We came out the door and blinked into the sun. There was a line of shiny black Mercedes plus bright yellow taxicabs. But we waited for bus number 34, like the guidebook said.
These were our first moments in Nairobi, Kenya.
A thing I did a lot of, after Dad died, was backpack around the world. After college I worked and saved up some money and then went to Nepal. And then to India. And then to Kenya. For part of it I was traveling with my brother.
Because he, also, spent a lot of time wandering after Dad died. Probably everyone wanders after loss, it's just that some people wander metaphorically and some people pack a bag and physically wander. And some people do both. I guess I was doing both.
A thing that was great about traveling with my brother was that sometimes I'd get run down from being on the road and staying in dirt-cheap places and spending eighteen hours on a train or a bus or whatever. And so every once in a while I'd want to stay at a decent hotel and have a good hot shower and a bed with nice fresh sheets. And what my brother would say to that was,
"Dad would approve."
Dad wasn't one to rough it, was what my brother meant by that. Dad was more of a nice-hotel-with-a-fitness-center type guy. And so every once in a while my brother and I would get ourselves a decent hotel and have that good warm feeling of a hot shower and a clean place to stay. And we'd talk about how Dad would approve. And that feeling of Dad's approval was the most comforting thing of all.
Of course, even when we stayed at the really rustic places, there were some good things about all this wandering.
For instance in Kenya, we went on a budget safari. I say "budget" because an actual safari costs a pretty penny. So what we did was we took public transit to the entrance of the only Kenyan national park that you can enter on foot. Meaning, you can go in without a Land Rover or any vehicle at all. Now, it's true that there was a very slim chance we'd happen upon a lion. Even on a high-end safari way out in the bush, it's a rare precious thing to stumble upon a lion. (And clearly that's when you really want to stay in that pricey Land Rover.) I guess if you're on foot and you do come across a lion you have to say something like,
"Mrs. Lion, I was told it was very unlikely that I'd meet you."
But don't worry, we didn't see any lions. We did, however, walk with some wild giraffes.