So this morning I got an email from Henry (actually I got two) which said “you are going to climb Kilimanjaro” I cannot possibly imagine a time when I could tire of hearing that phrase. Maybe when I’m half way up I will pitch a fit, and reel off the world’s longest list of expletives when I even think about it, but for now, it is all gravy, rock and roll.
But now I have more decisions to make. I think too that I’m realising that I don’t like making decisions. I think that is my Dad coming out in me – someone tell me who is related to me – is that true? Am I in fact turning into my Dad? Oh, and if that IS what happens to you when you get older, and if my son is reading this, then DAN – be VERY afraid:).
OK, so here are my extra decisions to make. Oh, and the point about decisions here is like this: You know when you go into a restaurant, and you order your meal, and then you order something to drink, some wine perhaps? Then the waiter asks you if you would like some water – you look back at him, unsure, but sort of mumble “erm, yes”. Then he asks that (for me) awful question – “still or sparkling sir?”. I think I must often look back at waiters with a totally gormless look on my face at this point, because I NEVER know the answer. Maybe it is just me. Maybe everyone on the planet apart from me has a distinct preference for either still or sparkling water – but for me I just don’t know! I usually look hopefully to whoever I am with at the time with a sort of “help” expression on my face, which actually never ever works, but I always do it anyway. I am hopeless.
Oh, and I also worry a lot. Did you know that about me already? I am one of those people who worries about pretty much most things, other people’s feelings especially, but also getting things wrong, making mistakes, having regrets afterwards etc. I’m not sure it has ever really done me any good, in fact probably the reverse, but I am what I am I suppose.
So I’ll get to the point. The first email from Henry said “which hotel do you wish to stay in?” Just like I have spent so much time worrying about which route to take (and I am SO not convinced that having decided upon the Rongai route that it is the right one, in fact ALL of the others are probably dramatically better), I now have to decide which hotel to stay in. Maybe the ‘still or sparkling’ analogy earlier is apt here – does it matter which hotel I am staying in? After all, I will be in there for one night before and one night afterwards. I am after all going to smell like a drain, if I am lucky.
Now don’t get me wrong, no blame on Henry’s part for the hotel bit. In fact the reverse. I love the information. I have looked on Tripadvisor, read his book (advice there on thirty or more hotels). Looked at twenty more websites, and googled till my fingers don’t work anymore. Part of the trouble also is, that if you look at most of the hotels in Tanzania, they are scary as hell – they really do not look pretty at all. And also, I want to make sure that firstly I don’t get bitten by forty three billion mosquitos the night that I get there (mosquitos like me, believe me), and also that I don’t get robbed, murdered, or worse when I get there.Sorry Moshi and Arusha folks if you are reading this, I am sure there is no crime in Africa at all, really.
So should I go for the the L’Oasis, the Jacaranda, the Muranga, the Hakuna Matata, or the Dead Englishman Hotel? Thankfully I made the last one up, or did I?
Next, I look at various search engines for flights. I have been very wisely (but causing me more worry) advised that “sometimes luggage goes missing en route.” There are of course no direct flights there. I once took a bunch of flights to and from Reno in Nevada from the UK, and lost basically everything that I owned for three months, although it did all eventually get returned to me. If my stuff does not get to Kilimanjaro International Airport via Dar Es Salaam, Nairobi, or wherever I fly in from, then my trip is not going to be a happy one. It also appears that cannot fly in there in one (sensible) day. I can fly Kenya Airlines and go over night, spend the day in Nairobi airport, and get to Kili late at night, or I can get a flight via KLM, which takes me from London City at 7am via Amsterdam, and gets me into Kili really late the same day. Surely they will lose my luggage? Then there is Precision Air, or BA, who also go to Nairobi. Then I could fly Qatar Air, via Doha and Zanzibar (sounds exciting, wasn’t Freddy Mercury born there?)
I will, I am sure, make some decisions tomorrow. I just don’t know if if I prefer sparkling or still?