The absurdity of life

Trip Start Oct 25, 2012
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Trip End Nov 17, 2012


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Flag of Kenya  , Nairobi,
Saturday, November 10, 2012

Ahh, Saturday.

A quiet day.

After the business of the last few weeks, not to mention the traumas suffered thanks to National Geographic, we decided that today needed to be our day of rest. We just can't help waking up with the sun since we've been here but it was so nice this morning not to be up and at 'em but just to stay in bed and read with the kids. By mid morning Ella and Zaac had done some more of their school work, keeping a diary of their experiences, with Ella writing really exciting, detailed accounts and Isaac writing a sentence or two before scooting off and having to be chased around to get him to settle down again.

We had planned to head over to Guy and Susanna's to say hello and see if Ella & Isaac could play with their boys while Pip and I went and did some grocery shopping. We thought this would be an easier (not to mention faster and less painful) alternative to dragging them around the supermarket with us. When we got there our kids headed straight up to play with Levi and Gerro while we were invited to stay for a quick coffee. All good until a few minutes later the heavens opened and going to the shops looked decidedly risky. What was meant to be a short stay turned into a lengthy discussion about health care and movie certificates, oddly enough. By the time the rains let up we were all getting hungry so we headed across the road to the little Kenyan cafe we like to get some lunch.

It was as we walked towards it the first time that we spotted the sign above the car washing place which made us chuckle: Infinity Car Washes. They do a good job but just don't ask how long it'll take.

This got me thinking about some of the other unusual things we've seen while we've been here.

We noticed, on the way out to Ruiru last week that there was the Miracle Butchery. Just don't ask where the meat came from. Then there is the well publicised, prepaid funeral company called Destiny. There was also the Triple J Hearse company which seemed to consist of a flashy purple coloured VW camper van (nice!) with a coffin tied onto the roof rack! Also a van delivering clean water with 'time will tell' emblazoned on the rear mudguard - time will tell if its clean if you don't get squirts?!

We've also noticed that all the matatus, the little, slightly dodgy minibuses that operate all over the city as an extremely cheap form of transport, have window stickers to make them stand out. Sometimes it's a name like Basha, other times its theologically sound catchphrases or just key words any of my old year 11s would have been proud to know, like Ontological or Restitution, I even saw one with Eschatology inscribed across the windshield.

One fellow traveller told us of how he had been in a taxi which had pulled out to overtake the van in front, only to have a truck bearing down on them at great speed. Across the front of the truck it simply said There Is Only Prayer. As his life flashed before his eyes he couldn't but agree!

The best one we have seen though has to be the matatu which sported a very detailed image of the Warner Bros. movie logo - a big shield with a WB in the middle. Underneath the logo it said Warn A Brother. I think that says it all...

Probably the most bizarre thing we have seen here is the new motorways. There is a lot of construction taking place all over Nairobi with housing blocks and office buildings springing up all over the place. There is also a great deal of new roads being built to pretty high standards. However, as we have been driven along some of the major new motorways as we have dotted about the place we have been amazed to discover that every few miles we come across a series of two or three speed bumps, immediately followed by zebra crossings - on six lane motorways. One minute you are hurtling along at 70, the next the driver has slammed on the brakes so as not to take off!

Such is life in Kenya.
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