I don’t have the impression to be in Africa yet. Big western style cities;
Disneyesque hamlets restored to evoke their European or Malay origins but failing to be entirely convincing;
otters and penguins difficult to conciliate with one’s idea of Africa;
hordes of tourists everywhere and so many smiles and hellos from people who might have every reason not to smile. That makes you wonder how sincere they are. They look and sound sincere though.
This is all rather rushed and much too fast for my own contemplative rhythm. I need to be alone. I need silence. I’m not complaining, I’d just like to be able to hear myself think a little bit, decant what I see, assimilate it. It’s been difficult so far. I always remember Africa as I first saw it in 1975: the huge empty spaces;
scenery evoking prehistory as one imagines it, being practically alone in the Ngoro Ngoro crater;
in the reserves, the noble Masai defiling spear in hand along the roads, their cattle in tow.
That was a time when you felt you had pieces of the world all to yourself. I think I’m a bit nostalgic…