Traveling in some parts of Africa takes a lot of time and effort, so it makes sense to sign up w/ an overland truck that carts you around. (Which I did.) Unfortunately, I didn't get all that much interaction w/ local people/culture in most of the places we went. The result? I perceive my trip as a weird "Disney-ized" experience rather than the "real" Africa. (Whatever that means) On future trips, I'll probably stay in one place, study the language, etc....
That said, I had a great time. My high points were the amazing sights, encounters w/ wildlife, adventure activities, and interactions/friendships with other travelers. It'll be tough to go back to work, even though I eagerly anticipate watching my bank balance go up instead of down.
A few notes on coming back to SF:
- The flight attendant wouldn't let me get off the plane, even though the door was open and nobody was going through it. She did this so that the 1st-class passengers could disembark first. I was offended and dreamed of a proletarian revolution.
- The men's room in the airport had paper towels. I couldn't help taking a few to go.
- The day after I got back, I went to CostCo, amodern-day cathedral of consumerism. This store is a shocking, vulgar display of American excess. I loved it. Bought giant bags of lettuce, carrots, and shredded cheese. Restrained myself from getting the 10 lb. package of Italian sausages.