Thursday 13 August 2009

OK folks - so let me tell you about it all - Nairobi

Hello people.... Friends keep writing me lovely emails wanting to hear all about the initial impressions, so here goes.

Firstly and I hope you appreciate this.... I am writing this by candlelight because I appear to have turned up at a time of national crisis and massive electricity and water shortages.

Of course, most people blame corruption rather than just the lack of rain...I mean Australia manages to keep things going doesn't it - but here, no...apparently not!

Some people have written too saying hey - are you there or not?

Yes, I am here- Day 13 I believe.

I am working for a rather large international bureaucratic organisation - but not going to mention names cos I don't want to be fired just as I get going.

Oh my god, I feel like I have landed in a Kaftka novel.

Nothing makes any sense. Hence I've given up trying to comprehend things. A decision taken one minute is overturned the next. Let me give you an example. I find a flat. Fine. I go to sign the lease - there is no lease. There is however, a flat available in the opposite block to be free on September 1. Fine.

Today I receive a call - it's back to the first flat and it's free now. Do I dare try and fathom this?

No. Just say ok. I'll take the one that I first said I'd take...going in circles..are you following me?

Ok what else? Well the office. Hah hah hah.

5 days to get a functioning email. Yes, I had email address but it wouldn't accept any emails from an outside address, very useful. After 4 calls I gather that I need to be added to a list. Then fking add me...!!!!! Thank you. Let's move on.

I have opened two bank accounts. One has a cheque book and a card. Magic. The other takes longer to set up but is an international dollar account. Work screwed up and paid it all into the dollar account - yes - the one I can't access for 3 weeks. Good, good.

The earth is red, it's dry, it's sprawling and vast but actually also very green and lush. Two monkeys appeared on my window ledge two days ago smelling my rotting banana on my desk.

My.. the little buggers were persistent - opening the window, trying to come in. Obviously their persistence paid off and they got the fruit - good for them.

I have been blessed by being "adopted" by a girl from the office who is lending me her house whilst I find a place. Her younger brother is here too and we cook up messes on the stove, or as per tonight, we opened nuts, cheese and bread and had a no electricity picnic.

What else? I went dancing last night and was the only white person in the club - did feel a little conspicuous but frankly - I was there with a friend and I can I reckon that's more of a criteria! Great live music and had fun - but was too late to go out on a school night..People kept telling me how tired I looked today. Sympathy vote. Hah hah.

The driving is horrendous. I think it's on a par with India - worse than Italy. People look they are continually drunk driving - veering here and there..and then I saw an overturned bus last night - all smashed in on the road to the airport. Eeek.

This is a bit incoherent - don't forget there is a candle here and am doing my best - but to say that Kenyans are very friendly overall -and it's been an odd, stressful, random but gets a little easier each day.

Something to end on - a security check issued by work.

On 12/08/09 at about 0710hrs the driver of one of the contracted Budget bus reported that, while driving the said bus ferrying staff members to the complex, on reaching Githogoro slums area before Runda Estate the bus was attacked with stones by seven armed persons. One of the attackers was armed with a pistol which he aimed at the driver but did not fire which s/ms suspected to have been a toy. The attackers tried to enter into the bus but both the driver and passenger doors were properly secured. No injuries reported. Security and DPU Officers attended the scene.

A TOY????

Told ya, Kafka - perhaps mixed with Monti Python.

Til next time. xxx

No comments: