It’s the little things I love about this city…
Yesterday evening I witnessed the sun setting over Jaffa city, absorbed the dynamic vibe of Tel Aviv just from a stroll along the beach and rediscovering the drummers beach where percussionists and lovers of music gather together celebrating the sounds from the African drum… I was in my element – for a few blissful hours at least!
But what about the bigger picture?
This 20 year tradition of gathering drummers together to beat the African drum is a stem of globalisation. The white man beating the instruments whose roots are from Africa… Shouldn’t this mean that the African is treated with as much love and admiration as the instruments from his own continent? Realistically, this is hardly ever the case.
If like myself you’re simply passing through Israel on your travels, there are somethings you will be immune to noticing. Since building a relationship with my tweeter account (now that I can finally remember my password), I can’t innocently pretend to be politically unaware of the injustices that takes place in any country I visit. And Israel is no exception.
I haven’t personally had much of an opportunity to interact with any Africans, besides an Ethiopian girl I stopped to ask to recommend some r’n’b clubs after a disappointing night of hearing just electronic music, and the drunken African man who got violently shoved out of the drummers circle by a female percussionist yesterday (he was too drunk to question about his experience living in Israel after he murmured to me something along the lines of “hey wassap babi”).
The sweet sounds of the African drums I experienced yesterday, sadly don’t correlate to the bitter tweets I have seen regarding how Africans are treated the Holy Land. And here are just a few of those tweets.
Please share your experiences and opinions!
Ripped off and p***ed off… But in a way it’s payed-off because I always meet the most amazing people on my travels! And that’s PRICELESS!
Though I think I’ve learnt my lesson now, and the only time I’ll be giving away extra cuts of my tight student budget is when I choose to tip someone! No more getting ripped off (if I can help it)!
I hate being ripped off – don’t we all? I probably wouldnt mind it if i was blissfully unaware! Depending on the amount, the scenario plays on repeat in my head until I eventually admit defeat… That could take anything from few hours to a few days!
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A couple of weeks ago, I discovered The Mella Centre on Oxford Street (London, UK). It was there that I met the talented siSTAR Cezanne Poetess… Artist, poetess and author of Single, Spiritual… AND Sexual (above left). Save the date 5th January 2014 for Cezanne Poetess’ first workshop of the year!
Happy New YOU!
Goal-Setting Workshop for 2014 on Sunday 5th Jan @ The Mella Center in Oxford Street London W1! Only 30 spaces available, get your ticket NOW! Full details: Click here
Get your New Year off to a great start and aim your goals straight into the back of net for 2014!
“Blue Lotus” painting by Cezanne Poetess, available at The Mella Centre, Oxford Street, London.
Two nights spent in Sharm El Sheikh – check! That’s two days out of my 28 day trip done… I’m going according to plan, that’s a good start!
I knew when I booked my accommodation that I wouldn’t want to stay much longer than two days. I’m not a resort sort of person and Sharm El Sheikh is very much a resort sort of town.
My hotel is nothing to write home about, bedsides the fact that it isn’t a hostel yet it’s as cheap as chips ($16 for two nights!) Yes, as one if the reviews clearly stated, there are misquotes in the lounge (thankfully not in my room), and yes I did get my first Egyptian mosquito bite on my face as welcome (thank goodness they are not in completion with the Ghanaian mosquitos!), but at least it’s clean and safe (the hotel that is).
The sand storms have prevented me from venturing out of the hotel (it gets pretty windy here, they forget to warn holiday makers that)… Though I doubt I could see myself sunbathing by the Red Sea… I’m saving all that for part two of my journey when I reach Eilat!
Overall, for the two nights that I needed to simply to recharge and get some writing done on my blog (check out my new blog The Educationally Frustrated Student), this place suited me fine. Food isn’t included with my room (I love a bargin but that would have been a steal!) though nothing on the menu seemed to appeal to me so I opted for a big bottle of water and (before you think I’m on some diet) a big packet of crisps! Even the flavour was written in Arabic so I couldn’t tell how many calories I consumed… That’s what I call guilt-free!
One of my pet peeves (which includes people picking their nose in public and being “sssss”ed at) is walking into a shop and they have no prices on the items – nada! It means any price can be called when I query. And that’s exactly what happend when I walked into the hotel store to buy my, uuhmm, guilt-free crisps. It’s not like they were even imported for the price to be as high as back home. These crisps had every vital importation from the name and flavour down to the weight and nutritional information in Arabic. I couldn’t even read the sell by date. When I questioned the shop assistant why there were no prices, he said simply that
“The Russians don’t like seeing the prices on items!”
Great, so because of the Russians who don’t mind beig ripped off I had to pay the rip off price!
