February 10, 2013

The je ne sais

I have some friends from the U.S. who are in town this month for various reasons, and one of them asked me what I like about living in Nairobi as compared to, say, Seattle.  I gave an answer at the time-- that I like living in urban areas, that being abroad feels akin to being unthethered, that the weather is out of this world-- though I'm not sure it answered the question, let alone answered it comprehensively.  

Then this video turned up online.  It seems to have been made as a response to fears and doubts regarding the upcoming presidential elections in March, though the gist is really just a highlights-of-living-in-Nairobi reel to communicate the emotion of this city.  It's got Yaya Centre, Brew Bistro salsa night, Blankets and Wine, Mercury Lounge, and all the rest of cosmopolitan life.  

It gives the feeling of living here.  The je ne sais quoi of Nairobi.  

And while I can't articulate (and apparently neither can the dialogue-less video) the overarching reasons to love Kenya, I can give some specifics:

That after a long hike you can get a round of cold beers with an adorably iconic label.

Tusker, winner

That work-sponsored team-building activities are just as silly here as they are everywhere else.


That Kenya is a country of tea.

Monkey Sunshine

And cheese & wine festivals where vendors proclaim yogurt passion.


That the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport looks exactly how you would imagine it to look.

And that the coast looks like this.

That local hospitality extends to everyone, and that all up-country homes I've been invited into are covered in macrame.

That rooster-fights in nature are so much better than in a betting ring.

I jump on your head!

No!  I jump on YOUR head!!

That the trees are purple.

And pineapples in the road!

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