Diary

Nyumbani

Nyumbani*

Swahili translation of home. 

Definitionen of home
Adjektiv
of or relating to the place where one lives.

Adverb
to or at the place where one lives.

Substantiv
the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family, household or community

Verb
(of an animal) return by instinct to its territory after leaving it.
(I personally like this the most)

So here I am. 

How time flies. Don’t ask me what I was doing. It seems like days have just six hours. During these 6 hours in the last 6 weeks I have been trying to acclimatize here. At home. 

And for the ones who missed it, I am back in Dar es Salaam. 

I might catch up one day on why I didn’t stay in Zanzibar. Maybe. 

I knew before coming that people (and probably myself a bit) won’t consider Tansania as home for me, immediately. I was prepared to be asked where I was from. That doesn’t disturb me much. Or let’s say it doesn’t hurt. For the ones who know what I mean. Obviously I don’t speak Swahili without an accent and don’t forget – 20years in a different country (which I also consider home) did have an impact on me. And still. I came back home. 

Next most recent asked question is: Why?
So why exactly did I come „back home“?
I have so many different answers to that that I won’t even try to list them. But I will share my favorite though. Because of the mangos and chapatis of course. No seriously. I could try to explain myself to others with answers like: My body wanted to get back to its soul. But how exactly would I have explained that?
Especially in times of migration and people always seeking to be at another place than their current place of residence. I mean, the representation of the global north has always been a difficult one in terms of glorifying European culture. Don’t get me wrong; there are some real benefits to certain countries, if you leave out the racism, discrimination, and other oppressions black people and people of color face in this glorified counties. 

But this should not be my topic today. And please for whoever reads this and wants to comment on this post with: “but there is also racism in non-white countries”. Just let it be. Thanks in advance. 

So after not explaining myself anymore why I’m back home, I am actually trying to find myself a home (Substantive). 

I want to take you a bit through the journey how this worked out for me. 

So my original plan was to find a flat share with other like-minded people. Or eventually home comers. Having a certain budget in mind I started looking for potential places. Unfortunately I didn’t really find a platform like WG-Gesucht or similar. So the only option left was to ask the few people I know around Dar es Salaam. So here starts my challenge.
Home comers are expected to already have a house somewhere they have been building over the years abroad. Well not in my case. I was busy, spending my money on other things. My mom has a place, but that is her home.
If you don’t have your own place, move in with your family. That was my buffer solution until I should find my own place. I moved into my cousin’s place, who was so generous to share her everything with me. 

So now, I only need to actually find an own apartment in Dar es Salaam. No problem. 

You think so. Home comers are supposed to live in certain areas. Really. This sounds so absurd, and plays into the picture of classification so badly. Not to mention coming home from where. 

So I decided, no I don’t want to be part of this class-configuration. I am going to look in extremely normal places and most importantly, those I can afford. So here we go again.
I looked at around 15-20 different apartments in places I considered to be cool, close to town and transport and not too gentrified. 

I will squeeze in a little side story. So I did have difficulties even liking one of the apartments I saw. I will not go into details of how they were structured but more about decoding myself on how my standard of living is defined. 

Back (at my other) home in my apartment (which I truly miss at this point). I would have described it as a simple 2 bedroom apartment with a shared toilet and bathroom, built in the 50s in Germany. Super Bonus it had a rooftop.
Not to mention that this city has an almost eight times bigger population in comparison to Frankfurt (5.465.400 (2016) compared to 732,688 (2015)), and is listed as the ninth-fastest-growing city in the world. 

What I basically wanted to say is that this house hunting was again a lesson on deconstructing myself on different imagination I had as a black, in diaspora grown, home comer. Thinking that I will get exactly the same things I have been wanting as standard at a place which is not at all comparable in any kind or number. If I tried to I would always fail. Badly. But for the beginning I guess it is completely normal as a human being to long for the things you are familiar with. All I have to do now is get used to new things. Or maybe expand my horizon and shift my standards a bit. 

Here again, for the ones that read this and think all non-white houses can’t really have a standard, please expand your horizon on tropical climate conditions, typified by hot and humid weather. I hear people over there struggled with 4 weeks of actual summer. 

So fast forward. After going through 4 different brokers actually got along with one pretty well. And only after 4 houses I walked into my new home. I can only describe the feeling of my soul which literally screamed I am staying here. No matter what. As expected, it was over my actual budget, not to forget that you have to pay 6 months in advance plus the broker. I just closed my eyes, reflected about it with my mom and just chose to take the jump. At least if I won’t be able to buy myself food in the next 2-3 months I will have a home. Most probably with no furniture in it. So if you want to come and visit me, make sure you bring a lilo. 

Dear Ancestors, Energies and Goddesses, thank you for bringing me all this way, protecting me and leading me into my new house. Now please only give me the patience and tolerance to deal with the different craftsmen who have to do some quick refurbishments in the house.
This is a different story for a different day on deconstructing myself on topics of time, coordinating, paternalising and own spaces. 

What I wanted to catch up with you guys, my friends and family and all the secret stalkers and haters…

I am creating myself a new home. 

Welcome. Anytime. My true loyal friends have already booked their tickets. 

If you don’t want to miss anything, make sure you follow my Instagram stories, which I am too lazy to update daily. But more often than here. 

 

be easy.

take your time.

you are coming.

home.

to yourself. 

-the becoming ; wing

nayyirah waheed

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