01 02 03 Africa Expat Wives Club: Cool Kenyans 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Cool Kenyans

Our UK visitors commented yesterday that Kenyans are such a good looking, smart bunch and I had to agree wholeheartedly. It is positively cheering to live here.

Kenyans, in general, are slender and fit (hours of bicycling and walking is part of the daily routine for many). Unfailingly smartly dressed; men often wear pressed long sleeved shirts and trousers (chinos/jeans), women wear sassy smart suits, tight jeans and funky tops. You won't see many mini skirts around and it's rare to see a man wearing shorts in Nairobi. The Grunge/Punk/Crusty look has never taken off here. Unkempt overlanders and travellers with wispy beards and frayed clothes stand out a mile. Most overseas visitors will arrive feeling under dressed for Kenya. The local look is polished, smart, proud. The clothes worn in Nairobi are mostly Western in style, but never scruffy.

Not only this, but Kenyans are super cool. They have a great sense of humour and they laughed and smile an awful lot. They will carry off many an unusual item of clothing and make it look fantastic. You might see a man wearing a pink woman's shell suit/tracksuit top and he will make it work. You will admire him for it. Bobble hats still look cool - never fuddy duddy. Everyone has an air of confidence and self possession.

During rainy season you will see many women with plastic bags on their heads to protect their carefully coiffed hair. You also see both men and women painstakingly washing their shoes in puddles to clean the mud off. Kenyans are probably some of the best turned out, best looking people you can find in the world. Correct me if I'm wrong.

It also helps that the sun shines and people have more time, a slower pace of life as things are not sped up by an infrastructure that works. Excusing yourself for being late for work 'because of the rain' still works here because everyone understands. It's OK - we're cool.

We visited the elephant orphanage and I was embarrassed by a UK tourist who was haranguing her tour guide/driver who was an older man -
'what's happening next? haven't we seen the baby elephants now? Are we going to see anything new? I think we are done here unless anything else is going to happen? Shouldn't we go and feed the giraffes now? How far is that? We don't have much time.'
She couldn't enjoy the moment.
'I understand' he said coolly (wearing a sharp dark suit and blue open necked shirt) 'time is important for you.'

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