And so I sit here, 11:20am EAT, at the Nairobi Java House, which is Kenya’s version of Starbucks, except it’s just so much better. They have table service, the coffee is Kenya AA. They also serve breakfast lunch and dinner; best eggs on the equator, I reckon. And I’m just doing some work for my company back home, because the wireless connection is a lot better here.
I think high speed internet really is the one thing that’s missing here; that and my friends and family of course. :)
A few more stories from the Motherland to keep you guys reading. I don’t blame you al for being upset with me, I’ve slacked on the blog. Partly because of time, and partly, I really haven’t had much to say. My blogs were becoming too political, which is ok, but while we’re on that note: Obama 2008!
Ok, now that we’re done with that:
Peter Jackson’s Letter
As you may recall, a few months back, Peter Jackson, the esteemed director of theÂ Lord of the RingsÂ trilogy wrote back to a letter I wrote to him, telling him about the experience I had in Nairobi earlier this year, how a support group for at-risk youth started up, after we bonded over watching the trilogy. On Tuesday night, I read the letter to the guys. There was dead silence in the room. What I did not expect, was what I saw when I looked up. So many of the guys were tearing up. They couldn’t believe that someone of Peter Jackson’s celebrity status would care about them to tell them how he felt. It was really a solemn moment. Ah!! I just love working with these guys.
Wednesday NightÂ Bribery
Grace and I went to pick up some dinner and smoothies for Nadia and Mena, cuz they were “tired”, or so they say. While we were at the smoothie place, we were getting free samples of their new ice cream flavors, like chocolate hazelnut, whiskey cream. One of the workers turns to me and says “You know, my boss, he can afford 100,000.00 KSH per month for his flat. We get paid… well… let me put it this way: only God is our provider” and he winked.
On the way home, I guess we didn’t notice, but Grace was driving with the lights off. There was a truck behind us so it looked like we had our lights on, as the road ahead of us was well lit.Â Suddenly, a cop jumped in front of our car, and signaled to us to pull over. There are no cop cars here, no high speed chases, just metal spikes in the road to force you to stop or else you lose your car, and maybe even your feet. The cop was pretty angry, carried a semi-automatic weapon strapped to his body, and he yelled at us, and told us we were going to prison.
We were apologizing profusely saying it was a big mistake, we go to the church down the road, have mercy, have mercy. He started yelling at us to let him get in the car so he can take us to jail. He searched the car made us open the trunk, made us get out. then we go back in the car, and I’m shitting in my pants at this point. I was like “officer… ” he’s like “you may speak now” and I said “officer, you see…” and here’s what he doesn’t know – he doesn’t know that I’m Mediterranean, and as a Mediterranean, I talk with my hands. I really do. Just ask my friends.
But he didn’t like my hands moving as I spoke and he took them and threw them down. Ooops? So anyway I pleaded with him to let us go. So he’s like “ok, only if you give me 2000 KSH” And I was like reaching for my pockets to give the man his money when Grace pinched me “NO! All I have is 200KSH”, and he’s like ” ok ok, 1000KSH” This went on back and forth back and forth. I wasn’t ready to go to Kilimani Prison last night, so I just whipped out the thousand shillings and he let us go.
Of course, Grace was pretty upset with me, but I just did what I could do to get us out of there.
We reported the cop to the department, and his trying to bribe us. Not like it will really do anything but it was worth trying at least, ya know?
The Great Debate
What’s for Thanksgiving dinner?? Goat, or Ribs? That’s the question of the day, and the answer will arrive shortly. And until then, here are some more snaps from the motherland: