A Kenyan in love with Florida and the Hurricanes: Literally
A Kenyan in love with Florida and the Hurricanes: Literally: Some people love but they lay down certain requirements for the relationship. Whether it is the love for a car, a dog, a cat, a house, place or thing, love is an essential part of being human. We cannot avoid love. Take for example the love of a woman who has to constantly deal with an abusive husband. Or a husband who has to deal with constant nagging by a wife. They decide that the benefit of the love is greater than the nagging or a night or two of pain. Women who have to deal with alcoholic husbands always amaze me. It has to take an incredible lover to decide to stay, and many hung on!
I mention alcoholics because I know several friends who are alcoholics. They are the most sober and wonderful men I know when they are in control of their mental functions. But when they enter into mental absurdity and cannot tell the difference between a door and a window, they are the most obnoxious human beings! The Kenyan ones are the most entertaining: Those who cannot stand straight and wonder what is wrong with their legs? They are entertaining, but sad.
It is the same also for us who love the State of Florida: The Sunshine State. I have driven to the Key West many times. Sometimes I just decided that a Sunday afternoon was not for a nap but for exploration. Gassed up and headed down 3 hours South on I – 95. Drove through Miami and all the Keys to the edge of Florida. It is a beautiful drive for those like me who love a good drive. There, you will find great restaurants that serve the best fish on God’s good earth. One restaurant served me great-marinated trout with baked apples, baked potato and a glass of purple corn drink. I mean purple corn drink! It is amazing what people create from God’s great providence. All up and down the Keys are great shops and beautiful beaches. Even during winter the Keys can record 80 degrees water!
Therefore, whether it is my neighborhood of Merritt Island, Titusville or Cape Canaveral, Florida is a beautiful place to live. There is nothing like sitting a few yards from the Atlantic Ocean with a couple of retired northerners and some local bikers outside the Dunkin Donuts shop in Cocoa beach in the evening till midnight experiencing the breeze! Usually a bunch of guys talking about nothing. The West Coast of Florida with St Pete and Clearwater are places where anyone who loves the warm weather should visit. Kennedy Space Center, Universal Studios, Water world and Walt Disney World call in millions of people a year. Visit Florida estimates 111.8 million domestic visitors traveled to Florida in 2018, plus an estimated 10.8 million overseas visitors and 3.5 million Canadians.
It is therefore sad that, like a lover with many issues, Floridians have to pack their bags once in a while and leave home. We head mainly north stopping at waffle houses for their 24-hour service. My favorite is a Texas Cheese steak with onions and grilled tomatoes. Their coffee stinks: I prefer Dunkin Donuts.
Other Floridians decide to face the storms, while others cannot just pack up and go.
One thing for sure is that even those of us immigrants from Kinare Forest, after packing up and heading north to safer grounds cannot wait for the storm Dorian to pass. We will then get into our vehicles and head south again to our homes away from home and get greeted again by the sign, “Welcome to Florida: The Sunshine State.” We will enter the State with smiles on our faces for even though our ‘lover’ sits on the path of hurricanes, she remains better than winter storms and shoveling snow!
And this love affair will continue like it has for many who call Florida home generation after generation until God, the Creator through Christ of this beautiful earth stops time!
Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD)
Diaspora Messenger Senior Columnist