Monday, July 25, 2011

The first random thoughts on Afreaka

I definitely did not feel like the white guy when the Kenyan immigration officer reduced my visa from 3 months to a month. Wonder what the Patels did to Africa. Surds, though stick to their culture of driving gypsies in any part of the world.

The city's cost of living is freaking high. Given my limited per diem....

60 Rs. for a bottle of water (Strategy: Camel up and drink water from the office)
100 Rs for toothpaste (Strategy: Squeeze tube mildly from bottom and flatten slowly as you go up)
200 Rs. for a beer (Strategy: No compromise on beers)
120 Rs. for a small hand sanitizer (Strategy: Who the fuck wants a sanitizer. Use jeans pant to rub)

Nairobi is a very interesting city with 50% of their population living in slums and earning less than 40 Rs. a day. If that wasn't enough, they occupy only about 5% of the area thanks to deforestation and urban settlements.

Crime is inevitable in this city. Although one dude was polite in letting me know that I need to give him my bag. He gave up after following me for a few steps. Hordes of people come physically close and ask(beg) you for soda, cash or whatever you have. I do not quite blame them. The police is corrupt (more than in India) and a cop stopped my van and asked my driver for money. A beggar with uniform and authority. Period. My driver simply said he has no cash and drove ahead.

My service apartment is comfortable with one exception. No a/c or fan and the room temperature is what I get to live with. Bright spot: Shereen looks hot and attractive (one of the 3 caretakers of the apartments, on rotation basis).

The city is crazy about football. About 500 people filled the streets and screamed their lungs out in the center of the city[Video link]. Kenyan beer tastes good. The toilets have no separation. In India, I wouldn't hesitate to open my fly out, but here, I prefer using the enclosed loos, given the certain projected inferiority complex - thanks to Russel Peters and others.