Oppressive gray blanket of cloud finally lifted and with it my spirits. Most days are now sunny and cheerful. This weekend took long walk along Mbagathi ridge, past Kazuri beads, w C and the dogs – a happy, panting black Lab and Ginger, a small terrier. The kind friends I stay with are Danish and their house is just around the corner from Karen Blixen’s coffee estate. I would walk there every day, but as it’s a museum, they want to charge a thieving 800 kenya shillings ($10) just to stroll the gardens without even entering KB’s house.
During the work week, I often walk alone twice a day, along Mbgathi Ridge and then down the wide and aptly named Forest Lane. Friends ask if it’s dangerous to walk by myself. A palpable rigidity divides locals and the wazungu they work for, but I don’t sense danger. Not in this leafy and insular suburb. I usually greet stony-faced workers commuting by foot in Swahili, or, if I’m listening to my Iphone tunes, I smile or make eye contact. I almost always get a smile back. That said, I do stash my Iphone in my bra so that only the earphones are exposed. Most locals under 30 have Ipods anyway. Still, it’s sad to have hide these things.
If I walk between commuting hours, the avenues are empty and I usually only encounter this mzee (Swa for older person).
Nairobi is expensive – between hiring a driver (I’m never here long enough to justify buying a car). Food at Karen Provision store and Nakumatt adds up.
Lamu beckons. I love that there are no cars on the island. Donkeys, boats and legs only modes of transport. I miss the place and its donkey-clogged alley ways. Ass-jams.