Being bored of everything everyday despite thousands of options for entertainment and preoccupation for me has passed the point of cliche and descended into a point of threadbare stereotype. Many of us are joining a group of zombies who are bored of everything. Bored of forwarded and recycled whats app messenger jokes,news, job adverts. Bored by the everyday tabloid headlines with fickle tabloid material. Bored of hang outs with the same deafening often bubble gum music played over and over again till your senses accept it as good music. Bored by the senseless politics and drama making for coleus and often revolting office talk among paper pushers who never want to leave their desks all in the name of job security. Bored of the economic recession talk which makes good fodder the social commentator’s gripe fest.
With this thaasophobia creeping up, i decided to take a random trip. How about go see a different city and speak an old language i used to know, meet old friends i haven’t seen in a long time(lots of change here). Usually i sit in Kampala have a drink with friends in different cities but now i was ready to risk it all mid year and take off. But random comes with its challenges as any attempt to escape reality. There were numerous postponements.
So i boarded a bus with my person with a mutual disdain for cliches and one equally incesed by stage bodabodas, and her often well guided pessimism is for both our good. I had a smooth night journey, met very irritable border officials who pushed me to the back of the queue twice as this whole East African community thing hasn’t picked up well at the Busia border yet, got played by a money changer at the border or not and this remains a deeper mystery than the moon landing or jfk assassination. I had a smooth ride still, beheld the magnificent rift valley whose intriguing mystery and beauty cannot be explained then blankly gazed at the country side till we arrived in Nairobi
Its a different city in many ways from Kampala though. From the many midtown skyscrapers to more reckless and exorbitant bodaboda riders(still learning the dynamics from their Kampala buddies i guess) to the cool weather allowing for a leisurely walk around in my favorite hoodie and at the same time making swimming a very bad idea. it is here that uber’s selling point ‘cheaper and safer than boda boda’ makes most sense. It was quite a relief that there was no much hooting from motorists making it less irritating.
while a stroll in the CBD feels like one is in Windhoek Namibia, one in Nairobi west near Nyayo stadium feels like its Kampala with the street food and loud music.
The hospitality from people is great but being from my city any act of good faith is met with high end suspicion. so i didn’t really acknowledge these numerous acts of kindness from the askari at the Forex bureau.
Nairobi is also a hub and perhaps a market research ground for international franchises from kfc, steers, burger king to others. yes i mostly noticed the food chains and Only the customer care would differ. I managed to grab myself 2 burgers for the price of one at steers as it was the visa burger week. For a man on a budget i was in the right city at the right time.
While here i managed to counter the famous ‘makarao’,the Kenyan police as i was frolicking along river road. It is said that these guys can dry your pockets faster than a trip to the mall and their camouflage uniform is rather unusual for the law enforcers making me wonder what the army would put on, iron-man suit???. As soon as i was stopped images you get when you google Kenya police ran through my mind but thank God it was just them welcoming me to Nairobi. so if you want a good nights sleep please do not google images of Kenya police. On the positive note, they are unarmed so for lack of trigger happiness they compensate by whipping the baton.
It is in the lively and buzzing Nairobi west that me and my recently overfed rugby playing friend Aleki hit the early waters, the healing waters aka liwowo aka liweng at the fully packed lively Discount bar. Here you could think protein and gender imbalance was on the menu as this was a rugby players hang out. The healing waters are magical to those who know them and they will brutally hurt those who don’t(sadly i didn’t know them).
its here that i got acquainted with the way of life of my Nairobi peers, quickly caught up over slurred words and noisy jabber . How can one survive in this environment of overly priced beer.
I was here just for a fleeting moment in time but this trip served me well to navigate the intricate web of life and my travels.