I should start off by saying huge thank you to everyone for your questions. It has been a wonderful experience. This is probably the longest blogpost I have ever done…but hey…you asked for it.
Also thank you to Angie who though didn’t ask a question, left a wonderful and encouraging message. Angie you have done this more than once and I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your words.
So without further ado…here they are:
Asking questions that only a non-blogger would ask Mich wanted to know
- What is the biggest impact, do you think, that blogging has had on your life?
- If you could do it all again, would you?
- Do you think that blogging (and bloggers) has generally had a positive effect on your life?
- What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallowâ€¦ (Monty Python joke there)
Given me a thick skin, introduced me to a world of people and views that I would probably never have come across.
Most certainly but I would make sure I had an exit plan. There have been a few times when I have wanted to quit this blog and I have never known how.
Yes. There have been some negative aspects but these are outweighed by the positive. If at any time I felt that bad times exceeded the good; I would quit.
African or European?
On a more serious note the answer is said to be 11 meters per second, or 24 miles an hour.
Bernie wanted to know:
- Why is your blog called â€œMama Junkyardâ€™sâ€? and what does that mean?
- If someone were visiting England for the first time, what would you recommend they see or do to get the best impression of life there?
- Is the glass half empty or half full?
My blog had been in existence for a while before I decided to name it. I blogged about the history of the name but there is one thing I forgot to mention.
In Kenya, when the word Mama is used as prefix it usually means, Mother of where the word after is the name of the child e.g. my mother would be Mama Kui.
Other times it can be used to refer to a woman who works in a particular trade, e.g. a woman who sells vegetables can be called Mama Mboga (mboga is Kiswahili for vegetables)
In some instances it can be used to refer to a woman who owns something e.g. a woman who owns cows would be Mama Ngombe. It is with this particular example in mind that I opted to use the once hated nickname as a blog title.
My blog is really where I come to share all the junk that is in my mind: Mama JunkYardâ€™s sums that upâ€¦I hopeâ€¦.
I decided to ask the true Brit in our household, Mich. His response was, â€œTell Bernie to go down the pubâ€?. Initially I dismissed this but he does have a point.
To get a real feel of a place it is always better to observe and talk to the people who live there. I canâ€™t think of a better place to meet, locals than to spend time in an English pub.
Visit as many as you can, be they middle class pubs, countryside pubs. Just go on one big nationwide pub crawl. Though some pubs I would avoid, especially those that have more than one Union Jack adorning the walls.
Today it feels half empty.
The next three were posed by Brutha Code.
- How does the perception of interracial relationships in England differ from those in the States?
- How do African American men differ from Kenyan men in the way they approach or express interest in a woman?
- Whatâ€™s the biggest life lesson you learned while in Belize?
A while back I read about Brown Universityâ€™s Michael Jacksonâ€™s Wall of Shame. It was a list of â€˜shamefulâ€™ men who dated outside their race. Soon after I read that the UK has one of the fastest growing mixed-race populations in the world.
Add to the fact that the US has had anti- miscegenation laws I wrongly concluded that the UK was more accepting of interracial relationships.
Now I realise that both countries have similar attitudes â€“ it is still considered a taboo by many. The only difference is in how this disapproval is expressed. The English with their stiff upper lips settle for the odd glance, the occasional snide remark some even ignore your partner completely. If you donâ€™t look for the signs, you would think that people are ok with it. In the States, people are a lot more vocal about their likes and dislikes.
The following is based solely on my interaction with both Kenyan and African American men:-
Both men are usually very forward in their approach but their language/choice of words will differ. African American men can be very blunt and explicit. Kenyan men, perhaps owing to the view that in our culture sex is considered a taboo subject, are more likely to settle for polite chat up lines.
The following are examples of chat up lines that I have been â€˜subjectedâ€™ to:
â€œAre you sexually active babyâ€? â€“ random African American
â€œSo, where is your boyfriendâ€? â€“ random Kenyan
Both take rejection badly.
Whoa! This is tough! Iâ€™ll give it a try.
We as black people know very little about ourselves. Sure, we may know about the black people who share our national identity but as a group, we still have a lot to learn about each other. As an African I always imagined that the blacks in the Caribbean region were all the same. It was a real shock to meet two very different groups of black people both with their own language and culture in one Caribbean/Central American nation.
I certainly left Belize not just wanting to learn a whole lot more about our people, but I also realise how much more united we would be if we knew more about each other.
- If you were to be stuck in a movie for a year, what movie would it be?
- What is your favourite song of all time or (if this changes from time to time) what is your current favourite and why?
- Do you think that the world is like in The Matrix – i.e. not all real but a grand computer simulation?
Girl I am so tempted to say The Wizard of Oz. If I get tired/bored and decide I want to go home, I just click my shoes and repeat â€œthereâ€™s no place like homeâ€?.
If there was no way out at all, then I would love to be stuck in the Lion King. Living with Timon and Pumbaa, singing Hakuna Matata sounds like heaven. Not sure about eating bugs though.
Memoire, I have tried to narrow it down to one but I canâ€™t so I shall list three.
