Landing in Nairobi

The plane landed five hours later – hard. It jolted me out of my sleep, making me instantly nauseous, forcing me to run to the back to boot in the plane’s loo. The stewardesses kept telling me to get back in my seat as I was running past them to be sick. I voted to ignore them.

We deplaned and queued up for immigration, and it was then that I realized I was still quite drunk from the previous evening’s activities. My drunken state was slowly turning into a hangover, so after immigration we shared a cab into town with Cameron and Tracey. I wasn’t too drunk/hungover (or the gray area in between) to watch the country introduce itself to us as we made the twenty minute drive into the city center. I remember whizzing past a field covered in brown scrub grass, open for miles, with a couple of lone trees sitting right in the middle of it all. Plus, these were the kind of trees one pictures when one says Kenya – not just any old trees. The sun was slowly coming up over the land as we made our way into the downtown area. There were trees blooming with flowers, wide two land divided roads and big buildings. There was that definite British influence in everything, the street signs, the shops, I could actually feel the left over colonial influence in the country before we’d actually taken a walk around. Cameron and Tracey knew of a hotel, the Iqubar Hotel, so we checked in as well. I immediately went to sleep to try to race my incredible hangover; I wanted to be asleep before it hit me, and I could tell it was a lulu coming on.

I woke up a few hours later, a bit parched, so Rich fired up out handy portable water filter we’d brought for our tour. After a few liters of water we went for a walk through Nairobi. Nairobi is so modern; much more than I’d been expecting. The British influence is very predominant – the spelling, the road signs, just everything. We walked a bit and ended up at the main Immigration office, for we needed to get re-entry permits for the second time we’d be coming to Kenya in January. Immigration was a very long, slow process but we finally got our permits issued. The officer requested copies of our plane tickets so we had to go around the corner to get a photocopy made. Well the African have no idea how to form a line or act civil in any way, shape or form. It’s every man for himself. The window where got photocopies was mobbed with locals, each fighting with one another to get to the front of the line. Rich dove into this chaos and emerged a little bruised, but he had the copies we needed. From immigration it was to the travel agent to have our tickets changed, for we were supposed to fly out that afternoon to Harare, Zimbabwe.

We walked around the city a bit, and boy did it feel different. For the first time I actually knew first hand what it was like for a black person to be alone in a room full of whites, for now it was exactly the opposite scenario with Rich and I in this huge African city. The only thing about this city is I didn’t feel relaxed at all; the locals didn’t seem too friendly to us.

There are many, many shops, cafes and hotels around the city. We ate in this cafeteria-type shop, the food which gave me diarrhea later. Back to the hotel where we caught a showing of whatever English movie was playing at the theater next door. It was one of those really good movies, so good that I don’t remember the title, but Beverly D’Angelo was in it, and the sound was so bad that Rich and I had to practice our lip reading ability to keep up with the slow moving plot.

Slept in the hotel, but it was so loud that both of us kept being awakened by all the locals screaming out in the hallway. I remember at one point someone was jiggling the door handle and pushing on the door like they were really trying to break in. The hotel wasn’t that nice at all – in fact none of the toilets had toilet seats, not that I expected them to, but they were really disgusting to even hover near.

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