Monday, 20 August 2012

Home, sweet home

I had to take 2 mats, cross a river (on foot) and get a mkokoteni ride to get home tonight. Yes, I still live in Nairobi.

That tweet cracked me up, but I couldn’t laugh too hard. When you live where I do, even Rongai jokes lose their ‘oomph’. Let’s just say that if Rongai haters discovered the enchanting haven I call home, they would have a field day. I may not have to take a mkokoteni to get home but I do HAVE to cross a river (it’s seasonal and has been dry for all of the past 4 years but I am allowed to get theatrical here.) And yes, I still live in Nairobi. Politically speaking, I could even claim to be from Embakasi. Geographically, not so much.

If I were to give directions to my place I would use the words to that Sprite ad that goes something like: 'Take a step. Go further. Now go too far' I know two ways to get to my place, Kamulu:
 Weave your way through Muthurwa and board a bus to Tala. The bus will take Mombasa Road, branch into the Ruiru bypass until it gets to Ruai. Then it will take Kangundo and 8 km later you will be at Kamulu...but you won’t have gotten to my place yet. There’re still the rivers that have to be crossed and what-have-you.My directions will probably get yo lost so here's a map. 
Or you could just hitch a ride with my dad. He favours Thika Road as a way of appreciating Kenya’s leap into the future. At Ruiru he takms the bypass to Ruai then Kamulu. He will drop you right at the doorstep. Either way it’s a gruelling one hour long journey.

My house sits in the middle of nowhere. From my window I see tracts and tracts of grass, as far as the eye can see. The wide, wild west...only in my case it’s the East. There’s a school close by, and a few scattered houses...but more or less, we are alone. I am a bit of a loner so this doesn’t bother me much.  What bother me are the heat, and the dust, and the bugs. The bugs here have all sorts of mutations: roaches can fly, mosquitoes are humongous and there are many other creepy crawly things. But they grow on you after a while. I think it has something to do with the fact that they aren’t afraid of humans. Even birds here don’t fly off when you approach them.

However, I love the space and the quiet. The sunrises and sunsets are at their most beautiful here. Even the full moon is bigger and much closer. And on moonless nights, the stars are quite a sight. I love the endless grass too. When I look out of my window, I can pretend that all that lies under the sun, as far as I can see, is mine to conquer.  More importantly, inasmuch as it is home, it doesn’t allow me to just sit in my comfort zone.  The climate is unforgiving but I have learnt that I am not as fragile as I thought. I am not much of a ‘settler’. I don’t get attached to people, let alone places...but this place is growing on me, somewhat.


  1. You are a humorous writer! *hoping that spelling is right*
    I love the piece :-)

  2. My living in the middle of nowhere isn't in vain, it seems. At least it made u smile. Am glad you loved it.

  3. My living in the middle of nowhere isn't in vain, it seems. At least it made u smile. Am glad you loved it.