Kenya

Crazy People Are Crazy

Today was a holiday (Madaraka Day) so I didn’t have to work. I spent the morning and the better part of the afternoon listening to loud music, cooking fried rice, and making notes for my class tomorrow. By the time I walked to the market it was almost 4:00 PM. There’s a funny phenomenon that happens in the developing world that you don’t really see in the United States: crazy people walk around town. I guess some homeless people are pretty crazy, but I’ve never seen it as bad in California as it is here. There are a few wazimu (“crazy person?”) in particular who I see often.

One of them really put on a show today. As I entered Tala’s market I saw he had placed a large stone and some trash on the road, and was running around with a stick. He didn’t have a shirt on, but had cut a hole in some large black trash bag or something, and was wearing that instead. Of course when he saw me he ran at me. I say “of course” because it seems like the crazies and the drunks are always excited in their own way when they see me. A few minutes later I was sitting at a shop talking to some dudes and the crazy guy came back. This time he ran into the shop next door and stole a cardboard box. The lady in the shop was yelling, the crazy guy was yelling, and pretty soon he ran out and threw the box. We all laughed and talked about how crazy he was, if he was really crazy, etc. Haha!

Crazy guy carrying a rock in Tala, Kenya
Crazy guy carrying a rock in Tala, Kenya

About an hour later I was walking home and who do I see? The crazy guy (wearing a shirt now)! There’s a stretch of road about 1.5km from Tala’s market to the college, so I was a bit worried he was going to follow me home. He was walking in the middle of the road and one of his hands was full of sand. He was taunting cars and people, and dancing in the traffic. After he had thrown sand at a few cars he found a spare tire and began running and rolling it down the street. He soon tired of that and picked up a big rock and started taunting cars, cows, people, etc again. One car even swerved off the road! It was actually quite alarming…

I took these pictures with my phone, but they’re not very good because 1. it’s a phone and 2. I didn’t want the crazy guy to see me taking pictures. My goodness, can you imagine how that would have panned out? You can’t run, because he runs faster than you! And he’s barefoot!

Tumezoea (“we’re used to it”)! Sometimes I see him running down the road with a joint (you can smell the weed) in his hand… crazy.

5 Comments

  1. glo

    Most of those crazy guys you see in Kenya is as a result of ganja/weed smoking – that stuff has been cooked, baked, roasted and fried by the sun and those guys are a testimony of how strong that stuff is!!!
    That Kangundo-Nairobi road looks like …. Am I allowed to swear? hope u get my point. Our country is led by Hyenas – greedy animals.

    1. Alan Author

      Yeah, you’re allowed to swear. The road looks like shit, eh? When’s the last time you were around Tala? You should see the road when you get to Kayole, Umoja, etc in Embakasi, just after Njiru! The road is terrible! And being tall, sitting in the back row of a matatu is also terrible!

  2. glo

    @nairobi chronicle
    I just want a break but if I can’t hack it, I’ll be on the next plane back to my lil’ cocoon in wales.

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