Before I begin, I must share a little about myself. Since I suffer from “first-born child syndrome” it follows that I am responsible, logical, and a worrier. Like Flo, one of N’ku’s primary school friends in Berlin, said when asked what he remembered of me I had an authoritarian attitude towards everyone else. What can I say? C’est ne pas ma faux! I would have much rather not have to care about anyone else.
They also say we also have a people pleaser personality. Well I’ve rebelled against that one for quite a while now. It probably started in my early twenties when I realized the mantra I had always heard “Marry Nzema so that the rest (my sisters and much younger cousins) will also marry Nzema” was a bunch of bull. Now people call me selfish but I really think they mean to say that I am self-preserving. Why should I make myself miserable so others can be happy oblivious with the sacrifices I’ve made? Now in my 4th year anniversary of my 28th birthday, I have past the stage of shocking parents and parental figures with an unexpected defiance and I can actually recall each scenario in which I stood up for myself. “You used to be such a good girl” they each said. Please! I’m still a good girl, I’m just not going to let you walk all over me that’s all.
Traveling with siblings is what I want to talk about. Goodness where to begin? Maybe with the end. I think I shall pass next time. Yep! Especially if it is with all of them and/or includes other family as well. Why? Because by default, I’m not just one of the girls on vacation. No, I’m the leader, the contact person, the organizer, the time-keeper, the oldest one (though I don’t look it, tee hee).
I should have seen it coming when my sisters asked me to organize the trip. “You go on so many vacations so you know how to.” It should have been reinforced when I practically had to pull teeth to get input on where to live, what activities to do, undsoweiter, and I practically got none. Or when I had to be the one to tell our parents this was our plan when it wasn’t even my trip to begin with. Or when upon our departure, I was entrusted with “take care of my babies”. Um hello, again I’m not the one taking them anywhere and aren’t I one of your babies?
They say first born kids shelter their resentments until such a time that they blow up. Well I’m not going to blow up. I’m just going to write about it, hmmm!
When we first met up with the family friends in Germany they took us to purchase SIM cards. When they asked for a contact number N’ku offered mine meanwhile I hadn’t chosen a SIM out of the pile yet. What is that all about? If we were all to be together anyway, why not just offer yours. Or maybe,why can’t we all take their number in case we do get separated and need an emergency contact? After all, that is the adult thing to do But no, no foresight there.
Later on, M’sa’s credit runs out as we could not turn off data services on the iPhone she was using. You would think she would still carry the phone around as it’s free to receive calls. No instead, she is without means of contact. So then you would think she would make sure to stay close to one of us. But no, she wanders away from the group. How am I to show up with the others at our family friend’s place and shrug my shoulders when she asks where M’sa is? Seriously, I don’t need that kind of stress.I’m on vacation.
Another example: we had several early morning flights. If it is said the night before that the taxi will be at the door at 3 am why am I going around at 2:30 am waking people up. Am I also not on vacation? Who is my safety net am I not to hear my alarm?
But lets talk about why my dear sisters cannot wake up in the morning…even at 10am. Into the wee hours of the night, each night, they are MagicJacking their significant others and friends, watching TV shows online they could probably watch when they get back, and just playing computer games. No sisterly bonding happening here. Oh no. Then when I wake them up to begin the day at 10 am or so I’m some kind of slave driver. Were I to be alone, I would have seen more, done more, walked more, immersed myself more in the culture around me. But I’m not upset about that as I didn’t plan this trip to be a go-go-go, see-see-see one. Nope, I know my sisters well enough to know they can’t all handle that kind of schedule. I just didn’t forsee the MagicJack in my life. That stupid MagicJack. I seriously should have thrown that thing out the window.
At the conclusion of this trip, I see no reason why I should not continue to travel solo. At least then there’s only one of us potentially acting pissy.