I had a blast the past three months. Despite the horrendous acts of killings happening in the states on both black and white guys (yes guys you don’t hear about it but they are also killing their own guys) I had a time of my life just touring the western side of America.
Traveling alone opens your eyes to a lot of things that no one tells you about. It brings a sense of sense responsibility that honestly even living alone didn’t quite give it to me. You have no one to angalia (check on) your stuff when you need to pee or look for a bite to eat. No one is with you when your money is running short and can sort you out as we Kenyans like to say. However traveling solo makes you appreciate yourself so much more. You learn about your strengths and weaknesses in all manner of the sense.
I was homesick literally the whole time I was there. Call me a mama’s girl but that is definitely what I am. Not being able to talk to my mum every single day was for me the hardest thing ever. I literally tell my mum everything and anything under the sun ( well almost everything mothers should know). Coming home and seeing my mum and my family was a highlight and after the jetlag precipitated and life came to adapting back into the Kenyan routine I realized how we as a country and even myself as an individual can adapt some “American lifestyle cultures” that might just promote our land of milk and Kidero grass
1. What’s the one thing that everyone doesn’t like about Kenya or Nairobi for that matter? TRAFFIC!!!! Oh my goodness I’ve come to realize just how horrible the traffic here is. Do you know how much revenue the country is losing because of all those hours we sit in traffic and waste time? Billions. Like three more zeros to a million. YOH!!!!!… Getting to the places I needed to go took me a couple of minutes while I was in Kansas City. You could literally tell someone that you would be there in 10 minutes and reach there in 8minutes 45 seconds because what they call traffic there is what we say” hakuna jam”(there is no traffic)
So why do we have all this traffic in Kenya? One because we are the most impatient people in the planet.. We don’t follow traffic rules at all. The light is red and fine there is no one else on the street other than you and the ka guy on your right just bumming away but you decide that you are in more of a rush and jump the light only to inconvenience the guys who actually have the green light coz they weren’t planning on screeching to a halt to avoid hitting your car.
Town is even worse. Matatu’s literally giving you a chase for your hidey coz they are always bumper to bumper it is suffocating. They are the worst at following rules because they want to make more money as well as that ka-persistent passenger who is asking the conductor if the guy can kanyaga mafuta (press on the gas) some more to fika haraka (reach faster)… you’ve probably heard them say- hii ndio ya haraka..acha na hiyo slow coach. How safe is that jambo jet your climbing though?
I can type here all I want saying how drivers in Kenya are so horrible and I would be so hypocritical not to mention my fellow feet-stubishi club of pedestrians roaming the streets and dusty roads of Nairobi. I think I should probably have written this as the first point but wharreevvverrr mayyynneee( gerrit??) LOL). To be an elite member of the feetstubishi club you have to have the following characteristics
• you have to be able to run; not as fast as rudisha but fast enough to cross that highway before you are hit by that car coming at 100kmph
• you have to have 6 other eyes: to look for pickpockets, to see that kanjo coming towards you among others..
• you have to be agile to fit inbetween cars like you are meant to pass there
• you have to have an internal speedometer to estimate the speed of incoming traffic to let you know how fast or how slow cars are coming
• you need to be broke not to afford your own car or enough fuel for the day
We as the foot-stubishi crew are horrendous people. Have you ever passed hapo kencom and seen just how much jaywalking is done? For those who don’t know what jaywalking is let me describe it to you in a friendly way…its how y’all walk in town..
“crossing or walking the street or road without any regard for approaching traffic”
We never pay attention to the pedestrian traffic lights. We normally just cross and that also causes traffic coz this guy driving doesn’t want to hit your ass and get fined and in an accident ati coz he hit you.We are such bad people. Aki the sneers we give drivers when we are blatantly on the wrong..
THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE!!!
3. Okay this will be a little bit odd to say but the hell with it. Y’all know that corruption is everywhere right? Seriously I learnt this myself, every country is a little bit corrupt in its own way. In Kenya now we are ( to me) the most openly corrupt nation in the world. Police ask for bribes blatantly. Public officers in government offices will literally tell you that you should probably grease their hand so that your application can go faster( i experienced this as i applied for my passport). What I realized in America is that they are smart corrupt people in office.
See there is a lot of scrutiny among themselves. They want to know how much each and every dollar f their tax money is going and the government knows this; it will therefore complete the task at hand i.e. building roads but it will do it at a cheaper price. Since this guy cant buy a car for himself his wife and his two kids he will send it somewhere offshore or send it to a “non profit” …we all know what I’m getting at.
I’m not advocating for smart corruption . I’m however asking for a much lesser beating than the one we are getting from the public servants and officials. We see you taking that trip with your family over Christmas as we are stuck in the muddy roads of Muranga because its been 10 years since the road was fixed.. we see you sir!!
4. Last but not least( I had like twenty things I just cant write them all—my mental capacity reaches four points and seizes to attach more files) dust. I don’t think y’all know how much dust we harbor on our bodies through out the day. That’s why Americans can afford to shower with just water and we here in our land of milk and Kidero grass continue to die of dust induced bronchitis,asthma, allergies. Where is all this dust coming from honestly?
I mean construction happens everywhere, so that isn’t a valid point as to why my shoes collect enough dust to fill a kitten box for the next week every single day. Is it that we aren’t clean enough( I see you throwing that credit paper on the street. I see you littering that tissue paper you just used to clean your nose with(nasty). ) we are such non minders of our environment.
As I write all this I’m not the perfect example of rule abiding, clean-freak or obedient person; however since I want my country to progress I am willing to start following my own advice.
See you on the next one!!!