Friday, 1 January 2010

Just Look At That! ... What?

I have suffered from it, becoming blasé about my surroundings.

When I lived in Paris, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacré Coeur, became everyday sights and soon, they became invisible.

And so it was for my associate in Kisii. We walked into the reception of Kisii Hotel and the first thing that struck me was the garden. It was just a canvas of colour, vibrant, eye-watering colour, lilacs, reds, crimsons, oranges and yellows. It was magnificent.

"Just look at that," I said to Vincent, pointing out of the window to this vista of bright colours.

"What?" he said. "What are you looking at?"

Then it dawned on me. He sees colours like this every day in Kisii. In fact, many places in Kenya are this colourful. I thought back to my train journey from Nairobi to Mombasa, with trees covered in flowers of all shades. Yes, Kenya is a colourful country.

But, getting back to the hotel, they have several gazebos set out on the lawns, many covered with colourful flowers, and I could imagine a British family, Mum and Dad sitting under the gazebo, sipping ice-cold Tuskers, watching their 2.4 children running around on the grass under the mature trees - paradise.

As we toured the hotel, I glanced out into the gardens once again. The gardeners were at work, raking the lawns, and I saw little piles of rubbish, all lilac, pink and crimson, and I thought of when i rake our lawn in the UK, with piles of moss and pine needles.

Kenya is a wonderful country ... but when will the colours become invisible to me? Never, I hope.

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