So I’m back in my European paradise. Adjusting is taking longer than I thought it would. The best way I can describe it is like moving from one planet to another. I am really feeling the cold: stepping off the aeroplane in England was like stepping into a fridge! And I’m still wondering where the hell the sun has gone?
Immediately after I’d left I heard the news that a student had been shot at the University of Khartoum during a protest about the government’s lack of action in Darfur. This really hit home as I realized it could have easily been one of the students I had got to know and love. In a way it also made me feel how unfair it is that I could just take my fill of the developing world and then leave, whereas others are stuck there permanently.
Everything here felt like a novelty again, from a hot shower and drinkable tap water to a good mattress, pavements and orderly roads. Opening my wardrobe, I saw that I already had a huge volume of nice clothes and was still previously addicted to buying more.
While living in Khartoum I was irritated that everyone had automatically thought I was rich, but now I see that they are right. As a whole, we are rich. We benefit from fantastic infrastructure, technological innovation, amazing healthcare and benefits and an overall excellent quality of life. Look around and everyone is driving a nice car; nothing is broken or falling apart and the streets are spotless.
Today I heard Phil Collins’ Another Day In Paradise on the radio and think I finally understood the meaning of this song.