Day #7 Plan, what plan? Robbery, slums and battle the Massai

Jumping with the Massai warriors

Uuuh! Even after my morning sport I felt dizzy this morning. But it was more the problem, that I didn’t slept the hole night through. I was working all night on my blog and then barely fall asleep and woke up all the time again and again. Anyway, we woke up and moved. This is something my in-passionate personality loves. Get your ass up an do something. Outside the house, we found out, what drunken drivers could do to the other peoples car. Some one missed the parking space by half a meter and pushed parked car out of his space. A third of the car was hanging over a cliff, while the front was completely demolished. Don’t drink and drive! You can’t do two things at the same time. First drink, then drive, then drink again.

O.k. it was fun for us, but not for the owner of this car. On our way to the street we went up a serpentine road, which was just not to narrow to get around with a car, if you be a bit careful and go back and forth around the corners. This crazy people here tried it with a 3.5 to Truck. Quit interesting, and by the way they needed all the space, so that we had to wait for them.

Finally we arrived uphill on street level and caught the first Matatu. Matatus are the most important transport for the people here. A Matatu is a kind of Taxi-bus which has about 15 seats inside. Very narrow and squeezed. There are also some busses running, but not really reliable and very rarely. On the other hand side they have proper Taxis, for sure with not so big cars then in Germany, but I would say Germans used to have the biggest and most expansive Taxis all over the world (most likely a Mercedes). About middle class cars, but to expansive for the most people. Usually it seems, that the Matatu drivers try to pimp their cars so much, that the people would more likely go for a ride with their car, then with the competitors. Our Matatu this morning had quite a good sound system, with a big bass under my seat in the back. Also a nice soft sealing and LCD Monitor with music videos. The drive has about two people next to him, the rest squeeze in the back. The passage between the seats to go to the back rows is about 20 cm, so that my stuffed baggy pants barely could fit through. Argh! Matatu means Three-Cent-Ride. I guess it should mean Schilling Cent. But this was from way back then. Today a ride is 30 Schilling, about a 100 times more. But this fine according to German Taxi, where you pay about 2.50€ when they just turn on the engine. 30 Schilling or Sh30 is about 0.30€. The system works like that: On a Matatu stop they scream “Come in to these or that area” to collect a full load of people. They start, when they have all seats full. Next to the door sits the Money collector how push the people back in and tells the drive to move, when he picked up a full load. On the way he collects all the money from the passengers, which is more or less always about Sh30. If you need to jump out, you just bang the wall or the glass to make the driver notice you and stop. They usually go like drive by jump outs and ins on the way. With no signal at all they may slide from the middle lane to a bus stop, the slide door already open and the guy behind stand in the door while the car is still driving. The passenger jumps off, even the car is still driving, and maybe another one jumps in at the bus stop, to go a while in the same direction then the Matatu. On their way back, for sure, they not always that stuffed with people. I will upload some videos to my videocast later.

After a ride to the inner city, a walk through down town Nairobi (I give you also a video of that), and another ride to the area of the Nairobi stadium we reached a friends flat. In the same house was also a student from AIESEC in Colombia living. Would go all for some Food in the countryside. At that time the Safari was already skipped, because of all the people show up so late. At least I didn’t got it, because I was still a bit dizzy. So we hang out spend a bit money, for someone to get us food, that we – me and the German girl which was with us since yesterday – could have regular prices. White people have to pay a colonization fee on top – that’s just how I call it.

After that, we suddenly found out that seven people don’t fit in a five seat car. Sometimes it’s hard to be a German, but you get used to that – especially if you are to tired to care about. So they decided to ask a friend, to bring a second car along. You can imagine, what happened, if you read my blog before – we saw a lot of African music videos until the other car arrived. At least we had an interesting interruption:
Suddenly we heard girls screaming. I was not sure if this is something serious or some fun, but like the others I went outside. They screamed something in Swahili or maybe a few lines in Kikuyu – the people here mix all their languages together while speaking; even in a single sentence – so that I didn’t understand a word. But the other guys started running out the main gate, so I was sure, this is serious. The girls just was puzzled if they should just shut the doors. The doors of more affordable places like this one, are usually from metal or at least very solid. They have metal bars to shut them, and most likely several locks. I went outside, to find out what all this screaming should mean. Three girls stand on a balcony like staircase in the top floor and pointed down to the streets. Someone from our group was still in front of the house and talking to them. After a few questions and a look around, I found out, that they got robbed in the top floor, next to the flat of the Colombian intern. Two guys with guns went in the flat, but everything of worth in big suitcases. While they where busy, the girls who owns the flat went back and stumbled in them. Because they screamed so extremely loud, the robbers get nervous and started running, whit whatever was in their hands – luckily not to much. Three of us ran behind them. Pretty silly, because they didn’t knew, that they had weapons. The only weapon they had, was a nearly empty bottle of Vodka. I would say this breakfast Vodka – don’t drink before 2 p.m.; but it is always 2 p.m. somewhere – was the reason for their “courage”. Anyway the robbers got away and no one was shot. Strange and bad feelings arose in me. I would liked to have a chance to get them, but they plain got away with it. But the lost their suitcases which make it maybe a deuce.

