I mostly fly cattle class, with all the crying babies, smelly-mouthed seat neighbours, and food so bad no self-respecting pig would eat it. This is not to complain, because I suffer from an acute form of wanderlust that I don’t even need a fully formed excuse before jumping into a plane and heading somewhere cold and much too expensive for me.
I had a moderately complicated flight routing last week: Nairobi—Amsterdam—San Francisco—Minneapolis—London—Amsterdam—Nairobi. I was heading to Silicon Valley to watch former Apple CEO John Sculley launch his new baby, the Obi worldphone, and then head to London to co-host Kenya In the Park, an outdoor celebration of our culture in the British capital.
I happened to be travelling in the upper deck for once, so was among the first people out of the plane in San Francisco. I may have come from a small village in Siaya and didn’t even get on a plane until I was 20, but I know how to fake being posh when I end up in the business cabin.
So I didn’t take to it kindly when the customs officer asked me to proceed to Counter 2 so his colleague could “process” me further. A humourless African American gentleman in his late 20s called Long took my bags and proceeded to unpack them. He didn’t ask for my permission, just started removing stuff and putting them aside.
I only remembered that I had three one-kilogramme bags of Ujimix for some friends in London when he got to them.
“Why don’t you just mail it to them?” he asked after I had explained what they were.
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