My body was anticipating the return.

There were classes I had missed, and assignments I had come close to neglecting. On a different day, perhaps of a different colour and weather, I would have acted responsibly.

But such days only came infrequently.

I was aware of the brief stop, it happened on my way to Addis Ababa, and I assumed it would happen on the way back. I never really paid much attention to all those times my Mom would say, “don’t go anywhere yet! it’s not our turn”. Well, the plane landed, Mom, and people are going out. Is this not the end of the game?

Sot it was around 3 am, for I had found my seat at 1:30, in preparation for take-off. Needless to say all passengers shared the collective sentiment of “no tea no coffee no nothing let’s just sleep”. Air hostesses, in all their politeness, could not suppress their restlessness. It must have been an exceptionally long day.

The plane began its mission and soon enough we all fell asleep. What felt like minutes later, the pilot announced that we were landing. I woke up shocked, “are we crashing?”. There was no way we had arrived in Nairobi after 30 minutes in the sky!

“Oh”, I remembered, “This is where we stop in Djibouti.” My own words disappointed me; nothing climatic about my delayed epiphany.

And to this day, my dreams and fantasies of visiting Djibouti and witnessing its vivid and cultural landscape have been flushed down by my realization that I’ve once belonged to its national borders, but were too tired to make the most of it.