Monday, November 15, 2010

"I do not think of you, that you can ever forget me"...

A week ago I had to travel to Kenya for work.  Much of my time was spent in Karen. 
Karen is the suburb named after Karen Blixen that wrote one of my all time favourite books - Out of Africa.  The suburb is situated in the area where Karen's farm (Ngong farm) used to be.
I am a little obsessed with the prose in this book and standing in the lush garden of the lodge, I closed my eyes and remember my heroine writing: "The air of the African highlands went to my head like wine:  I was all the time slightly drunk with it, and the joy of these months was indescribable."
Karen tells about her days on Ngong farm that makes your heart ache for the open plains. 
Unfortunately, she was forced to leave and over time the plains gave way to the building blocks of Nairobi.
I remember how she describes getting letters from her servants back on the farm that "came to me in a strange, unreal way, and are more like shadows, or mirages, than like news of reality."  They could not write and had to rely on the "professional letter writers" who also knew precious little English but tried to show off their skills, making the letters difficult to decipher.  Sometimes however, their message came out more beautiful than even Shakespeare could have phrased it.  On one of the dirty little sheets of paper her African cook wrote:  "We do not think of you, that you can ever forget us."

My beloved friend, today I send you a cheep postcard, bought from the stationary dukka on Kimweri Road and on it I simply write:
"I do not think of you, that you can ever forget me"...


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