Rooks, Crooks, Bishops and Pawns 

Nairobi is the Maasai word for “cold water”. With an elevation of 5,889 feet above sea level, it is by altitude the 9th highest city in the world, higher than Denver, Colorado, “the mile high city” in the storied American west.

Developers and businesspeople seem to be scrambling to get out of the Nairobi’s congested CBD – Central Business District – and heading for the hill.

Now Nairobi’s Upper Hill area is getting higher, too. New office buildings loom over plots with gardens and small farms that look pretty much the same as they did over 100 years ago.

Parking is at such a premium these days one skyscraper includes three-levels of underground parking.

“It’s a monster, isn’t it?” said a voice behind me. The posh British accent belonged to a middle-aged man behind the wheel of a forest green Toyota Land Cruiser.

The Brit smiled and wheeled his massive vehicle in through the gates of the dwarfed and sprawling compound at 7 Bishops Court on 3rd Bishops lane.

Categories: PassportTags: ,

Margot Kiser | Conflict in Context

I am a Kenya-based American correspondent, focusing on conflict in East Africa. I have contributed to Newsweek, Al Jazeera, The Daily Beast, among others.

Follow me on Twitter: @margotkiser1

Best long read ByLiner 2011 for my Newsweek feature, 'Pirates in Paradise' http://byliner.com/margot-kiser/stories
http://www.newsweek.com/authors/margot-kiser

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