers are considered premier calls, no toll free here baby, they charge 1.00 GBP to use the trolley ( a shopping cart) and .30pence to use the public bathroom in some areas. The Starbucks coffee tastes about the same as back home and the city is actually smaller than I thought it was though it’s the 2nd largest city in the UK behind London. The food is shit so I’ve been cooking my own meals and my futon feels like I’m sleeping on rocks. I don’t have any closets in my place, I do have a washer, no dryer, but there’s a clothesline in the backyard so I can just hang my wet clothes out to dry. I actually like that idea better. And while I miss my family and friends and Chicago will always be home, 479 Gillott Road – Flat 2 is the home I come to nowadays. And I like my new home. Until tomorrow youngn’s…….