This is part 2 of Njeri’s 2 cents to the next group of soon to be Afropolitans. Please make sure you check out yesterday’s post for part 1. Be blessed, Mwangi.
4. Do what you came here to do… There is alot to see and alot to do but dont get sidetracked. Come, get a driving license, get an ID, get into school, get a job, get a car, get your own place to stay, start saving and then you can party all you like. Do not spend money on partying. I cannot justify spending money on partying and i have been out here almost two and a half years! Dont do it, its really not that serious. People will take advantage of you if you spend money on them in the club and when your broke they wont remember that you spent money on them at all. This place can be very cruel and lonely. If you keep your eye on the goal and you stay focused it will pay off in the end… but you dont want to see the bad side so stick to what your plan was and you wont ever have to. Im not saying dont go…just dont go and pay for it. Alot of people fail out here and misery loves company, dont fall for any of it. I have spent a good part of my two years out here having fun and i really don’t have much to show for it apart from the occasional really bad hangover, but it could have been worse. I have a friend who calls the states ‘ a concrete jungle’ i believe thats from a Bob Marley song but its true. You could go out and your drink could be drugged by your ‘friends’, this has happened to me on more than one occasion so i urge you to be careful. You could go to the wrong places and get shot, i have been at a club where the actually pulled out guns and started shooting. You could hang out with the wrong crowd, get really drunk, and drive yourself home only to be stopped by the police… that means a DWI [driving while intoxicated] which is a misdemeanor that means for the next year you will be paying for lawyers legal fees and court fines, these usually add up to about 12,000 dollars and alot of time spent on running around trying to find the right lawyer and so on. Thats probably the most expensive drink you will ever have not to mention that it will be on your ‘record’ and whenever you apply for a job it will show up and make any employer think twice about hiring you. Its funny how very few people mention these things when you get here, People will casually ask you to drive and you will think nothing of it until your sitting behind bars with nobody to bail you out.
5. Do not keep to your own, seriously, make friends with people from where you are going. More often than not they end up saving you in some way or other. I have a few friends out here who have been there for me more than any Kenyan has. I can tell you from experience that your own people probably sold their souls a long long time ago when this country showed them its cruel side, and they really don’t mind watching you suffer. Its almost like monolisation, they want you to go through it…. its initiation into westernization and you don’t deserve it, so make a few friends… white friends preferably [and i swear that was not a racist slur] I have this friend who has supported me through everything, without her many of the questions i had would not have been answered. I am friendly however so its helped alot, I got my first job through a friend of a friend of a friend so as i said it all boils down to how many friends you have and how much they support you. I also have my ‘big bro’ and without him none of this would be possible at all. Be at peace with everyone you meet because you might meet the same people down the line and you might need them. Dont burn bridges and of course do not come thinking everybody is bad there are exceptions to the rule.
6. Don’t get into a relationship, don’t do long distance, don’t have casual encounters, don’t… Somehow all of that boils down to money or severe emotional distress, so give it some time…. Focus on your goal. I’m dead serious, Focus, because any kind of relationship takes time out of your busy schedule and money out of your pocket and if you dont have either that makes you miserable…so be miserable, find a few friends that you can hang out with once in a while and just be miserable…lol eventually when everything you have been working so hard for comes to fruition you will be happy you waited. Be prepared to be very lonely because its very different out here. Be prepared to be shunned, ignored, stepped on… they told me i would get culture shock, i didnt really, i had moral shock instead, i couldnt understand how people could be so immoral and how nobody held themselves accountable…i wondered for a long time how a society could be so ‘mannerless’ [thats for lack of a better word but i believe its apt] i mean this literally, i think talking right, using youre knife and fork, being courteous, saying please and thank you; these things were all left in the ‘dark ages’ or at least thats how it seems when you get out here. Its not like what you see on ‘TV’. What you see on ‘TV’ is actually, more often than not, considered ‘ghetto’. There are exceptions to the rule but most of it is ghetto.
7. Get online. There is an answer to everything online. Immigration issues, school issues, work issues, maps, banks, everything is here. I dont know how i would have survived in the states without GOOGLE. Im serious. Anything you don’t know you can google and if all else fails ask me Get online preferably before you get to the states and look up everything you need to know. If you are coming to the states ask your fellow bloggers questions. No question is too dumb and trust me alot of people dont want you to suffer like they have.