I posted some pictures of the inside of my house last month when I moved in, but I know you guys are wondering what the apartment complex itself looks like. I live in the Westlands suburb, just off Waiyaki Way near the Safaricom headquarters. I walk about a kilometer to the main road, along which there are several small kiosks set up where people sell milk, bananas, airtime for cell phones, cigarettes, etc. We live at the end of the road, down a small hill. By the time I reach the matatu on the way to work I am almost sweating from the walk (and embarrassingly out of breath). On weekends I can walk over and buy lunch from the ladies on the side of the road (they cook for the construction workers). Beans, chapati, vegetables, etc. Real cheap and delicious!
My Furry New Friends
No, scorpions are not furry. Neither are snakes. I guess some spiders are, but now I’m bringing back too many memories from Tala. I don’t think those wild animals will be bugging me any more now that I’ve moved to Nairobi. Instead, I have two wildly energetic dogs constantly disturbing me, Peanut and Mascha. Peanut’s probably a black lab and Mascha is… furry. My roommate recently inherited them when his mom passed away, so last month he flew back to New York and arranged to have them brought to Kenya. They’re a great addition to the house, and I’ve missed having dogs as pets (since the only other interaction I’ve had with dogs was them chasing me in Tala while I was carrying groceries on my bike. On a bumpy dirt road. At night).
Peanut is the friendlier of the two, but he’s also the youngest and a bit more excitable. He likes to come sit on my bed when I’m on the computer in my room. If I leave for more than a minute or two, he’ll jump up and run to find me. The other night he was sleeping on my bed and I didn’t want to disturb him but I wanted to sleep too, so I just climbed under the sheets. I kicked him off the bed in the middle of the night when he refused to scoot over and was hogging all the blankets (and I was starting to get cold). I don’t think he took it personally because he still runs to greet me when I come home from work in the evening!
Mascha is from Russia… she’s furry and used to the cold, so she likes sitting on the tile floor. She’s a very interesting dog. Sometimes I walk into my room and find that the sheets are disheveled. I’m not the messy type so it left me wondering the first few times until I caught Mascha red handed once. I watched her hop onto my bed and start peeling the blanket and sheet away until she had revealed the sweet, soft inner sheets and was finally happy to sit down. She’s very eccentric, just like her owner (my roommate). He even speaks to her in Russian — I’m not sure what he says, or even if she understands, but it’s pretty hilarious and gets her revved up.
As I sit writing this Mascha has wedged herself in between the wall and the couch where I am sitting, and has rested her head on my foot. Haha, crazy dog…
The King of Tala’s Market
This goat is the king of Tala’s market (or at least he walks around like he owns the place). I’m not sure how old it is, but I’ve been seeing him for nearly two years now. That means it has lasted through at least two Christmas and two Easter feasts. A colleague of mine swears the goat has an owner, and I guess he’s probably right, but what gives? If it has an owner, it’s oblivious of the fact; this goat is does what it wants when it wants to! I took these pictures yesterday as I was walking home with my buddy Sammy (the jamaa (“dude”) in the shorts). I even saw it again tonight. I tried to take a picture of it last week but my phone’s battery had died. Good thing too, because my buddy was calling me a tourist, haha!
One afternoon I took a back route home from the market and I saw a girl relaxing on a blanket and smoking some weed; there was nobody else around, but the goat was proudly standing just a few feet away from her. I just cracked up. Another time I walked past a church crusade (singing, dancing, evangelizing) on a Sunday in Tala’s market, and it was standing right behind the crowd of people, as if to remind onlookers of that age-old duality of good versus evil. Yet another time I was leaving the market a bit late and I saw it just chillin’ in the public transit terminus (a bit creepy because it was dark, the wind was blowing, and the market was nearly deserted). Besides, look at the horns on this thing!
We’re used to it by now, but it never ceases to crack me up. Crazy Tala!