Anywhere that's far enough away from home starts to feel pretty far away. Yesterday we had to drive to Kenya to pick up a relative who was having an immigration problem. There's basically one road from Arusha to Namanga, Tanzania which is the border town with Kenya.
That's Mount Meru in the picture, not Kilimanjaro, by the way. That's the view out of the room upstairs in the house here in Arusha.
Some relatives came into Nairobi via air and were taking a bus down to Arusha from there, but they ran into an immigration snag (more on that in another post) and we had to make an emergency run from Arusha to the Kenyan/Tanzanian border.
Along the way we had some car trouble and we ended up in the middle of nowhere. We were on the side of a two lane kind-of paved road for about 20-30 minutes and no other cars went by. It was a very interesting feeling, for me at least, because not only was I in a different country, but I was also, I felt, in the middle of this one, at least 100km from really anywhere. We didn't even see any Maasai or huts or anything. Would we need to sip water from the tips of plants to survive?
So, that got me thinking about what the "middle of nowhere" meant. I suppose if we drove OFF the road for 4-5 hours and then stopped, then maybe I'd be in the middle of nowhere. Still, we felt pretty isolated as we wondered if another car would go by, and if no one did go by, would we have to sleep in the bush. Because we'd left in a hurry we weren't exactly 100% prepared.
In the middle of my introspection and philosophizing, without another living thing as far as I could see in any direction up to the horizon, I checked my cell phone and I had 4 out of 5 bars for "Kencell."
Apparently I wasn't in the middle of nowhere.
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.