Wednesday, 8 July 2009

The "Others"

I spent a few days staying with Adriana in Camden Town, North London. I’ve known her for ages; she’s one of my closest friends and a real-life angel on earth. Yeah, I didn’t know they existed either, until I met her. She currently rents a room in a huge house that belongs to her congregation…the Luther-Tyndale Memorial Church.

The church is incidentally and conveniently located right down the road from the house. I slept on the most comfortable mattress I’ve ever slept on, EVER, strategically placed on the floor of her bedroom; on loan from one of her flat-mates. I met Adriana’s delightful flat-mates the same day I arrived. Among them were 3 Australians, 1 American, 1 Danish and a middle-aged American couple that were bunking in the lounge in the midst of their British holiday.

That evening, all the flat mates sans American couple were bonding over pancakes and Nutella – Adriana’s specialty – and it wasn’t long before we were all chatting like we’ve known each other for years. I think they found me particularly amusing, with my special imported brand of crazy and they were all quite charming and delightful too.

The next day Caitlyn, the American, asked if she could join Adriana and me-self on one of our expeditions to Covent Garden. And so off we went, thre stooges/musketeers walking around eyeing the infinite number of shimmering trinkets and different pieces of art and make-shift gadgets on display before we made our way to one of my favourite joints, Café Nero.
Sipping on hot chocolate and latte’s, we soon got chatting about all things South African and American and other stuff in between, including religion.

Caitlyn happens to be the Deaconess at the church…which, if I understand correctly, is one step below being a Pastor. She deals extensively with the community and any issues that individuals may have…in simple terms, she’s like a Counsellor. I was quite surprised at how little she knew about South Africa and Islam in general but encouraged her to ask any questions (we all live and learn) and proceeded to educate her on the basics. We talked at length about everything and anything, often excluding Adriana who seemed to be miles away on her BlackBerry. We compared notes on the differences and the similarities and I think she was quite stunned at the fact that we were more the same then we were different.

In a lame analogy, we’re all (& I mean Human-kind in general) kinda like these Potato Chips:


South Africa

Same packaging. Same flavouring. Different name. Opposite colours. But essentially, more the same than different. We only create the notion of "other-ness" in our minds by remaining ignorant.

Adriana had to work the next day, but Caitlyn re-arranged her work schedule and spent a lot of time with me in the few days before my departure. I think we shared more in those three days, than most people do in their entire lives.

I’d like to send a HUGE Thank You to the Luther-Tyndale Memorial Church for accomodating a Muslim in their household (for FREE) and allowing this Muslim to practice openly, whilst respecting and adhering to my Islamic needs (and not trying to convert me :D). Lovely people they are.

Thank You to all the lovely people I came into contact with…I’m sure your presence in my life, however brief, has enhanced it somehow.

Thank You to Dublin University for providing us with stellar accomodation during our stay in Ireland.

A thank you to that very nice (and gorgeous) Italian gentleman who carried all my luggage up and down all those stairs at the Tube Station on my way to Heathrow.

Thank You to the Airport staff at British Airways for not weighing my hand luggage.

Thank You to Kelly Osbourn, for making my 4 hour wait at the airport an entertaining one.

Thank You London, for another memorable experience.


  1. I loved this post:) We missed you. And your trip sounds so cool - I cant wait to meet up with you in real life to discuss it:)

  2. Aaaw Thanks Dew! Yeah my trip was great...I'll give you all the details when we meet InshaAllah ameen.

  3. yes, we should exchange london tales. you know, those lays confused me when i just got to london! WTF?!

  4. I enjoyed seeing London through your eyes and can't wait for the next report from the next trip.