Walking in Memphis (Marc Cohn) the words, his voice, everything about this song just moves me.
The Retreat Song (Miriam Makeba), my aunt used to sing this song to me as a child and I performed this song three years in a row while at University so it really is a big part of my life.
Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein (Lata Mangeshkar, Mukeshâ€“ from the movie Kabhie Kabhi) another song from my childhood, always reminds me of my grandmother.
Ah..so thatâ€™s what the Matrix was about? Sci-Fi stuff is lost on me. If this world was a computer simulation I wouldnâ€™t even notice.
Akiey stopped by and left these three:
- What is the best gift you ever received?
- If you could have any 2 people (celebrities) play you in a movie about you. Who would they be & why?
- If you could have dinner with anyone famous, dead or alive, who would they be & why?
Without a doubt, it has to be my engagement ring, not just because it looks good but because of it represents.
Whoppi Golderberg â€“ not only has she got amazing dreadlocks but I think she is a fantastic actress.
Edward Norton â€“ I would like to see my life played out by a white man â€“ no idea why â€“ plus I think he is cute.
Can I make it a dinner party? I would invite Winnie Mandela, Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman and Bob Marley. The waiting staff would be made up of the entire Arsenal squad and Marc Bolan.
These areCilia’s questions:
- What is your biggest fear?
- What do you have so much passion/commitment for in your life?
- Do you have tales from the dating pond? (trust the influence am getting from some funny book am reading right now.)
As vain as this sounds â€“ losing my dreads.
I am one of those people who is either 100% passionate about and committed to something or I just donâ€™t give a damn. No in between but if I could list a few it would be God, Family, Arsenal, Coffee, anything to do with both Race and Sexuality.
Did you mean like stories about ex-boyfriends, bad dates? I am not the kiss and tell type but I would say this â€“ if you current date refuses to meet your family â€“ dump him/her. If your current date dislikes your family â€“ dump him/her. If your family dislikes your current date â€“ dump him/her.
What funny book are you reading?
Another blogless soul, Jaqua wanted to find out:
- What is the strangest place you have ever had an orgasm?
- When you come to the states what are some of the differences you notice when coming from abroad?
- If you could smell like something for the rest of your life what would it be?
Considering the fact that I do not blog using a pseudonym, I am a member of a profession that doesnâ€™t approve of indecent acts, my seven year old cousin reads this blog â€“ I can definitely say that my reality can not support the consequences if I opted to answer this question.
I am sure people the states hear this all the time but everything over there is just so much bigger! The cars, the roads, the buildings, the people â€“ everything!
A cross between D & Gâ€™s Light Blue and freshly baked cinnamon rolls.
The sometimes cousin/sometimes husband always dunce Nick asked
- How many enemies do u have?
- What kind of relationship do you have with God/Jesus?
- Which TV character(besides Bree) best describes you and how?
I really donâ€™t knowâ€¦..
Generally an honest and loving relationship though I have a tendency to stray.
Why did you have to go there with that Bree thing? I can only think of a TV character that I have wanted to be like. Remember Living Singleâ€™s Max played by Erika Alexander? I so wanted to be her. Come to think of it…I am not doing to bad, I’ve got the dreads, the law degree….
No longer pink but still pretty, Ms K chose the following:
- Innie or outie?
- Three things you want to do in the coming year?
- Person you admire the most.
Is this in reference to belly buttons? If it is, I just have to say that belly buttons are the ugliest part of the human body. The less I see of them â€“ the better so it has to be an innie.
In this order: Get another tattoo, spend some time in Kenya and return to Belize.
My youngest sister Mimu, she is one strong, beautiful, intelligent young woman.
HumanityCritic is responsible for these three:
- What is the first Hip Hop record you heard?
- When was the first time you got in a fight?
- What is your biggest regret?
I am trying so hard to remember but for some strange reason all I keep hearing is Lady of Rage â€“ Afro Puffs
LMAO! Me fighting? The only act of violence I can took place a long time ago. I was about 13/14 and my aunt had given up her apartment so that I could have a Christmas party. The only condition was that no alcohol was allowed. Ha! Of course teenagers never follow rules. Quite a few of my friends turned up to the party already drunk.
One friend began throwing up over my auntâ€™s carpet. That was one step too far for me I tried everything to get her to sober up but nothing seemed to work. So I slapped her.
My aunt arrived before the party ended. I canâ€™t describe the look on her face when she stepped into her bathroom and saw another friend, face down in the toilet bowl.
As an aside: I have a low tolerance for people who get drunk and start behaving stupidly. If you are the type who after a few drinks decides to strip/grope others/cry/pick fightsâ€¦please either stay sober in my company or keep away from me.
Giving up piano lessons. The lessons were after school and clashed with that dull but terribly addictive Australian soap â€“ Neighbours. It was uncool to turn up at school without an opinion on whether Phoebe should end up with Josh or Todd.
Nick clearly not content with being linked once:
- wait a minute is this ur idea of getting inspiration for ur next blogs. isnt it cheating???
Hmm..something about you coming back to my blog had me thinking of Tracy Chapman’s Talking ‘Bout a Revolution. You know that line that goes “finally the tables are starting to turn”. Any idea why?
