Africa?

Posted: 30/07/2012 in Kenya, Travel
Tags: , , , ,

[This is a backdated post.]

Going to Africa was just a pure daydream at the time I enjoyed “The Gods must be crazy“.

But now, it’s about to happen happened. Yes, I was pretty excited especially because it’s Africa.

Global Voices Citizen Media Summit 2012 - Nairobi, Kenya. July 2-3

Myanmar people are quite smart in geography. Yet, they are not quite familiar with Africa in modern days. Neither me. It’s like Africa is too far away from us. And I always forget that Egypt is in Africa!

So, I got a chance to visit there for a short while. Specifically, it’s Nairobi, Kenya where people were very friendly and the atmosphere was too exciting. Though it does not sound like so, Kenya is safe!

People

What I noticed about people in Nairobi was that they talked a lot. For instance, our driver brought us to safari. On the way, our mini bus passed by another car. Both cars stopped and the two drivers talked like at least 5 minutes! And I had assumed it like “Oh, okay, they may be talking about where the lions are etc…” but my assumption was totally wrong. Again at the hotel entrance, another driver talked about nearly 10 minutes with hotel security staffs. In the city area, if they were waiting till the traffic light turned green, the two drives would be talking each other through the windows. I mean, I’m quite a talkative person but I salute them! 😛 After we experienced it for two days, whenever a car stopped and the driver started to open his mouth, we signalled each other with eyes and started to laugh off. 😀

And they are sweet! I sometimes felt like as if I were somewhere in Myanmar as they always smiled. On top of that, they are honest. One of the hotel staffs asked us “What is Global Voices? Is it about singing?” and we couldn’t stop laughing. How cute they were!

Food

We always care about food when we are travelling, don’t we? I don’t know why, there was nothing related to Kenyan food at the hotel we stayed. I felt pretty weird to have Chinese food there as they provided only Chinese/Western/Indian Food. :O

But we went out to the downtown to taste the sort of Kenyan food. We tried the grilled fish with Ugali. I must say grilled fish was awesome and it was cheap but Ugali is just not my taste. Perhaps if we had tried it with something spicy or sour, it might went well but with grilled fish, I did not know how to finish it.

And they seemed to eat different kinds of Chapati (This Wikipedia article seems to describe Chaptai/Puri/Pratha are the same kind of flat-bread but at least it’s not in Myanmar! Those are three different things.). Chapati is widely available in Myanmar so it was so so for me. But it did amaze me as I couldn’t see a relationship between Indian food and African food!

Culture 

Everything is just bold and loud. 🙂 I mean, experiencing Africa in person was really awesome. Every little thing could grab my attention.

I had a chance to visit Masai Market. You can feel the music, see the handcrafts and talk with locals there. And greater thing was I could bargain like hell! If the seller had said 1000, I could get it with like 400. I did not care if it could be kind of cheating for those who  were not into bargaining but for me, it was just pure fun. I was able to mingle with them and filled my bag with beautiful things like photo frames, purse, key-chains etc. at the same time.

A snap shot of Masai Market.

A snap shot of Masai Market.

They probably love Music a lot. And most of the songs I heard there were catchy. Their dances were AMAZING.

As I stayed there only about 4 days, I am not pretty sure if my guess was right. But they seemed to be running their life at their own pace. Seeing people in downtown could not make me stress out like those in Singapore.

They were helpful, almost everyone. At the restaurant we tried grilled fish, as we finished the whole fish just by hands, we had to go and wash once the dinner was finished. At the basin, I had difficulties pressing the tap while washing my hands and a little boy who could be a waiter there helped me press it down till I was done. It was just a small gesture but you might not probably find it elsewhere – even in other developing Asia countries.

Language wise, Sawhili is interesting and pretty easy to pronounce and remember. I have learned very few words which made the locals smile when I used those. ^^

Here is the song for you to enjoy. I now get it by-heart as they played it everywhere. Everywhere means everywhere including in-flight music!

Did I forget to say Kenya is safe? I found someone seemed injured and lying on the street at around 9 p.m (which I assumed it could happen in every country in the world). Except the fact that hotel security was so strict to make sure our even would be safe, I felt nothing unsafe in Nairobi.

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