Nobody called the police, because I was told, that calling the police is like getting robbed again or not calling the police. Maybe they tell you, they have no cars available, or they tell you, that you have to pay their full to bring them there and write a report. Mmmh.

So had bad feelings about, because The staircase the robbers went all up to the top floor, was right next to our open door, while we waited for the other people to come with the second car. I wonder, why they went all the way up and not ran into the first door with their guns…

Anyway, I was told that this is the first robbery in this area, as far as it concerned the locals here.
Finally they other group came with a big jeep and the me and the other two foreign AIESECer squeezed in the third row of the car.

We went then to a low class area of the city to pick up to other guys. I took a video of it to upload. I thought in the first place, this must be than a slum in Nairobi, but I was later told, that this is just a “not so nice neighborhood” but far not the worst – Omigod!

Then we went quite a while outside of Nairobi for a fuel-stop. I say fuel-stop, because we didn’t needed to buy gas for the car, but fuel for us. A box of Pilsener – which is a proper south German tasting Kenya beer -, a few half dozens of canned Tusker – for some reason I would say it tasted better then the bottled version, but maybe it was just cold enough out of the store – and a packed of Irish Guinness in cans. Enough for a long ride outside Nairobi. This time it was good to sit in the back seat, close to the storage of the beer. By the way, they just used to drink here warm beer and cold beer. Even a lot of Kenyan would never go for a cold beer. Strange, in Germany you would consider the offer of a warm beer as an offense…

I took a fee photos while we drove to Olo Polos. But most of the time I was busy with chatting and drinking. The others already arrived in between and had already ordered our food as well. Soon I found out why this was a good thing. While we waited, we had a few more beers and a chat, but after a while I started to worry about my food, and took a walk around the place. We was on a hill and had a great few over the countryside with all the mountains around. It is dry season – what you could compare to winter, but actually it feels like hot, hot summer. So the land looked brown all over. A strong wind was blowing over this mountain and made it a quite comfortable place. The Massai had here a kind of village with most likely just round wall of about 1.6 meters high. So If you stand close, you could easily look inside. I was told that the Massai men used to wander around with there animals all day long, while only the women stay at the village and raise the kids. Often the men with the animal following the rain a long way and came back after weeks or months. So I was told about a still common and quite nice tradition to keep the village running. No matter to whom a women is married, when her husband is away, any man can come to her hut and but a spear in the ground in front of her house. That means plain “stay out, I am busy inside”. Even if the husband returns, he had to wait outside, until the other warrior leaves the hut. It’s seems to be nice to be a Massai warrior.
One of the huts was the butchery. I was allowed to walk inside and have a look around. A few goats hang down from a tree branch, that hang over the butcheries wall. Behind a inner wall under a roof, was a table where they cut the meat. So this was the reason for the long stay. The don’t have any electricity out here to run a fridge. If you come, you order a number of goat legs and pay Sh2,500.00 each. We were about a dozen people, so we had ordered two legs. I only saw legs, so I guess they keep the torso and the head for themselves and selling the legs for a 100 € per goat. Sounds o.k. for me. So I saw the goats around the village, the butchery and the kitchen, where they prepared the side dishes and grill the meat. It must have bin about two hours or three, before we had our meat, and they already ordered it, before we arrived. I don’t wear a watch since a while – which is quite calming and helpful to handle African time.

The serving of the meal under a few of this nice Savannah trees was quite nice. As soon, as the meat was placed we came over it. The waiter just had placed the last side dish and left the table, when we had nearly eaten half of the meat. To eat with your hands, they placed all around the area metal containers with water. It’s just enjoyable to rip your goat meat from the bones – a true mans world, baby! This meal is called Nyama choma. At the side we had british style chips with a house made fruity salsa and Mokimo – mashed potatoes with vegetables and herbs that colour it green. Extremely tasty! A group of older Massai walked all around the area to show the people some dancing from their culture. They sang along and then start jumping from the stand up about a meter high. Pretty good. I was told, the man that jump highest will get the most beautiful women of the village as a bride. So this is a good reason to work on your leg muscles. I did, so this is my match. I ran around the table and tried to copy them. The showed me there technique and I did as they did. Two of them jumped pretty high, but at least I was in between them, so I matched even one of them. I also showed them a few funny jump moves from the clubs. It was so a lot of fun, that I totally forgot to take pictures from that. God that a friend took some at the end of our jump event. Unfortunately non with me high up in the air. The better Massai came afterwards to me and we had a handshake and a chat. He told me really honestly, that I was very talented in jumping as a Massai and would just need a bit more training, to match with all of them. Yeah, I like to dance.

So I just end with the best part of the day and spare you the boring drive through the night back to Nairobi over crushed small streets with high speed, no seatbelt, suddenly appearing pedestrians and Trucks in the middle of the street.

Read you later!

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