The Kenyan Nomad

The Kenyan Nomad

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Here's another blog post by Aniqah Khalid, my fantastic guest blogger and one of my oldest friends. She's full of life and inspiration, and I'm glad I get to share her work with you!

Some of you may or may not know that I lived in London for four years of my life. I lived within the heart of central London where a combination of cosmopolitan life, bad weather, sophistication, dearth, excitement, downheartedness, materialism, spiritualisation and much more lay. I simply loved it. I love it not only because of the excitement of living in a bourgeoisie city; however what London had the ability to offer in terms of growth and self-realisation was in itself unexplainable.

Sometimes you find yourself losing yourself within a book. You become acquainted with every character and find yourself sinking into the ink of every page with every word you read. That is what happened during my love affair with London. I lost myself in this foreign city and let it find all different the emotions, fears and strengths embedded deep within my subconsciousness.

You meet people who are so different from you only to give that bubble you live in a much needed pierce. Different assortments of people walk the streets of London. From the homeless drunk, half asleep and effortlessly reeking the tube carriage to the piercing parlour of a man with spikes in different shades of purple that once used to be his hair smoking in a corner of Camden Town. You will never cease to be surprised by the vibrant characters you will meet. So many stories they hold, so much they have seen and so many dreams that have been crushed and have manifested.

The beauty of London further lies within its past. Streets still haunted by what has passed many moons ago through its time-honoured architecture that stands just as it had within the Victorian era. The gothic architecture that shadows London gives it a mystical magic and its statues and gargoyles hold the secrets of Londoners that have passed and that are to come.

Fashion is not a choice; in London fashion becomes essential. You may learn to love it or become naively opposed to the materialistic world you are already a part of. I loved and hated how you always have to keep up with what was trending and how displays in stores would constantly change to newer electrifying things. The talent and sheer outrageousness of the fashion industry evolved from a general musing to an overall lifestyle I adopted. The creativity was enticing and the ability to pull it off became an addiction.

To get lost in London is in itself a way to find yourself. There’s something really awe-inspiring about losing yourself in a big city.  We all experience different places differently depending on where you are in life and what you want from life. We are all in some way or another seeking something, and when you find yourself out there, something changes and somehow you just know that you have fallen in love with not only where you are at that moment, but who you are in that moment. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

An Unofficial Homecoming

While this post is about three and a half weeks late, it's still extremely relevant. When I went down to Sewanee over the weekend of Halloween, I had an agenda; I was going to see friends, pick up my stuff, and visit a place I love dearly. However, I didn't think about the fact that I was, in a sense, going home. It wasn't until a good friend asked me how I felt about being home that it hit me; yes, this was a home, and would always be so. '

Sure, it was weird being back as an alumna. Walking around academic buildings, the library, the dining hall; it all felt familiar, but different in a way. I passed by so many old friends who would say hi and a quick "Hey Rosh!", then do a double take as they realised that I had in fact graduated and wasn't just walking around campus on a normal class day. If anything though, this visit made me love Sewanee and my people there even more.

Of course, it was nice to be able to visit there as a kind of tourist and see places I'd never been in about four years; like Ruby Falls. It was a long underground walk, but still cool.

This one will be kept short for Thanksgiving prep, but I'm sure I'll return to the topic of Sewanee and it's people sometime soon. Have a great holiday weekend! 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Handshakes: An Elusive Art

The other day, I was introduced to someone by a mutual friend. Naturally, I reached forward to shake their hand, and was absolutely horrified. Ladies and gentlemen, have you ever encountered what I fondly call the limp-fish-grip? Because I have, an unfortunately high amount of times.

Needless to say, I wasn't very impressed by this person. Worry not, I didn't base my judgement solely on their poor handshake; subsequent conversation confirmed what the handshake had hinted at. This happens often enough that I would think most of us know by now that a good, strong handshake is a vital part of a good first impression (depending on circumstances of course, but true a lot of the time).

Of course, I've also experienced the opposite type of handshake; given my hand to someone only to have my bones crushed to dust. Well, almost, but you get my point.

Is it nervousness that leaves many of us unable to properly shake a hand? It very well could be, and thus it's very important to be able to calm your nerves if you know you'll be in a situation that will require a lot of handshaking, like a conference or a job interview. Yes, it definitely isn't fair to judge people on their ability to properly shake someone's hand. I've met lots of people who had limp-fish-grip, and who turned out to be absolutely fantastic people despite this. Heck, many people don't even know that handshakes are this important! I know that I never gave them much thought until a few years ago; they were just a social 'thing' that weren't really that important in the grand scheme of things. 

I'm by no means an expert, so I thought that I'd go ahead share an article (by Etiquette International, so hopefully the name means something) giving tips for a good handshake. Here you go! 6 Tips for a Good Handshake

May we all steer clear of limp-fish-grip this Thanksgiving. Have a great week!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thought for the day

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why Can't I Want?