Only one from Ms Guessaurus
- Seeing (or sensing) how African(Kenyan) oriented your parents are, which is the most challenging aspect of your relationship with Mich have you encountered?
G, I was not offended by your question, just confuddled. Wasnâ€™t sure if you meant whether my parents had an issue with Mich being white or whether it was difficult to reconcile my pro-black upbringing with my dating a white man.
In the case of the latter, the challenges we faced were less to do with race but more to do with the North/South divide. Mich is a Yorkshire man/Northerner born and bred. I was raised a Londoner/Southerner. In the early days communication was such a problem. E.g. I asked Mich to come round for tea, which to me meant just that, a cup of tea. I had no idea that up North tea is an evening meal. I was shocked when he asked me what I was planning to cookâ€¦
As for my parents â€“ his race was never a problem. Mich is a wonderful person it is hard not to like him.
Geek-Chic Mshairi asked:
- What is code 47
- What is the perfect way to roast a chicken?
- Is a warp drive possible?
In relation to what?
Ask a telephone operator and they will tell it is the country code for Norway.
Knowing you to be a geek, I am guessing this is a Star Trek reference? I could google it but I suspect you would take far greater pleasure in laughing at me for not knowing the answer and who am I to spoil your fun?
In the unlikely event that one desires to eat such a common bird oneâ€™s servants would be responsible for itâ€™s cooking.
Questions below left byCiru no blog:
- What do you reach for first thing in the morning? (keep it clean)
- If I cut off your locs would you really file assault charges?
- Is dating a white dude better, worse or just different?
Cigarettes and laptop
Why bother filing charges against a corpse.
I canâ€™t speak for all white men, but Mich is by far the best man I have ever dated…that is why I am marrying him.
Butterfly loving Kipepeo asked:
- would you rather be deaf or blind if you had to be one of the two?
- how would you describe what chocolate tastes like to someone who has never ever tasted it?
- what is the greatest emotion in the world?
Hmmâ€¦I think I would rather keep my ability to hear.
I wouldnâ€™t, the less people eating chocolate the more there is for me.
Thanks to smart and sexy Larry for these three:
- Do you believe in a literal heaven or hell?
- Are you fulfilled in your professional life?
- On a scale of 1-10 how happy are you with your life?
Bearing in mind that I consider myself a Christian is it wrong to say I have never really thought about this and I donâ€™t care?
No. I feel a lot better than I did a year ago. Now I know exactly where I want to be and how to get there. The only problem is that there is something standing in my way.
Hmmâ€¦I was tempted to say 2 but knowing that it canâ€™t get any worse than this leads me to say 7.
Clearly a woman with a lot to say Ciru ‘get-your-own-blog’ returned to find out:
- Should homosexuality be legalised in Kenya giving all â€˜queersâ€™ rights to marriage, inheritance, adoption etc, and why/why not?
- What makes you special, in your opinion?
- Is it ok withold some truth from (or lie by omission to) a loved one to preserve your own self interest?
The law should ensure homosexuals and heterosexuals are entitled to the same rights. Why? Discrimination is wrong. Homophobia is wrong. To me it really as simple as that.
Girl, you are funnyâ€¦I donâ€™t think I am special, be that in a positive or negative way.
It is never ok but sometimes it is necessary.
Wg-k my newly found twin asks:
- In what situation would you most enjoy being invisible?
- What is the silliest thing you own?
- What is the most annoying habit your mate has? And how do you most annoy him?
- When were you most disappointed by a friend?
Arsenal changing rooms.
A bright purple cardboard hat
Mich is forever tidying up. Anything left lying around ends up in the bin.
My insomnia annoys Mich. That and having friends who text at odd hours.
Either I have very wonderful friends or I have a bad memory â€“ nothing comes to mind.
This is what the comeback kid, KymmBr wanted to know:
- whatâ€™s your ideal first date? (Describe it)
- on top or below?
- when was that moment that you were really angry and how did you behave?
My ideal date, be it first or 100 has more to do with the person than the setting location. All I would ask is for a person who can actually hold a conversation. I am not that fussed about candlelight, flowers and the rest.
In whatever context being on top is always better.
I was angry today and like every other time I get angry I swore, cried, raised my voice and smoked.
Guess came back for more:
- As a fellow non-driver, cant tell right from left, get discriminated against by fellow Kenyans re: differences, how do you handle it and how do you make sure that they donâ€™t come back for more.
- I have my own version but what are the differences that we have between living in America and the UK – and what would you advise visitors to beware of before they do (Ok this sounds like the Aliens guide to the galaxy-but arent we both qualified?
In most cases I just tell the person straight up that I am not amused by their comments/behaviour.
I only truly lived in the states when I was a baby and have only returned for holidays.
I think if I lived in the States I would live in constant fear of serial killers, and would probably advise most people never to sleep in their basements â€“ most US movies have shown that people in basements die first.
As for anyone wanting to live in the UK, especially London, there is only one simple piece of advise â€“ never ever speak to fellow passengers on the Tube/Underground.