Friday, October 19, 2007

hair check.

First of all, appologies for not updating this blog for aaaages. Secondly, my hair is growing.

I know this may not comes as a suprise, but trust me - it is quite a relief that my fluffy mop is returning. For the last few weeks I have been haunted by stories (told to me by Steve of course) that sometimes when you shave your head, it don't all grow back!

Life continues.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

my humble abode (part 1): inside the walls

The maid had been (live the dream! *solidarity hand signal*) leaving the house spick and span - so it seemed like the right time to unvail my humble abode to the world.

The tour begins in the messiest room - my bedroom. As one can see the key feature is the rustic four poster bed (remember 'employ the imagination') complete with silk curtains (that also double up as a mosquito net - naturally). I can't say the mattress is the most comfortable I've ever found, but it is slighter larger than a single - so that would make it 'prince' size' (extra bonus points). My humble desk plays home to the mac, pictures of loved ones, my library and several dead insects. The blue rug is a recent addition and an attempt at making the place more 'homely' - please appreciate. Just out of the picture is the 'built in wardrobe storage system' within which all my shirts are hung ironed and in colour order (honestly).

Next we move to the living room. Pretty standard. What we don't tell most visitors is that the hollow interior of the couch also doubles up as a home to 'Stuart'. Who is Stuart I hear you say. Stuart is our 'pet' mouse (or very small rat).

Finally, the kitchen. Not quite the epicenter of cullanary technology as one would find at the Marr house hold ... seeing as it lacks a fridge, freezer, cooker, microwave, dishwasher, a hot water tap ... .... .... errr... ... ... it has a camping stove (and the odd cockroach)!. Despite the lack of anything much identifying this as a kitchen my African friends still (and me on the odd occasion) manage to cook up a storm. Legends. Please excuse the warped effect in the photo.

Monday, September 24, 2007

send in the 'Bush' brigade.

Nuclear tests in North Korea, WMDs (or not) in Iraq, and now tactical nukes in Kenya?

Gazing across the Nairobi sky line while sunning myself beside the Stanley Hotel's 'rooftop' pool', I became fixated by the neighboring Nation Media Building. Viewed from the ground the head quarters and broadcasting station of the Kenyan media giant seem like any other innocent concrete clad 'architectural accident' (which are very common in Nairobi). However, viewed from my elevated advantage point I have discovered that this building is in not in fact the work of a eye sight impaired architect, but rather a cleverly concealed and well engineered nuclear missile silo (see attached surveillance image)!

Will the country soon be over-run by the trigger happy bush brigade? Not if we keep this a secret. shhhh.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

my humble abode (part 1): what a view.

This will be the first post in a gripping series that will give you an insight into the paradise that is currently my home.

My apartment complex has many luxurious features that came as standard, such as the wonderful 'sun deck'. Some may see it merely as a 'flat roof with access' - but here in Kenya, one must always look beyond the 'surface' and employ the imagination. Atop my 'sun deck' one is quickly confronted with the realisation that I in fact live on the door step of Kibera. For those of you not in 'the know' Kibera is the largest slum in Kenya (and possibly the third largest in Africa) with a population of approximately 700,000 people. HIV/AIDs is rampant there, some 'smart peoples' actually claim that 1/5th of the 2.2m (or so) people living with HIV/AID in Kenya, are located in Kibera. Not the nicest place in the world.

On first arrival, I found my predicament shocking and rather worrying.. Is this a secure place to live? Do all those dogs have rabies? Will I be able to purchase an English newspaper? ... Now, after a month of intense 'Africanisation', I've come to understand that's just how it is - there is no slow gradual decline from the 'nice bits' to the 'bad bits', there is no perimeter fence or dividing walls, absolute poverty lives right along side absolute wealth - deal with it. So i am.

Next: inside the walls.

Note: click on the photo to see the uncropped full size view.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

just a trim.

Jon: Hi
Barber: Habari Yako
Jon: Mzuri sana, are you able to give me a 'mzungu' hair cut, you know, just a trim.
Barber: ahhh.. sawa sawa... yes .. of course... just a trim.. of course *big reassuring smile and nod of head*
*Barber pulls out pair of scissors and a trimmer*
Jon: (aside) hmmm... a pair of trimmers and scissors... he must be planning the old 'short back and sides', I'm OK with that.
Barber: How short would you like it sir
Jon: Not too short, just a trim remember?
Barber: Of course, of course *reassuring smile but evil look in his eyes*
*Barber goes right ahead grabs the trimmers and unashamedly shaves Jon's ahead*
Jon: (aside) Dear lord.

Note: Is that a receding hairline. I hope not.

Monday, September 17, 2007

by popular demand.

Due to popular demand and my weakness to peer pressure I will begin blogging my adventures here in Kenya. I cannot gaurantee they will be exciting but I do hope they will be amusing. Abusive comments are always welcome. Much love.