November 11, 2011

Like coming home-ish

Like all normal people, I enjoy a good palindrome.

So, being 11/11/11 and all, today makes me happy.  Even if you're British or Kenyan and write your days before your months (why?), you can still partake in the fun.  In fact, having grown sick of writing DD/MM/YYYY on everything I do here in order to avoid confusion, today I have decided that I will rebel and resume dating all documents in the American fashion of MM/DD/YYYY.


There.  Now I just need to find some documents to fill out.  

Today also marks my final month of living in Kenya.  In precisely 30 days from now, at this moment, I'll be frantically shoving odd-shaped souvenirs into suitcases and making sure I have my flight snacks in order.  It's all about having your priorities straight.

But a month is still a sizable chunk of time, and there's much to do before I start stock-piling granola bars. I'm currently back in Nairobi for a few days, having survived another itty-bitty plane ride through a storm.  There's no airport where I stay in northern Kenya- just a gravel parking lot where the entire flight check-in procedure consists of the pilot calling names from a clipboard as passengers raise their hands... just like primary school roll-call.  No ID necessary.  No one cares if your bag has been out of your possession since you packed it.  

The pilot also fuels the plane himself, unless any hearty passengers are up to assisting the greasy procedure.  Then he eats some pasta salad from Tupperware.  It's a very glamorous life.  

Pilot sitting on top of plane to pour the fuel.  

I actually lucked out with a large plane for each flight.  Of course, the “large” planes are only 10-seaters, but that’s double what the small planes hold.  It feels like riding in a mini-van with wings.  Which isn't a bad way to travel, really. 

The magical flying minivan.

Returning to Nairobi feels… if not exactly like coming home, then at least like coming home-ish.  My apartment, the pool, the grocery stores, the shopping malls, the dance clubs... it’s such a cosmopolitan city that has much more in common with San Francisco than it does with rural Kenya. 

Home is where the kitchen is.

Kitchen balcony sunset.  

Unfortunately, I forgot to make a wish at 11:11am this morning, but luckily I operate on non-military time and will get a second chance tonight.  So at 11/11/11 11:11 tonight, I will be out in home-ish Nairobi, making wishes. 

Nairobi nights glitter at Havana.


  1. Wow! I can't believe you rode in such a tiny plane. Very cool :) I followed your link over here from Thorntree and appreciate your reply to my thread on Lamu. It looks like you're leaving Kenya soon but if you'll still be there in December I'd love to meet up in Nairobi :) Good luck with the remainder of your stay! ~Laura,

  2. Nairobi is very beautiful, especially from a foreigners point of view

  3. Your blog is wonderful and you seem to be really enjoying life in Kenya. The photos are brilliant and exciting. Would love to meet and chat with you about your experiences but I gather you may not be around for much longer. You can e-mail me at