Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Unauthorized Formula 1 pit crew

So last night I was going home on Uhuru Highway and the traffic started slowing down a bit. Two guys run into traffic, get in front of my car and start bumping and shaking it. I didn't even know what to think, I thought I was being carjacked or something so just blasted the horn. I am surrounded by cars and people but these guys were stealing my indicator lights! just like that! with me *in* the car! how brazen. anyway, they get it in only a few seconds and they jump over the highway divider and almost get run over by several cars. so there are two gaping holes where my indicators were. sigh.

Monday, June 28, 2010

be careful what you wish for

I was complaining about casual mondays last week...an voila, meetings scheduled today so I am back to my suited ways. And it's not too comfortable.

but sleep deprivation and a wonderful weekend make it hard to summon up the energy to do basic things...say remembering the memory card from the camera so i could show you the joys partaken during said wonderful weekend.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday blues and pink checkbooks

Feeling a little tired and cranky today, TGIF issues notwithstanding. that's all. oh made this lovely mocha dessert thing from the Tasty kitchen last night. lo-ve-ly.

so I went to open up a bank account and the lady immediately started selling me on a 'diva' account. I said, ok, what benefits does a DIVA account have. Bank lady: well it has many benefits but I think you'd be happy to know that, you get a pink ATM card, a pink checkbook, a pink key chain...

I signed up since I was indeed wearing the one item of pink clothing that I owned and she was smiling so sweetly thinking she got me for her diva club from the moment I walked into the bank.

oh, I called later to change the pink card/checkbook to the standard blue. didn't have the heart to do it with her face to face.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

filed away

I spent my morning at Nyayo House to drop off and process an application for a national ID card. I followed signs for "Aliens" and got myself registered, finger printed (with real ink!) and was given a receipt to pick up my card in one month. The most interesting part though is that once you get fingerprinted you go to the shelf by the door to pick up a piece of cotton and then right outside the door there is an old bottle of water that is filled with benzene. You wet your cotton ball with the fuel and wipe the ink away. I was so happy to be able to clean the ink from my fingers that it didn't occur to me that I'd be smelling like bezene all day. Brilliant. Especially since I scheduled back to back meetings this afternoon. Yay me.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What an ingrate

So one of the joys of moving here was the ability to have help at home. It's just me, B (the hubby) and little dude (the little dude). But at this point our help situation is out of control as we have 4 people looking after us, if I remember my calculus right, that is more than 1 per person. There's Emme, the Nanny. Khadijah the Housekeeper. Maar the Cook and Ephrem the Driver. And I still feel frazzled and think I have too much to do, funny huh? I've totally forgotten the days when I just felt like I couldn't even catch my breath. Waking up at night to feed little man, waking up again to feed little man, fixing his breakfast, changing his nappy and getting showered/dressed for work while waiting for his baby sitter. Trying to achieve a miracle by walking out without any spit-up or food on any of my clothing. Spending the day trying to be totally a 100% there at work with only a few hours of sleep while also periodically sneaking out to another floor to feed the machine (pump breast milk) in a tiny room. oh lord, taking so many conference calls in that little room and smiling as people complained, what is that scraping sound? then the deep disappointment as I would rush home to find out that little dude is already asleep and I still have a hours of work to do from home. pumping milk while checking LBO models while I wait for him to wake up at midnight or so anyway. sigh. I don't even want to remember the traveling and pumping thing - face with the choice; 1) dump the milk (ughh, after all that pain, no way) 2)fedex the milk (did it once but it is a little stupid) 3)try to check in a tiny bag for a day trip back from Chicago (good luck with that and being mocked by everyone on your team who have no clue what you are checking in ) 4) ignore it and have milk stains all down your shirt and the pain oooh the pain. wait a minute, why did i forget all this?

