Friday, April 17, 2009

Karibu Kenya...

While Nairobi vacated for the Easter holiday, we found ourselves a bit under the weather but enjoying a few days of peace and restoration. No interviews, no taxi-buses, no backpack-saddled hoofing all over town. Predictably though, after about 2 hours of inactivity we began feeling restless and decided to take a peek at our footage. One thing led to another...
Here is a quick glimpse of Kenya through our eyes.

*Coming soon: so much more.

Act II: Karibu America

It's been quite awhile since our last update on this strange, new, popularized form of human communication. To briefly fill you in, we've set up camp in Nairobi (it's now already been one week) and we are staying at the luxurious Y.M.C.A., a hostel with considerably lovely grounds, a pool, a restaurant with a serene terrace, and shared bathrooms for every awkward European traveler and Kenyan alike to meet and greet each other through aquatic symphony. Ironically, although we're meters away from a cyber cafe (conveniently located within the Y), we've become less inclined to sneak away to the monster of technology, face illuminated, and promising absolute escapism. Escapism; must be exactly the point, as when two blonde, freckle-faced white kids find themselves waking up in the arid, windy, dust covertly lodging deep into ear canals, desolate, far, very far African desert, digging their nails into the rocky soil streets to maneuver around anthills of burning trash, poor, malnourished mothers begging blindly for money, strong, fervently religious men shooting daggered-glances from their eyes on prayer-day, herds of goat and cows and camels willing to trample, and our new friends (fortunately and unfortunately) climbing over us, sharing fleas and worms and coughs and colds and glue, sticky glue, and vapors, intoxicating vapors, and goo, the rarest, undefinable street crud available in a multitude of colors; won't wash off in the shower, but takes repeated scrub-downs and anti-bacterial prayers to fully remove. That is, when I'm fearless and willing to brave the cement-shower room which has become my personal petri-dish (more on this later if you don't know the joys of aquagenic pruritus).

No, Nairobi is a different scene. Act II: Karibu America. The city resembles a rip-off Prada purse sold on Canal St.: Perfectly labeled, necessary components present (material, stitching, handles, zippers, pocketbook included), yet absolutely funky. The pleather is beyond comparison to a well-beaten cow-hide, the stitching unravels before it leaves the manufacturer, and the pattern has mis-spelled words and branding. On paper, all bases covered. In person, one finds herself feeling like a veteran-bouncer, painfully wondering how the brunette, 5'8", 17-year-old chocolate-eyed girl could possibly assault his intelligence and present a license for an albino, 5'2", 30-year-old male.
Escapism here doesn't require autopilot preset for shiny, technological, 'modern', industrialized creature comforts. No. Escapism sings like wind howling through acacia families, ruminating too long on inherited constructs and past decisions, and digging my nose into Heart of Darkness for the third time.