Ok, before I begin I want to allay any fears that in any way was I harmed at Nakumatt. Do not worry, the only injuries I sustained were to my budget. Now, ninaendalea.
Today I went into Mombasa with Dai (who else?) to hit up nakumatt for supplies. It was big shopping day and I knew I was going to blow the bank, but it was necessary. So below I have decided to list some of the splurges I made all in the name of good ole American comfort:
1) A shower curtain. Yes, a shower curtain is considered a splurge by every account, but I was sick of the puddle accumulating on my bathroom floor, which leads us to number 2…
2) A mop (and sweep broom). Kenyans do not believe in mops or brooms. They would much rather bend over and use rags, or banded together grasses to clean. Though today my neighbor Dave was using a broom and I excitedly exclaimed that he was the first Kenyan I have seen using a handled sweeping broom. He raised no objection to the thought that Kenyans do not use brooms. What prompted the mop purchase was the fact that my water-tank-explosion-tally is now up to 5. They say it will get fixed soon. Needless to say, tomorrow before class is house-cleaning.
3) Beer. Yes I bought beer, and not just good ole Tusker. I really splurged and bought Heineken. Sadly it resides in Dai’s refrigerator, which is good because it puts an artificial handicap on how much beer I can access at any given time.
4) Cheese. And not just any cheese, but individually wrapped, processed cheese. Guess what I made for dinner? GRILLED CHEESE! And onto 5.
5) A Spatula. I needed to make grilled cheese, and I can’t use metal on my non-stick fry pan (the one splurge I made my first week, which all PCVs agree is an absolute necessity).
6) A strainer spoon, so I can make chips (french fries)
7) Bath mats. The rubber kind so that I don’t slip in the shower and pull down my new shower curtain (which does not have a curtain rod but rather a jury-rigged rope that serves the same purpose).
8) A small plastic shelving unit for the bathroom, for putting stuff on. Yeah. Stuff.
9) Three huge watermelons. I probably should have bought only one, but who cares. They will certainly be devoured in all of three days anyway.
Everything else I bought today was of relative necessity, except maybe the black market DVD’s. But hey, who can pass up like 100 movies for $5?
Things that did not make the splurge cut:
1) A toilet seat. Mostly because I forgot to write it down but also because you just get used to not having a toilet seat when you’re used to simply shitting in a hole in the ground. I may get one later.
2) Rugs. No furniture yet, so why do I need a rug? Besides, it probably retains heat, which is bad in this climate.
3) Power strip. Nakumatt wanted an outlandish 1200/- and I can get it for 300/- in Mtongwe (/- is the symbol for shilling by the way).
4) Meat. I bought cheese instead.
Hope this list has given you some insight into the life of jon in kenya!