ok. I am such an ingrate. life is good now. but you know what I miss? cooking. Not the prep for cooking or the cleanup...but just the joy of putting it all together and tasting it. I keep going to smitten kitchen and hitting the 'surprise me' button and dreaming what I can cook.... dammit....today is the day. I'm such a whiner, no? It's a good thing nobody reads this crap.
anyway, here's little dude jumping...trying to jump...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

two roads diverged

My brother came to town for a conference last night. I wanted to see him before he got caught up in his meetings so I decided to drive to his hotel after work. For some reason, I didn't google the address before I hit the road at 8:30pm. Now anybody with half a brain will tell you one shouldn't do that in this town. Actually, what I was told was to not go somewhere you don't know at night if you absolutely don't have to. But I've got this cocky last child immortality complex so I wanted to see my big bro and hell, I was not going to wait until tomorrow. I asked my husband to call me with the directions. He's great at many things, but map reading and navigating ain't one of them. So he told me to make a left when I should have taken a right . After driving for 15 min a little voice inside my head started whispering something about not being in KS anymore (I've never even been). The road kept getting worse and worse, the bonfires by the road were more frequent, there was a noticeable spike in the number of people around and it was all corrugated iron shack as far as my eyes could see through the darkness. Finally it occurred to me that I had driven into one of the biggest slum areas in Nairobi. I made a U turn when the narrow roads would allow and eventually met and enjoyed my brother's company for a few hours.

But I can't get that image out of my head. That 15 mins away from the uber modern malls selling frapuccinos at $4.0 a cup and designer jeans (+$400) exists such squalor. I knew the reality here but I had subconsciously decided to ignore it and been floating through life here . I need to do a little inventory of my conscience. anyway, I'm feeling like i grabbed this branch that I saw last week.

Monday, June 21, 2010

monday monday

The beauty of casual Fridays, though I've never had the joy of experiencing it, is that it is a not too subtle nod to the coming weekend. A working stiff who had to wear formal gear all week can slip into standard issue khaki pants and other bland business casual gear and know that freedom is near - TGIF.
In Nairobi, ok, donno if it is all o' Nairobi, but at my new job here, there is a thing called casual Monday, where you can relax the super formal wear that is required every other day of the week. (No joke on the super formal thing, even the lady that makes the coffee wears a shirt that is starched to within an inch of its life.) Anywhoo- where was I? oh yes, casual Monday, I suppose it is to ease you back to the formal week from the weekend but it is totally lost on me. I would much rather tighten my belt, put on something standard from a closet full of dark suits, starched shirts and head out to face the week. Every single freakin' Monday I am sitting in front of my closet at 6:30am agonizing whether my old strechy maternity top is 'business casual' (don't judge, it still feels lovely 2 yrs later) , if ballet slippers are too, well, too ballet-y. So I end up with a non suit look that is still formal, cardigan much?, but that I can't wear any more because I've branded it casual by wearing it on a Monday. Bloody 'ell! anyway, happy Monday! I had a lovely weekend with my little dude.

Friday, June 18, 2010

oh hey, how you doin'

So yea, I have been MIA for a few months now and a lot has changed. I'm back in the rat race and back on the saddle vis-a-vis the working situation. Those lovely months off are such a pretty memory. Still loving Nairobi but a little bit differently than when I used to hang outside my home and drink tea. The rainy season is upon us and it's almost as if I never lived through many a north eastern winter. I shiver at the slightest dip in temperature and complain. I've become a local! Anyway, I am back, with a super fast internet connection and I'll be more diligent about updating this here blog thingy. In the mean time, here's the view from my office window.
Sorry for the bad quality pictures, thought it would be weird to be snapping these at mid day. I should do another one early morning. Anyway, so that shot above is showing what is above the building that is across the road. A hotel. whoa, the Standard in NY had quite a rep but this one has got it beat; that's all I've got to say about that for now. Here's the view that I have to the

A little further is a view of a mosque which breaks my days with the beautiful melody from the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer several times a day. It always makes me smile and reminds me that even though my screen still is loaded with financial models and legal papers, I am sooooo far away from where I was last year.