What to do if, all the sudden, such a scary head appeares out of the bush right in front of you? What if two of a kind? I guess the best is what I did, remain cold-blooded and taking the pics. What they did? They ignored me completely and just passed on the other side of the road. It was so unexpected and funny.
Later on I met this lovely couple lying on the grass and still ignoring my presence.
It was one of the rare unpleasant experiences I had in Nairobi. The Mausoloem to Jomo Kenyatta was closed and there wasn't any indication regarding openning hours. When I approached to the iron gate there were two guards who aworned me not to take the pictures because it is not allowed. I asked them for the reason but they became rude telling me to put my camera away and leave the place.
Since I never quit, I went across the avenue took out my strong lens and made this pictures hidden by the hedge.
Although widely speaking and second official language besides kiswahili, not all Kenyans are able to communicate in english, especially those who are illetrate. Knowing some phrases in swahili, which is in Kenya coloquially called kiswahili, might help you alot.
jambo = hello
karibu = welcome
kesho = tommorrow
asante sana = thank you
sawa = ok
pesa ngapi=How much
Jane is my interner friend, we exchnaged a few e-mails and calls before my departing to Kenya. Once I called her, she cooked the dinner and it was traditional local dish called ugali. She promiced to make it for me if I ever came to the town of Nairobi. I've meet her only tha last day of my staying in Nairobi because she was out of the town. Jane is by origin Maasai and she is very proud to be it. She shawn me around and we spend whole day together visiting parts of the town I couldn't see if on my own. I bought her a lunch and she invited me at her home making ugali and sukuma as she promiced. There at her home I've meet some of her friends and we spent very pleasant evening, right before my flight back to Mombasa.
There is a part of the town where only white people live, actually, it is residential area and all houses are hidden behind high and wired walls. My taxi driver took me there in order to show me this completely different face of Nairobi. Never before in no place I saw so many secutity cars and armed guys around. This part of the town is in a huge contrast with the rest of Nairobi and I didn't like it at all.
When greeting a woman it is customary to do that cheek to cheek thing. Generally you would do it twice, but someone I know does it three times. So treat it like dancing and just follow their lead as best ya can.
Just looking around a big city is an attraction itself. We learn more aboutt he place from just looking and studying our fellowmen. These fotos were taken from my hotel window at rush hour. it documents the everyday bustle of city life....like anywhere else but to the pace of the Kenyan rhythm.
If you do have your bag snatched, you can always point and yell "Thief!" or " Janja!". This will result in a huge crowd chasing and (usually) apprehending the suspect. Be aware that the accused will be beaten half to death while you politely ask for your bag/purse/wallet. If you don't see a police officer where you are, then this is the faster yet obviously more drastic option.
You should never try and chase a thief on your own, as they may turn on you with a small knife. Better to use the police if they are around.
While it was once taboo to photograph the Masai, it has become another form of income for them. Expect to pay money to take a photo.
The Maasai are the southern-most Nilotic speakers and are linguistically most directly related to the Turkana and Kalenjin who live near Lake Turkana in west central Kenya. According to Maasai oral history and the archaeological record, they also originated near Lake Turkana. Maasai are pastoralist and have resisted the urging of the Tanzanian and Kenyan governments to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. They have demanded grazing rights to many of the national parks in both countries and routinely ignore international boundaries as they move their great cattle herds across the open savanna with the changing of the seasons.
THE MASAI BLANKETS
This 'scottish' appareance blankets are very typicall from masai people. Although it seems rather strange to wear blanquets in the Equator, nights here can be cold and they are nomads after all... You'll find this blankets everywhere to buy as souvenirs.
THE MASAI GOURDS
Another typical masai item, this gourds are used by them to mix the milk with animal blood. This energetic drink is considered as a drink for strenght for the male warriors. You will find many more tribal items, as well as Natural History exhibitions at the National Museum, in Museum Road (9.30 to 18 daily). I thought of buying one at a souvenir shop, but they are not very useful at an 'occidental' house...