Anyway, besides that, all has gone smoothly, but that’s because I haven’t bothered to venture out or speak to anybody (you so much as greet a local and he’ll think you’re a sex tourist)! This evening while heading to the lobby to use the wifi (another pet peeve is when a description fails to to be completely accurate; wifi isn’t available in the rooms – only in the lobby), one of the staff greeted me “Good evening.” I responded (nicely, for a change). He then took the liberty to ask if I’m having good stay. I replied yes (was there something exciting to do in this place that I was missing out on?!) He then said he saw me sitting alone in the lobby not talking to anyone so he wondered if I’m ok. Perfect, let’s keep it that way, I thought. I don’t want any man thinking they can come and invade my space!
But in less than 20 minutes since that conversation, some man did came to sit in a seat near me in the lobby and try to make conversation; in Arabic. I thought my “not interested” gesture was enough when he moved to another seat in the lobby… But then he came back pointing at his phone. Really?! Wasn’t your man pride broken enough the first time?! So I gave him another gesture to go away. Can’t he see I’m working (writing for my blog)! At that point I looked around the reception counter for staff. I would expect this hassle if I were outside but not in a resort!
I must remember I’m in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language and they have a different culture to mine… Plus I’m travelling a lone. So I have to be careful how I say no to people… Though in my book no means no.
Anyone know a nicer way to put it?… Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted as I arrive in Cairo later today!
I’m in Africa!
My experience last night after landing in Sharm el Sheikh, is the very reason why I shouldn’t be doing things last minute when it comes to travel arrangements… Besides booking my accommodation literally lastmin.com, I completely forgot to book the bus transfer from the airport to the Hotel – Aida Better Life Resort.
I have no pictures of the airport I’m afraid. Between questioning hotel reps if my hotel was on their list, and trying to lose a taxi driver who quoted me a ridiculous price (and now thought I was obliged to take his offer), there was no time to take out my camera for a snap!
Eventually I had no other choice but to give in and take a taxi (there seemed to be some hidden rule that if another driver offered to take me that would be stealing from the one I first enquired with)! I arrived at the hotel safe (and just as importantly, at a lower price – I’m African)!
This afternoon I planned to head out to the Red Sea, but after hearing the sand storm, I opted for the comfort of my room. Anyway, it’s about time I uploaded all the draft posts from my travels this year… And besides that, I have a lot of reading to do as Black Egyptians – The African Origins of Ancient Egypt will be the theme for my whole stay both in Egypt and the Middle East.
I’ll be leaving Sharm el Sheikh for Cairo tomorrow morning (I’m not a resort person anyway… Remember my resort experience in Dominican Republic?)
I’ll keep you posted on my stay in Cairo… For now, here some snaps of my stay in Sharm el Sheikh.
Order yourself a copy of Black Egyptians from akashapublishing through Amazon
My earrings are from Mzansi. Find them at The Mella Centre in the heart of West End – 73 Oxford Street, London.
Stay tuned for more!
Earlier this week I met up with Black Egyptians author, Segun Magbagbeola for an interview (I’ll be posting it up soon) about his book which reveals the African origins of Ancient Egypt.
I’m currently boarding an EasyJet plane to Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. I’ll be writing about my experience as a black African woman in Egypt and observing any trances of African origins during my short stay. Stay posted for more, and you can also find me on Travel Making Kai.
Below is a painting by talented writer and painter Cezanne Poetess. I met at The Mella Centre on Sunday where I also came across one of her many beautiful paintings. This one stood out for me… Maybe because I too will begin my spiritual journey in Egypt…
Memories of a Christmas Wonderland… Czech it out!
A few years ago when I went with my sister to Prague for our Christmas holiday, we lost ourselves in the sheer size and beauty of the Christmas markets and not to mention the marvel of the romantic city…
This year I can’t be in Europe to experience the novelty. But if it’s a warming cup of mulled wine, creative handcrafted gifts, smells to excite my senses, then thankfully I can find all those in London… But it’s not quite the same! I can’t help but to reminisce on my Christmas couchsurfing adventure with my sister two years ago…
You might be lucky enough to find some last-minute flights to Europe this Christmas, but it’s you’re short for time, or cash, checkout the Christmas Markets dotted across London… You can’t miss the one on South Bank!
Czech out our trip…
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I met Aron Minal during his visit to London in October. When he told me he was from Singapore I was intrigued! From what I’d heard of Singapore, it was pretty much a perfect modern city. Except I got a bigger picture after I learnt about the about the discrimination he, and other Malay-Singaporeans face while job-hunting. Thankfully he secured a good and stable career as a Flight controller last year.
Let Aron Minal transport you to Singapore, and join him at work at Singapore Airlines where he controls the skies!
Please check out my new student blog: The Educationally Frustrated Student. Enjoy and please comment.
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Since I discovered Palermo over the summer I’ve been back once again because frankly, I can’t get enough of its good lovin’… The food!
My trip to Sicily for a weekend of autumn sun in November left me yearning for more… But until my next visit, here are some of the sights and flavours of Sicily that were love at first sight!… My friend Sabrina experienced her first time in Italy… And loved it! 😉
Back to London until the next time… x