Matatus are the primary form of transportation in Kenya. A “matatu” can be anything from a fourteen-seat Nissan minivan shuttling people around town, to a full-size bus ferrying dozens of people across the country. For those of you who’ve never been to Kenya: if you’ve ever ridden BART in California, a dalla dalla in Tanzania, or a tuk tuk in India, it’s more or less the same concept—you pay money and they take you places!
Unlike the tame, old buses in Malawi, or the polite motorcycle taxis in Rwanda that provide helmets for their passengers, though, Kenyan transportation is driven by greed and is full of attitude. It’s just the Kenyan—or at least Nairobian—way I guess, but matatus are loud, obnoxious, break all the rules, drive like they own the road, and piss off everyone around them… but I like them!
What’s up with Kenyan dudes and long finger nails? I first noticed it a few years ago on a high-school aged kid in Kitui. I was a bit weirded out when I saw that both of his pinky finger nails were strangely long and manicured, as if they hadn’t been cut in two months or so. I thought it was just this one weird guy, but since then I’ve seen it on all sorts of other guys (never women), including a few guys at ILRI where I work.
I’ve heard of people having a long thumb nail for playing the guitar, but this is just bizarre. My imagination runs wild with what it must signify.
About a month ago Cassandra bought a fish tank and populated it with a few fish: a Plecostomus, four Platys, and a Siamese. What started as a fun weekend project has turned into a strange month of fish keeping.
From the get go the Siamese chased all the others around. I was getting so worked up watching him relentlessly pester the other fish that I kept offering to throw him out the window to show him who the real big fish was. Eventually we moved him to his own tank, but then the Platys started going at each other. I kept telling myself, “It’s just fish politics, you wouldn’t understand,” but then I wanted to throw one of the aggressive Platy males out the window too. Fish politics aside, everything was going along “swimmingly.”