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

Nairobi Trivia


Just spent the week having hot flashes in shopping centres, wondering if menopause could really hit in ones (late) thirties, when the weather broke. After months of hot, muggy, sweaty weather, it’s finally raining here in Nairobi. Over the last couple of days we’ve had dark threatening clouds hanging over us accompanied by rolls of thunder followed by sheet rain (it's still quite warm though).

My roadside friends tell me it’s time to hurry off to the shamba and start planting. The bad news is that forecasters predict that in some areas of the country (Eastern provice among others), the rains will fall short. Let’s hope that they have got that wrong.

The other night, at midnight our middle daughter disturbed us because it was raining in her room... again.

‘There’s water coming into my room. It’s so noisy, I can’t sleep.’

Groan. My husband turned over.

I reluctantly woke up then went to inspect. I was expecting a trickle but sure enough found water pouring down her wall, onto her CD player and her DSlite and around her electrical wall socket.

It seemed that the fundis who somewhat hopefully threw a heap of wet cement on top of our 1930s roof tiles a month ago expecting it to fix the flashing problem, got it wrong. Cue more strategic placing of buckets and towels.


I spent more than half an hour in the hardware shop this morning with the ever so nice carpenter James (pronounced Jims), figuring out how to get the termites, or white ants, out of our garden furniture. The people watching in there is great, which is just as well since you are generally left to stand around for so long waiting for service. I even met the charming plumber, Mr Weti in there. He’s such a sweetie.

I went to the gym the other day because I’m still trying to work of those extra Christmas kilos that stubbornly won’t budge - and to my horror, perhaps in an enthusiastic dance moment, I dislodged one of the large inflatable exercise balls from the corner of the room and set it spinning across the assembled crowd of not gym bunnies, but what would more realistically be described as ‘gym mamas’, of which I am one. Face in hands, I watched as it rolled between ‘grapevine-ing’ feet. Fortunately no serious injuries occurred.

Yesterday I was glad that the power was off since it meant that the kids couldn’t see the aphids and wriggly things that I’d tried to rinse out of their cooked broccoli in the washing up bowl. Bless them, they never suspected a thing.

Self indulgent purchases

My friend is wondering why, since I’ve taken up anti-aging facials each month, my spots have got so much worse. Well, I suppose that’s one way of turning back the clock.

To cheer myself up about said facial ‘break out’, I bought a tight, navy tie-die dress from Mr Price. ‘For the coast?’ the same friend said. ‘Er, no.’ I said, then stalked off to buy myself some eye wateringly expensive jeans. The jeans were justified as my second hand market ‘Seven for all Mankind’ jeans have finally ‘given’ across the bottom (see above - extra kilos adding undue stress to the area).

If I go for these dark blue ones, I reasoned, then it’s worth it because I’d never find dark blue in mitumba (second hand market) – everything there is faded. In fact I was lying to myself. You can get any number of shades of blue jean in mitumba, every style, every cut.

When I got home I hid the new jeans in a cupboard for four days and destroyed any physical evidence of their price. Now that it’s raining, I can wear them (it was too hot before) and I’m so pleased that you’ll have to surgically remove them from my bottom for me to ever take them off.

Current Affairs

In between all this, I’ve been watching the news. This time last week the images of the Japan earthquake and tsunami were morbidly fascinating in an absolutely horrific way. A week later and with the nuclear reactor situation, it only gets worse.

Libya is another rapidly degenerating scenario. I read today that British armed forces are most likely going in. I sent a spurt of coffee out of my friends’ nose yesterday at lunchtime when I said that I thought pictures of Muammar Gaddafi in the 1970s showed him as something of a dish?

Hey ho. Another week in Nairobi.

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