I was in Nairobi this weekend and some friends and I happened to stop by Carnivore for “Rock Night.” I had never been to Carnivore before, and all I had heard about it was that they serve crazy meat like giraffe, alligator, rhino, and who knows what else. I guess “game meat” is the proper term, maybe someone can enlighten me. I’m still not sure about the meat part because we were their for the dancing. Who knew it was a restaurant by day and a club by night!
Because it was “Rock Night” I put on the only “rock” shirt I have, a Ramones shirt I had just randomly found earlier that day for 150 shillings ($2). Most of you know that my taste in music is a bit extreme, so what may seem like “rock” to the average Kenyan sounds like a lullaby to me. The music on the dance floor was about 50% rock and then some crunk rap and even some trance house music. The place was packed and the crowd was lively so dancing was a lot of fun. I was surprised when I found that a local coffee chain has a little kiosk near the bar because, of course, my drink of choice is not alcohol or soda!
In other news there was a battle of the bands on the stage outside. I thought it was terrible, but I think this “playing the guitar and screaming” stuff is VERY new to Africa, so they’ll get the hang of it eventually. I figure in five or ten years they may even be a little more receptive to the stuff I listen to. My colleagues jokingly my music is for washing your bike or scrubbing your floor because it sounds so abrasive. I met one white Kenyan who had a sleeve of tattoos and a Meshuggah shirt, so we talked for a bit about In Flames, Job for a Cowboy, Opeth, Cannibal Corpse, and As I Lay Dying. Good times!
I also thought it was funny how many “Obama ’08” t-shirts I saw. I think it’s funny because I have not met any Kenyan who can tell me anything about his political platform, only that he’s KENYAN! I have yet to see how this logic is any different than the problems that were at the heart of the post-election violence in Kenya’s very own presidential election in December 2007. I guess it’s not so “funny” after all.