I feel like I deserve

My friend Louis returned to Nairobi yesterday after travelling in India for a month. And of course it had to be celebrated.

However, first on the agenda was a book launch by a prominent Kikuyu businessman and politician at the Regency hotel. It was us and about 100 politicians and businessmen. The men in suits. The women in traditional African dresses and head scarves.

We felt decidedly out of place. My hair seemed to get longer by the minute and every time I looked at Louis’ his already bushy beard seemed to have grown an inch or so.

Even more so when someone came up to us and asked ‘are you guys from the media?’ People must really have wondered who we were and what we were doing there.

After the third speech (and after we had caught a glimpse of Raila Odinga’s wife Ida) we grabbed some samosas and escaped to a bar across the street.

After a Tusker (baridi sana) or two we decided to head up to Westlands to a bar called Havanas where it’s expat heaven every Thursday.

The expat community in Nairobi, although comparatively quite big, is actually very small. A majority of the people that we know where there. British, American, French, Spanish, Canadian, Finnish, Italian, Colombian, Brazilian, Danish, Swedish, you name it. Most people are NGO workers or journalists and stay in Kenya between 6 months and 2 years. It’s very rare to meet anyone who has been around for more than 2-3 years. Everyone speaks at least two languages (one Finish girl speaks 7) and has lived all over the world.

I see myself as quite well travelled, but when speaking to someone who has lived in the UK, Canada, Congo, South Africa, Australia, Spain and India and travelled extensively in South America, I realise that I’m not really at all.

One Spanish guy, Jose, is the same age as me and runs a luxury tented camp in Masai Mara. It’s him and 27 Maasai. His stories are amazing.

Anyway, after copious amounts of Tusker, it was time for a taxi home.

Bed-time: 2.30am.

My ability to concentrate is not exactly at its peak right now.

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1 Comment

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