Also on Caboose: Journeys Antarctica, Kerguelen Islands, South America, Turkey, Cameroon
[Nigeria]Nigerian glossary


Written by kevin

I’ve just finished reading Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood, an interesting book about a girl growing up in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. I found it a bit confusing at times as she sometimes refers to her family and other settlers as Africans, but then also uses the same word to refer to the indigenes of the countries she was living in.

The book also follows the common European/American habit of treating Africa as if it’s a single homogenous place. The settlers seem to be fond of declaring their love for Africa, based on living in one small part of it. It would be like saying you love Europe when you’ve only been to the south of France. My cynical side would say that they didn’t fall in love with Africa so much as with the lifestyle of being the ruling class.

I also recently read Ryszard Kapuściński’s The Shadow of the Sun (Penguin Celebrations), in the foreword he says:

[Africa] is too large to describe. It is a veritable ocean, a separate planet, a varied, immensely rich cosmos. Only with the greatest simplification, for the sake of convenience, can we say “Africa.”

These books reminded me how quiet it is at night here in Stirling. Lying in bed all I can hear are traffic on the A9 and the muffled roaring of the glass wool factory. In my house in Kaduna the air was full of the sound of crickets, frogs and all the other night creatures.

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 11th, 2007 at 17:24 and is filed under books, travel.

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