I Told You They Were Magical

Walking around the Christmas market right next to our hostel in Zurich today, my brother and I come upon a booth selling African-style curios: wooden animal figures, necklaces, bracelets and the like. “Reminds me of home,” I say, at which the shop owner gives me a bit of an incredulous look and asks where I come from, to which my response of late has been, “Kenya.” Next thing I hear is, “Karibu chai,” and I am immediately thrust back into my life in Kenya while a cup of hot chai is thrust into my hand. Here I am, standing in freezing temperatures in Zurich, Switzerland, and I am having a conversation with a Kenyan in Kiswahili.

Lydia’s been living here for 18 years now, but her family comes from Nakuru and she is a Kikuyu. She seemed to get a kick out of the white boy in Zurich speaking Kiswahili with her, but it was a nice time. Actually, she even gave Chris a discount on what he was buying, which was really nice of her. The chai was delicious, spiced with cinnamon. We wished each other a merry Christmas and went our separate ways, myself still move convinced of our shrinking world (hurry, contact the geologists!), as well as the generally magical nature of Christmas markets.



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3 responses to “I Told You They Were Magical

  1. kim

    great update from you and Chris. Keep it up. Have a great time!

  2. jackie

    yo! you were in europe?! cause that’s where i am right now!

    i was wandering around brussels yesterday in the very african section of town. it felt a bit like “home,” but all the africans there are from french-speaking west africa, and so it also felt a little off. i went into a store to find ugali unga (because i’m going to cook ugali for my friends here) but found lots of fufu unga (fufu = west african ugali, and not nearly as good) and peanut butter instead. oh and everyone speaks french instead of kiswahili. i keep listening for kiswahili speakers but no luck yet…

  3. Jon- have enjoyed your blogs!
    Q: and you don’t have to answer, but I really want to know: tell me the scoop/lowdown/gossip/real truth about Nic D (understand: I love the guy, from everything I read of his during 2009, but I also want an objective assessment from a third party). Happy New Year! Mike