Nairobi, Just Gets Weirder…

We all know I don’t like Nairobi, but at this point, being here for more than a day or two gets boring. Money is in short supply because we are volunteers, and lunches that normally we pay 30 or 40 shillings for in the village cost ten times that amount, at minimum… literally. Get me out.

To top it off though, it is just starting to get weird. Not everything, but specifically the hawkers. I have mentioned before that Nairobi hawkers will hawk most anything, including giant inflatable chairs and etch-a-sketch. However, I have now repeatedly walked past a group of hawkers hawking pets out of boxes. You can walk down the road leading to Westgate shopping mall and you will have the opportunity to purchase puppies, kittens, rabbits, gerbils, and hamsters… out of fruit boxes. Better yet, if you live in Westlands you probably drive around in a big SUV with fancy acronyms like UNEP, UNDP, UN, WFP, DED, DRC, etc., (Peace Corps thankfully has no such labeling on it’s vehicles, much preferring a relatively inconspicuous but Kenya-mandated address stenciled on the driver side door near the tire), and these pets are all brought to your window like it’s some bizarre 50’s roller skate diner. Hamster for dinner? Don’t mind if I do!

To top it off, as we were walking, “home,” to the hotel, my friend Alex and I walked past a man hawking turtles out of a box. The price? 20,000 shillings. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Nairobi, where you can buy a $270 turtle out of a box from a guy on the side of the road.

Nanyuki tomorrow, unless these matatus stay on strike…



Filed under Maisha ya Mkenya

2 responses to “Nairobi, Just Gets Weirder…

  1. jesseosmun

    Ah.. usually the guys hawking turtles are Akamba. It’s amazing what people will hawk. I once was offered a sparkly toilet seat when stuck in a taxi off of Moi Ave. I will say that the best way to eat cheap is off of street vendors, and NO you’re not going to die or get sick. I saved money by eating where Kenyans eat. If you want to scrimp but not eat street food, stick with Kenchic, Kengele’s, or look for various “Kuku” places off of Tom Mboya. In terms of strictly “Mzungu Food”: Karen is your most expensive option with Java House being slightly less expensive ( it’s also on the bus route from the city center to Karen). Also, Tusker Mattress is cheaper for groceries then Nakumatt, so use them instead. Nakumatt charged too much in my opinion.

  2. Hi, I really like your blog. I am an IT major applying to Peace Corps. We should network with each other.