Maybe Nairobi is the African Paris.
I might be exaggerating, for I am, really, infatuated with this city.
I have seen only little, and I know that Nairobi has much more to offer than what I’m able to conceive. But because conception proceeds imagination, I must say, so far, my expectations have been met.
First the abundant green, the defiant mother Nature as she makes her way into the daily lives of busy Kenyans. Roads and buildings rise but not above those tall, dark and handsome… trees. With blooming pink flowers. It’s different.
Second, its’ shy mountainous structure. You won’t notice (probably because you’ll be distracted by the scent of Chapati, at the restaurant just down the street), but if you choose to be a walker in Nairobi, you will find yourself climbing mountains.
I suppose this is an explanation for all the running Kenyans are usually praised for?
I saw this walking, and what pleased me wasn’t the fact that a former Mozambican leader is being celebrated in the streets of downtown Nairobi, but the fact that hospitality in this country is not limited to a street name. I really do feel at home. I feel comfortable, too comfortable, almost, that I am naturally inclined to trust every person I see. I long for the opportunity to hear the slow-paced and almost poetic Kenyan accent that slips into the English language; or the sudden switch to the national language, Kiswahili, as people interact so vividly with each other. The “sawa sawa”s and the “50 bob” it takes to ride a Matatu.
Though a language I do not understand, yet, I cannot help but wish to understand it. I’m not staying here for long enough, but I hope that, by the time I leave, I will take with me the whispers that Nairobi so generously entrusted me with.