Importing ants in a backpack


The magnificent trip to Africa was ruthlessly coming to an end. The worst part was yet to come – four flights in a row, two all-nighters, two heavy backpacks, hassling in the checkpoints and last but not least – the temperature decreasing with every flight.
We were freezing to death already in Dubai where the temperature was 20 degrees Celsius, not to mention the overwhelming sleepiness which got me on the carpet of the airport.

We seeked redemption in endless drinks on Emirates. Dizzy from Bailey’s and cold from the toes, we found ourselves in London in the morning. The sterility was shocking. Tidy people and actual streets.
On a train from Gatwick to the city centre, I opened my backpack and… Good-bye, sterility! Hello again, Africa!
The bag was filled with little ants, walking all over my things. Import-ants. Living goods straight from the wild heart of Africa. Now available in the fashion and finance capital of Europe.
Oh well, I closed my bag again lightly startled, for what one cannot witness, does not exist.

A dreadlock in my hair, a drum under my arm, Berit in her slip-ons, tanned under the sun of Africa, we entered a fancy lingerie shop office on Oxford street, to meet a friend. From one extremity to the other, no kidding. If only those office girls would have known what kind of men I had scrabbling in my bag… I could already imagine chicks in stilettos jumping on chairs, hands with fake nails up high.

Before getting on our next flight, I made an ultimatum for the ants – a life on the grass in front of Standsted airport or death on a flight to freezing Estonia. The guys made a smart choice and picked the first one.

The first week in Estonia was devastating to our brain working on hakuna matata mode and body used to the 35-degree heat.
I remember sitting in a lecture on financial management and couldn’t get it – they are talking about divident policy and capital structure when there are lions outside and a herd of cows must be taken home from the savanna by evening. I remember a question arising with every minute that why people choose to live in this poor cold weather.

Until now, I can see pictures of the sunset in Zanzibar when I close my eyes, a wild geyser, the ancient rainforests, a stunning waterfall, the romantic savanna, lizards, cockroaches, elephants, giraffes.
This seems like an amazing dream, yet so real, so full of life in its absolute glory.

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