I posted once before about music in East Africa (and Nigeria). Here is some more stuff from Nairobi I have been listening to recently. As far as I can tell Kenya’s music scene is a bit more intense than the other countries in the region. Tanzania’s stuff is less abrasive, a genre they call “bongo flava,” while most of the music that comes out of Kenya is more similar to the “crunk” found in the USA. I’m not sure where it fits in, but there’s a new-ish genre in Nairobi called “genge” and it’s pretty popular now. Of course the older people think it’s pure idiocy. Kids these days, hah!
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Kenya, Pictures


I went for a routine trim at my usual hair cutter in Nairobi this weekend, as my hair was getting a bit too bushy. The guy ended up cutting a ton of hair off and I was panicked at first. As my heart began to beat faster I decided that I would just say, “It looks good” and pay for it, then run over to the first barber shop and buzz it all off. In the end it wasn’t as bad as I thought, but I definitely had to get rid of my beard. I haven’t seen some of those freckles on my cheek in years. Now it’s been three days since I got the cut and I’ve gotten a boat load of compliments; I guess Kenyans just don’t like the California beach boy/hippy look.


In other news, I went ice skating this weekend. There’s a ridiculously-nice hotel on Mombasa road called Panari, and it has an ice-skating rink. Imagine that, it’s gotta be the only one in East Africa, if not all of Africa. Most of the people there were kids, and they were all kids who looked like they had done it before. The chicks I went with had never skated on ice or pavement so it was slow-going. I tried to help out a bit, but I even had some problems because the blades on the skates were a bit dull. The guy who worked at the rink had really nice skates, though, like straight from the NHL.

There are a few more pictures here:

Kenya, Rants

I was shopping in Nairobi for some new clothes this weekend and a few things got me so frustrated. First, haggling is ridiculous. For whatever reasons, we just don’t do it in the West. The idea is that you, the person selling the goods, want to maximize the sale price. The other idea is that you, the person buying the goods, want to minimize the sale price. See the problem?

The other other idea is that there is a fair price somewhere in the middle, one where we both win. The process begins when the buyer asks the price. The seller, thinking to maximize, will usually give a price somewhere above what the buyer wants to pay, so the buyer counters (usually eloquently) with something more like what he wants to pay. In my experience the seller is always offended (sometimes genuinely, other times it’s just a tactic). The logic I can’t wrap my head around is this: the seller gives a ridiculously-high price and the buyer names an equally-ridiculous low price. As the buyer, I don’t expect him to actually accept my first price, and I expect us to strike and agreement somewhere above, so I pick something significantly below where I want to pay.
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