Il Diario di Tinton











{2001-06-25}   Day 32 – Nairobi,Kenya

I decided to change campsite, as the Nairobi Park Services was too far away from the city, and I had to get some stuff done. So I went with Oki and Smiley in the morning downtown: Oki went for his Safari, to Masaai-Mara, and I got dropped off at the backpackers hostel ( www.nairobibackpackers.com ), were Steve, the owner, is very cynical, but mainly sarcastic. This is one of the main reasons why Oki does not like him. I think he is OK, and yes, very sarcastic all the time, but not always, and there are moments were he is not. Nonetheless, maybe Oki is right, not to trusts him.

This campsite is like 15 minutes walk from downtown, and 10 mins from the Ethiopian embassy. Being finally Monday, I go in the morning to drop off my passport and $70 at their embassy. Then I proceed for downtown with Martin, a high school student from Sudan. He told me that in Sudan the situation is not too good, but it is not too dangerous either. What I should watch out for is the southern part, at the border: he strongly suggested me not to cross the border Sudan/Ethiopia via Land. but to Fly into Khartoum from Addis Ababa instead.

Then he told me that if I want to go to Ethiopia, I need to go to Islee (which then turned out to be Eastleigh) and take a truck there. And he asked if I wanted to go there. I must remember that I as soon as I ran into him, just outside the embassy, I told him I could not give him any money. and he said it was all right. So he took me to the bus stop, we hopped on the bus, I paid the $0.50 cents fair for both of us, and we went to Eastleigh. This is a dodgy Ethiopian neighbourhood, but after some asking, we finally found out that I can leave for Moyale from there by showing up around noon and hopping on a truck: 1000Ksh to sit in the cabin, and Ksh500 to sit on the truck with the cargo.Then we came back to downtown, and had lunch, and then he had to go back to school, since he only was allowed to skip school in the morning to go get his passport stuff done.

So I concluded my Nairobi dive by going to an internet cafe’, installing winzip, teraterm and ttssh, and doing all my stuff. http://www.brillig.org is still down. I don’t know what is happening. Also acd told me in an old email that I had yet not read that he had still not received my money, which kind of worries me.

Then I went to this other place,, were Martin took me earlier, for international calls: they only charge 100Ksh/min istead of 200. So I went there around 3pm and called Jeff at 7912657. But being there an 8 hours difference, it was about 7am for him, and nobody picked up the phone. I left a message. This was kind of disappointing since I was expecting him to be home, or at least to pick up the phone.

Whatever. I walked back to the hostel, where I met three girls, that had just finished a tour from Cape town: one from GB, and two from Australia, that were going to GB to work or study. A fourth girl was being very asocial and reading her book i a corner.

Then it was dinner time, and as I was eating the fried fish with chips with one of the girls, I saw two guys go in the back with backpacks: they turned out to bo Yaron and Yani, the Israeli brothers. They took showers, then, as I was just done eating, they were going down the street to this place called Buffalo Bill’s to have something to eat and they asked me if I wanted to go. I had to finish my beer, so I did, and then we went. They had something to eat, and I had a shot of whisky, which was supposed to cost like Ksh250 but the waiter screwed up and gave me 2 shots, without me knowing it. So when the bill came, it was a problem, because I had already drunken the whisky, and I didn’t want to pay for Ksh500. but at the end I paid 350, and he was going to put the other 150. I think I did the right thing: After all I did drink two shots, and he should pay something, or rather most of the extra shot, since it was him who screwed up by telling me that the whisky would have been 250. So this way, I paid a little and he paid most of it, as to pay for his mistake. And I got two shots for a better price this way.

Then the Israeli brothers, went to change some money at the hotel next door, and we came back at Buffalo Bill’s bar, called the horseshoe bar, to play some pool. As it turned out, the bar was a whore bar, and the pool table had a waiting list of 13 people. So we hung out there for a little bit, I got some attention from some ladies, and then we all left. Actually, a funny anecdote happened: as we signed up for pool, we were standing just by it, and didn’t realize that we were actually obstructing the view of the pool table to a man dressed up in a suite. So the man told Yaron: “What makes you think that I actually want you to stand there?” And the girl with him agreed. I was like “Wooohhha” In my mind and headed towards the door where I hung out with the door man for a while and told him about the arrogance of the man in the suite. he knew the man, and he pointed out that he has problems: men who are always alone (and in fact he was alone, just with the girl) must have problems. So I went back in and enjoyed the crowd and the beautiful ladies wanting to give me massages. I refused: it would be too much for the first night, and plus I had company waiting outside.

So we came back, and that’s when Yaron and Yaniv actually put their credibility/reliability to a strong test: When we came back, Steve was doing some accountancy work on the computer and was already tired and ready to go to sleep. The two brothers approached him asking him where they could buy some wooden carving curios. So Steve started to show them s few places on the map. And since this was taking a long time, I went outside to look at the stars and smoke a little. When I left, Steve had told them about two places and showed them how to get their with a map. When I came back, the brothers were still there, but this time Steve had showed them more places, and had also revolutionized the way he was giving directions: he whipped out some postcards of Nairobi and was showing them where the shops were on the postcards! Eventually Steve got fed up and “come on guys, let me finish up here”. As a matter of fact, they were able to have Steve procrastinate fora good 45 minutes while tired. When they came into my room, I told them “Banita, banita!”, as they built upon their credibility/reliability level.

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