Extreme Simple Living

If life was a sports game, my current way of life could maybe be best described as Extreme Simple Living. It’s my last day in the uni town and the favourite human has already taken a lot of my stuff to his flat in the capital. He carried a big suitcase, a mattress and some small bags, too.

Just as to add on that, the gas cooker decided to misbehave in a way that couldn’t even be fixed by the experts from the supermarket. So they sent it to the manufacturer from where I will get it, hopefully repaired and working, in a few weeks. In that way, it traveled to the capital for free. I experimented two times with the jiko, a charcoal cooker, but the charcoal I had bought had actually been rained on heavily, which made me burn a significant amount of paper to light it. It frustrated me so much, though, that I am currently feeding on bread, avocado, bananas and nuts. (Or I invite myself to the kitchens of others and cook there for all of us.) But it forced me to get rid of some paper like university notes, which I would have kept and not used, anyway.

So I am somehow back to live “out of the backpack”, sleeping in my sleeping bag and washing a few clothes every other day, because I don’t have many extras. This shows me especially what I miss or what I really need and can hardly do without. Paper, for example, seems to play a big role in my life. I keep papers that are written on on one page and use them on the other side for scribbles, sketches, notes and any kind of lists. (I list almost everything!) I also have various notebooks for noting my expenses to keep a budget, writing some fiction, short stories and poems, taking general notes, putting down quotes I want to remember, taking short notes of articles or academic books I read, keeping my dreams and collecting observations which I might later use as inspirations for stories. That’s a lot of paper organized in many notebooks. Currently I am remaining with the observation book (now also serving as the dream book) and the general diary (my most important notebook, currently also serving as the budget book), as well as the big college notebook where the final paper for my bachelor’s degree is maturing (currently also providing some pages for letters). But I am very much looking forward to find that big blue plastic thing in the capital, containing all my paper treasures and notebooks.

Hot food, and especially morning tea, is also something I quite miss since it’s not there currently. I used to read some things about the raw food movement and I was interested in one day experimenting with it, but now that I mostly eat cold food for the time being, I realized that a cup of hot tea or some steaming meal is something very delicious, not to be replaced by some raw smoothies or salad.

Since I’ll be tripping to the coast town tomorrow and from there go directly to the capital, and since the widely accepted stereotype about the coast is that it’s hot, I put all the sweaters and pullovers in the suitcase and they are gone. But I realized, however practical a raincoat is – it won’t replace the feeling of wearing a cozy pullover in a chilly evening.

And yesterday morning I also started to value my running shoes. I started running this year, and I was so proud to buy these quite cheap second hand sneakers so that I didn’t have to run in my sandals anymore. Yesterday morning I was forced to wear the sandals again – and it’s not a good feeling! With the shoes it is so much easier.

Missing something for a while makes you realize what you need and what you don’t need. My blankets, for example, seem not to be that important to me, because I really don’t mind sleeping in my sleeping bag. But I will appreciate to have my notebooks, sneakers, pullovers and a cup of tea back in my life.

My new life – in English

Who would have thought that this exam would drain me that much? – Who would have thought that I would finally blog in English and make it public on facebook? Now I am sitting in front of my laptop, very recovered, very inspired, trying to pull this post together which feels like the very first one.
All this is about something that I would call my new life, however it is not so new, in fact it is as old as myself. But currently I have been reading various blogs and articles and I got inspired to come up with my own life program or outline. Now it is on paper and it sticks on my wall, and it is also lying on my desk, being ticked every now and then. And it is going online on this blog. The testing started yesterday and will run until the end of April, when I will move to the capital in my favorite human’s flat. One of the principles of my new life program is not to talk much about my plans, therefore here I won’t disclose my intentions after the move yet. But you will be able to follow them here later, if you are interested.
Another thing that the outline is focusing on is my diet (as in eating, not fasting). And here I go back to the university, where I must have looked very tired after the exam, because two of my choir friends asked me independently from each other whether I was from an exam. One of them had a plastic bag and what was found inside? A piece of blackforest cake from the supermarket. My Soprano Friend had told me about it and that it was not always available at the supermarket, but if it was, she would usually buy it, enjoy it and then gain weight like the way yeast dough multiplies in the bowl. (She didn’t express it in those particular words, but I am trying to be metaphorical.) I know blackforest as Schwarzwälderkirschtorte and I doubt that Kenyan blackforest can even get close to the Schwarzwälderkirschtorte I used to feast on at Granny’s when I was a child. (Like that “chocolate ball” I sacrificed for myself in the capital after a successful day in the center – it was so unnice, that I couldn’t even finish it.) But after an exam, which, I just in that very moment realized, had obviously drained me, I really felt like Schwarzwälderkirschtorte in form of blackforest. Then, walking home, I thought that I shouldn’t buy it because of my food rules, where I try to cut animal products, sugar and carbs – all of which are very much present in a blackforest. But then I realized that one of the most important rules is that they are flexible – actually it is me who made them, so it will also be me who is able to break them. And in fact, I am not breaking them. I might go, buy and eat that blackforest on Sunday and tick sugar, carbs and animal products and then just avoid those on other days. And I will enjoy it, hopefully it is nicer than that “chocolate ball”.

Meer

Weder Schwindel noch Rausch empfand man im Flug, sondern nur das geheimnisvolle Arbeiten eines lebendigen Organismus.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Nachtflug

So ist das auch mit dem Meer. Die Bücherautoren machen es gern zu einer verhängnsivollen Sucht, zu einem lockenden, tödlichen Tier, zu einem Magneten, der die willenlosen Menschen auf faszinierende Weise in ihr Unglück zieht. An der Küste habe ich gemerkt: So ist das gar nicht! Das Meer hat seine Tücken, und die Menschen kennen und beachten sie, aber sie rennen nicht blind hinein. Sie sind von ihm abhängig wegen der Nahrungsmittel, die es bereitstellt – nicht wegen ihrer Lust, ihrem Bedürfnis, sich den Wellen hinzugeben. Sie wissen über diesen Organismus Bescheid und kennen seine Funktionsweisen.

Als wir spätnachmittags einmal in der Flut schwammen, saß A., der Nichtschwimmer, an der Stelle am Strand, wo die Wellen anbrandeten, und er wurde beinahe umgeworfen. Unser Freund von der Küste warnte ihn: Das hat Kraft! Er meinte die physikalische Kraft dieses sich aufbäumenden Wassers, die besonders einen Nichtschwimmer wie A. nicht nur umwerfen, sondern ihn mit dem paradoxen Verlauf der Wellen anstatt an den Strand zu spülen, Richtung Horizont ziehen kann – wo wir biologisch logisch ohne Kiemen und Flossen reichlich verloren sind.

Mit meiner Chorfreundin war ich nun zweimal in Narok schwimmen. Wir wollen nicht immer nur laufen gehen und die beiden Pools in Narok sind günstig und machen Spaß. Ihr Vater arbeitet in Mombasa und sie haben ein Haus nahe am Meer. Ihre Mutter ist eine sehr gute Schwimmerin, sagt sie. Sie selbst bewegt sich ungern ans tiefe Ende des Pools, weil sie nicht richtig schwimmen kann. Sie lässt sich treiben, taucht ein bisschen, und kommt am Weitesten, wenn sie auf dem Rücken schwimmt. Sie sagt, nachdem sie ihre Schwester an das Meer verloren hat, habe ihr Vater ihr und ihren Geschwistern jeglichen Kontakt mit Wasser außerhalb der Dusche verboten. Kein Schwindel, kein Rausch, nur die pragmatische Anordnung eines traumatisierten Familienoberhauptes.