I'm two chapters into a book entitled "Appetites:Why Women Want". It's been lying on my bedside table untouched for a few weeks, but I figured if I'm trying to stop being lazy about my writing, I may as well stop being lazy about my reading too. I'll start it back up tomorrow as I'll have some time to kill in the city before a jazz concert in the evening, and I thought now would be as good a time as any to write about what I think. I'm addressing this topic as a woman in her early twenties, but I'm sure that the topic of appetite is a problem for many who do not fall under this category.

I've always (well, not as a kid, but more recently) had a healthy appetite. It does fluctuate, but more often than not, I can out-eat most of my friends (and occasionally my family too). See, the weird thing is that many times, I find myself needing to justify this appetite, needing to explain why I'm eating what I'm eating. "Oh, I had a light lunch". "Yeah I worked out today so I'm super hungry". And so on, and so forth. Later on, I'll ask myself why I needed to do so; is having an appetite really such a shameful thing? 

Luckily with food, I've never had others tell me that my appetite was wrong or somehow dirty. Maybe it's because I've always been otherwise healthy and (mildly) in shape. Recently though, I began to notice ways in which other appetites seemed to be too much for society, and I know that I've heard similar things from other women who attended Sewanee (my alma mater). While I wasn't always vocally so, I've always been ambitious. I want to do well, and I'm confident enough in myself to believe that I can do so. Confidence is never something that we should have to apologise for; if I don't believe in myself, why should I expect any of you to? Yet, this confidence and desire to do well has been misconstrued in many ways; as being cocky, as being arrogant, as being selfish. 

I guess personally, I've moved beyond struggling with wanting to achieve many things, to accepting that by believing in myself, I may be able to. I know many other people who're the same way; they know what they want, and they aren't afraid to go after it. So why is it that what I want is regulated by what society thinks is appropriate? Are we trying to create a culture where confidence and belief in oneself is stifled in favour of not seeming arrogant or selfish? We all have insecurities, true; they're part of what makes us human. But choosing not to show these insecurities is in no way wrong, and you should never have to apologise for wanting what you do and believing in yourself.

Enjoyed this post? Don't forget to comment, follow this blog, like my page on Facebook at The Kenyan Nomad or reach out to me on twitter @roshwalia !

(Image courtesy of SplitShire).

Monday, November 17, 2014

We're Back!

My scheduled vacation to Tennessee (which was amazing by the way) somehow unintentionally turned into a writing vacation from my blog. Coming back and getting into the swing of things with a new internship and crappy weather made me lazier than I thought I'd be, so today I thought I'd finally sit down and get some stuff out.

The new internship is going well, though I do have an awkward moment to share! Those of you who don't know me should be warned that I do have plenty of these, and I will never quite be the embodiment of grace and elegance. I was being introduced to one of the higher-ranking employees at the firm, and after a firm (thank goodness) handshake, for some reason, I found myself asking "How do you do?" Almost immediately, I mentally facepalmed myself. As the appropriate response for "How do you do?" is also "How do you do?", asking it usually precipitates a series of mumbles as people scramble for something to say. More often than not, there'll be some awkward silence, and this day was not too different. Luckily, we smoothed over it quickly, helped by the presence of my supervisor with us, and while leaving I made a mental note never to use that greeting again!

Anyway, before I forget to do it, I wanted to talk about a wonderful restaurant that I stumbled across in Nashville. Epice is a Lebanese bistro located in the city. Originally, I had planned to go elsewhere with two of my closest friends (the third being unfortunately absorbed in law school stuff), but after looking at the menu, I decided that nothing quite appealed to me. Epice was suggested as an alternate location, and the menu sounded interesting enough that I decided to check it out. I haven't had Lebanese food in YEARS... and have been craving it almost everyday since I left Epice.

The ambience is nice enough, although I wish I could say more about it. Honestly, I was more absorbed in the food and the company I was with. I liked the service at Epice, in that it was tailored to what I needed that evening, and I'll explain what I mean by this. Occasionally, one goes out and is in a mood to socialise with anyone and everyone, including the staff at the restaurant. That evening however, I was rather tired, and not especially chatty, and I really appreciated that our waitress seemed to pick up on this. She gave me suggestions, answered my questions, but didn't hover longer than was necessary.

I ordered the Tawook, and it was absolutely AMAZING. The meat was flavourful and tender, the garlic paste on the side was great but not overpowering, and I absolutely loved what they did with the potatoes. The portion was an appropriate size, and I was hungry enough that I finished almost all of it. 

Doesn't it look amazing?!

One of my friends ordered the kafta, and I don't remember what the third got, but I'll post the pictures below nonetheless. 

Of course, being as tired as I was, I didn't pay much attention to what the prices were. You can imagine my surprise then, when I got the bill and thought I'd been severely undercharged. Nope, just great food at pretty affordable prices. I'd planned (and budgeted) for a fancy dinner that was going to be a tad bit expensive, so was quite delighted at having the fancy dinner but not having had to pay as much. Planning to visit Nashville sometime soon? Please visit Epice!!

Enjoyed this post? Don't forget to comment, follow this blog, like my page on Facebook at The Kenyan Nomad or reach out to me on twitter @roshwalia !

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