And while you might be on your own, the Masai warriors are not, as some volunteers from the British charity Greenforce have compiled a four page guide to serve as a basic "Do's and Don'ts of Britain" entitled, "Visiting England - A Cultural Briefing." It is apparently intended to prepare the warriors for anything they might encounter within the culture of London, including the disgruntled English office worker.
The guide begins by stating that there will be a lot of people everywhere they go and that these people will always seem to be "rushing around". Given that they are there for a marathon, that should come as no shock to them. But the guide is apparently referring to the everyday person, one who is not running a ridiculously long distance for a ridiculously long period of time (even when not being chased by a bear.).
It continues by warning the Masai that "hunting lions will seem simple when compared with dealing with the English." (Nice. Does the Chamber of Commerce know about these guys? How about the Tourism Board?) "Even though some may look like they have a frown on their face, they are very friendly people - many of them just work in offices, jobs they don't enjoy, and so they do not smile as much as they should." Well, doesn't that just paint a lovely picture of what life is like in London?! A bunch of miserable people, rushing around to get back to being miserable at their miserable jobs that they hate. I'm sure the Masai are just clammoring to leave their village more often after gleaning that cultural nugget there.
The guide also delves into the importance of not relying on their conventional methods for telling time and keeping track of time while they are in London. "You cannot rely on the sun to tell the time accurately and will have to rely on clocks and watches. The sun will rise and set at different times." (At different times than what? I've never been to Tanzania, but I'm fairly certain the sun rises and sets at different times there, too!)
The Masai are instructed to "not fall prey to their temptations to herd any sheep or cows" they might encounter. (Wow. London is extremely multi-faceted!) "You may see these animals in a field, seemingly left alone. It is important to remember that these animals are owned by someone and are being looked after." (I'd really like to know where they thought these guys were going to herd the sheep and/or cows to exactly.)
But what about race day? Oh, that's covered, too, even though some of the participants may not be. The guide prepares the men for what could be "a shock" when they see what other runners are wearing. (OK, I'm thinking, since these guys are jungle warriors, that means things like "shoes". I don't recall ever seeing any warrior, anywhere, wearing Nikes. And if you thought that also, well, then we'd both be wrong.) "You will see many people who are wearing only small clothes and you will wonder why they are cold and may think they are being disrespectful." Now, while I am unfamiliar with what the traditional warrior-running-marathons-in-London garb is these days, I'd assume that it's not much more than the other runners are wearing. The guide makes it sounds as if these Masai people run around Tanzania hunting lions and spitting everywhere while they're wearing parkas and snow boots. But if you'll look at the picture below, you'll see that's not the case. I have a hard time believing that the London marathoners will be wearing less than the Masai warriors.
And the guide does nothing to clear this up when it continues with,"This is normal for England, especially when it is sunny or in the evening. However, it is illegal to show certain parts of the body and for this reason it is important that you wear underpants if you are wearing your blankets." (And, actually, showing certain parts of your body, whether it's sunny, in the evening or illegal, is pretty normal for England as well.) But, seriously, what are the chances that someone whose attire of choice is a blanket is going to pair that blanket with underpants? Correct. None. Not a whole lot of Masai warriors out there prancing across the plains in tightie whities.
But here comes the good stuff...the after the race celebration. "Many people drink alcohol in England. (It's because they're so miserable at their lousy jobs, remember?) They do so at bars, at homes or at clubs (Really, anywhere they can. They're always drunk.) - the English equivalent to a Masai party. When people drink they [seem] sillier or different. I am sure you have seen it with the Greenforce volunteers." So, a bunch of drunken Greenforce guys writing the "Welcome to Miserable Drunken England Guide For Visitors". And another piece of the puzzle falls into place.