I really liked Somaliland, especially when I started to dive deeper into the culture like flirting with women in a full Burka and Veil, twice. They started it, I promise. In the present day, Somaliland resembles most Muslim countries; men have the latest beard fashion designs, women enjoy being covered head to toe in clothing in the middle of a semi desert, and they love foreigners that come in and wear shirts with pony tails. I know this for a fact since I dared to try this the first day I arrived.
Somalilanders love foreigners and tourists
And as far from what you see on the street, they love to have a good time. If you haven’t heard about the openness of Somali culture and how they smuggled me into Somaliland, you should read the story to really understand how the people of Somaliland are willing to help anyone, especially foreigners. While some people may think it’s because they are yearning to be accepted and recognized in the world, I would beg to differ, it’s just part of their culture.
I even received great hospitality from Somalilanders in Ethiopian city of Jijiga, the last major city before you arrive at the border.
Somaliland is viewed as a country that is dangerous and is also a strict Muslim society. As I dropped of my passport for my South Sudan Visa this morning, I couldn’t help but think that I travel to these countries to try and shed them of their bad image. Half of the people that live in Somaliland seem to be security personnel, everyone else seems to work for the government.
The infinite amount of security checkpoints is more of a feeling of safety if you ask me, it is very similar to the safety situation in Johannesburg. Not once was I asked for my passport or where I was going.
All Muslims should be like Somalilanders, while I haven’t been to many other Muslim countries to compare, the people of Somaliland love life. They are curious, gracious, very giving, and love to have fun. They won’t admit to that nor will they show it on the street so let’s keep that secret between you and I. I was asked countless times on the street where I am from which I promptly replied “Earth” due to my identity crisis.
I can’t remember the countless times I was approached by a local when we were randomly walking around the city looking for one of the dozens of government offices. We were asked where we going and then asked to be given a ride to our location. VIP service in Somaliland.
There is also a hidden culture that lies beneath the Burka’s, Veil’s and exquisite Somali Tea. There are parties that are held in house compounds and outside of city limits in the country, a bit like a bon fire party. We all know what makes a great party but Alcohol is illegal in Somaliland (**Cough**). I got to experience a little side of Somaliland life that most people don’t get to see and I’m grateful for it.
I can’t wait to return to Somaliland in 10 years when things are more developed. Should be fascinating.