Everyone who lives in Nairobi has something to hate and to love. And I only say “who lives” in Nairobi because that’s what the majority is perceived to fall in the city.
Well, to take you back; I wouldn’t be eavesdropping that much if I weren’t an introvert, but make no mistake I have friends all the way from the 1920s and we are still counting.
<ul><li><b>No one panics more than a Nairobian who has paid Sh1000 fare for a Sh50 destination and the change is not coming</b></li><li><b>Most Nairobians get annoyed when they get lost in CBD</b></li></ul>
Like I said I have friends, some of who practice hate as a way of life. I mean, how can one hate Nairobians consuming chicken in a fast food joint?
Not forgetting it is along a busy street where lads eat while standing and never complain?
Well, I am not going to peel back the mask on my friends as learned fellows do but rather I will stick to what I do best; listening. I know what really bothers Kenyans especially those living in the city.
The City gets busier from Moi Avenue towards Tom Mboya and it spirals to several lanes and short streets.
In this part of the world, men push trolleys vehemently like small kids acting as drivers after receiving toys or making a stick end wheeled toy vehicle (if that term exists).
In fact, one has to be more cautious about getting knocked down by a trolley than a vehicle.
I once tracked a fellow who had pushed me out of the way to his destination. With his fast-moving strides, I thought he was hurrying to assist in an emergency and that he must have just lacked fare.
However, unashamedly, he did exactly what you’d probably think. Found a space on a crowded bench along Moi Avenue, sat down and I’m sure he probably spent some good hours there; maybe waiting for Naswa guys to show up.
But who knows? Idling is a full-time job for some folks here, so if you find no space to rest your back in town… just get home or elope to Uhuru Park as those guys are hardly in the mood of leaving their seats.
The tales of the camels and the needle hole
“Why do people squeeze themselves that much between vehicles?” An astonished foreign friend once asked me. My answer was not well thought out. I don’t take lots of time to think about questions that sound like; “why do you eat ugali every day?” so I loosely answered that this is Nairobi. Even though Nairobians have been squeezed to death by some of these ruthless matatu enthusiasts disguising as city drivers, who have developed the culture of literally putting Nairobians on their toes, we are still urged to squeeze ourselves.
Waiting for your change after paying bus fare
Don’t even get there. No one panics more than a Nairobian who has paid Sh1000 fare for a Sh50 destination and the change is not coming.
Folks become restless, start sweating and might even alight before reaching their destination lest the conductor disappears or he/she forgets.
Since Nairobians hardly practice solidarity as an option to help a brother out, in case the conductor jumps off with the few passengers, you are on your own.
If you are fresh from the village, you need to know the kind of people you are about to deal with in the city.
The sheriffs in this town are taxi drivers- limited to giving directions, the rest are largely clueless just like you.
When asking for directions to a place, obtain your inference from at least three people or else you will remain lost.
A bunch of people know places but a good majority will admit that they don’t know the place you are talking about.
They will give you a ‘Launcelot Gobbo’ kind of direction, it's on you. Well, hate it or love it every Nairobian is a hawker, some do their trade at designated points, some don’t.