In A Nairobi Minute..

Here one minute, gone the next...

On most days, I’m like John Shaft a muhfuggin samurai on these mean-ass streets of Nairobi. I use every inch of my athletic 6’ft 2” build to slice through the sea of pedestrians and cars and I am extra cautious about anything that comes within a 1m radius of my physical presence. I dont mind walking around in Nairobi even when I’m carrying close to two hundred thousand shillings worth of equipment on my back and in my four pants pockets. The same applies to when I hop on mathrees or hoppas, I’m equally hawk-eyed and alert. You dont have to personally get robbed to realise that it could happen to anyone and know what precautions to take at all times.

On the one day I happen to drop the soap, so to speak, I get royally shafted courtesy of yours truly, Nairobbery.

So there I was, with my sweater-wearing, shirt-matching, sexxy-smelling self walking to the stage to catch a mat in between trying to duck mud-splashes from speed-crazed uncouth Kenyan drivers. All that evasive walking and defensive manoeuvring was all in vain. Mud splatters somehow managed to lodge themselves around the bottom half of my pants leg area. I wanted to stop right there, pull out a kleenex and wipe them out but I was running late and needed to find my mat and board it stat. So I did. A Nissan. Shot-gun ofcourse, because I neeed the extra leg-room plus there’s the occasional newspaper stashed in the dashboard to be keep me company during my long trip to Karen. But today I boarded the mat, a bit absent-minded seeing as my mind was totally fixated on the mud spots on my pants.

**Sidenote: As any Nairobian jamaa will tell you, our pants’ side pockets were not made for Kenyan transportation because the minute you sit down, objects contained therein either stick out or spill out depending on the object in question, the tightness or looseness of the pants you’re wearing in relation to the size of your thighs.

In case you’re wondering, I keep my cell in my left pocket and my wallet in my back pocket and my precious in my right pocket. My precious wasnt plugged in yet because I left the house in a half this morning and the headphones were still in my bag. So as I hunched over to wipe the mud stains from my pants, I guess my precious either slide out the pocket onto the chair or visibly protruded from my pocket. Next thing I know, the guy sitting next to infront frantically starts looking for the seatbelts and mumbling something about cops nearby and buckling up before they see us and we both get slapped with fines. At around that exact moment, the mathree stopped to pick up passengers at which point he said he wanted to alight, quickly hopped out and I got back in the front seat and we drove off. Instantly I gave myself the routine pat-down only to realise that my right pocket was empty. At that moment, the whole scene replayed in my mind and I realised exactly what had just happened.

And that is the story of how I donated my precious 120GB iPod to charity earlier today.

As iCon would say: Laugh now, but tomorrow, it could be you.

21 thoughts on “In A Nairobi Minute..

  1. oooh….ouch!!! I guess today is not a good day for precious things….just heard my motherboard is dead, meaning laptop is dead, meaning I have no laptop!!! Yes, the one I got last year. I sit here with a flu and shocked beyond beyond!! compaq / hp!!!….NEVER!!! sniff sniff…so I mourn with you today…

    • huh? RuRu is de-de-dead?
      *pours out a little liquor coffee*

      *holds hands with Kipepeo and hums “we shall overcome” hymn*

      PS: For the record, I still stand by my earlier recommendation: Laptops = HP>Toshiba>Sony>Acer

    • Thanks man. I call it my initiation into Nai life. I take public transportation all the time so I’m grateful for this experience, Now niko macho like no one’s business. Hopefully lightning wont strike in the same place twice.
      I’m a big fan/lurker of/on your blog btw. Thanks for checking out mine.

  2. Pole sana,

    Maybe just to share my ‘I-have-been-there-too’ experience. My loss had nothing to do with precious(es) but hell, money is precious too!

    So, they were two guys. I was seated next to the driver in the jav, the one guy was seated next to me and the other was seated at the middle seat, first row behind the driver’s seat (location, location, location)

    Well, the one at the back pretended to be giving his pal at the front like 5million 1sh coins and of course, they spilled all over the front, some into the cleavage of our seats, some in my cleavage.

    So I immediately panic, and get into this sufficiently charitable deed of helping pick the 1 bobs (THE DIVERSION) and the guy next to me opens my bag and makes it away with my wallet.

    Of course it doesn’t hit you what happened until you get home and recall the whole incident and think it should make it to BBCs Hustle.

    • OK, now that’s just crazy! I know its belated but I’m sorry. After hearing your story, I’m officially paranoid about anything that has to do with commuting. But I dont want to be that guy that’s constantly looking over my shoulder, always checking my pockets to make sure my stuff is still there, uneasy and untrusting around people, but I guess there’s no other way to avoid such Nairobbery incidents from befalling you. I dont like it.

      Slightly off-topic what’s with those people that come sit next to you in Hoppas and strike up a convo with you which ends up being them begging you for money? totally weird! When they leave, I always check my pockets just in case they managed to magically leave with something of mine. 🙂

  3. Hah, this reminds me of the “good” old days back home where it wasn’t normal to go a week or two without donating to charity. I’m quite generous that way. Countering the art of misdirection should be taught in school!

    – @just_sham_it

    • The fact that it will cost you something in the neighbourhood of 45K to replace your motherboard IS daylight robbery, in itself!

  4. Pole sana…

    One of those overgrown street kids almost ripped my hand off. Had window open in a matatu on one of those stifling days… minding my own business… saw a (sorta) peripheral movement… then a hand in front of my hand…

    I was lucky… the kid cud have ripped off my (important to me) documents & then some…

    Then walked away casually… If only I had a gun…

    Twitter: coldtusker

    • @coldtusker
      Your reputation on twitter preceeds you. Thanks for commenting. Reading your experience just made me realise just how lucky I am I was just pickpocketed as opposed to being physically assaulted or something. Then again, I guess all these experiences, both personal and shared, are part of the un-ending learning curve of Nai life.

  5. The old distract and steal… been there mate. Not fun. Brand new phone. pffft. Welcome to the “i been robbed” club.

  6. Am i the only one who didn’t comment on this?

    Easy my guy. Material things come and go. We’ll find that goon and use his head as a punching bag.

    That said.

    Zune > iPod.


    • “That said.

      Zune > iPod.


      ^^^ *kanye shrug* wharreva! Just be on the look out for iPod for me, sawa? Cheers!

  7. Hey vic, That shit happened to me some time back, i had taken a matt from westy. The music playing was “in da club” just after it came out. As i was nodding my head appreciating the work of Dr Dre some girl came and sat next to me, after some talk she alighted off DT- dobie. I recall that as she was leaving she looked at me and smiled, the fool in me smiled back. It was only after i got to town that i realized that the damn bitch had thuged my phone. So welcome to the mean streets of Nai.

  8. Nairoberry doeant feel woiye for a college student. NKT,had my phone stolen during Miss C.U.E.A bash by some idiot with whom I was dancing with, I was in 4th year and that ish wasnt funny. I remember during my pals graduation, I parked my car in main campo only to come back to my car gone, my dad was hella pissed.

  9. The thing of coins happened to me too. I was on in a citi Hoppa on valley Rd headed to town. The guy seated behind me pretended he was trying to close the window that was just next to my shoulders. He spilled enough 50ct coins over my shoulder, then kept on tapping me over the shoulder, ati i help him collect. Unknown to me the guy seated next me was part of the game. Funny enough, i had wondered why the guy behind couldnt ask the guy next to me to help pick the coins. Anyway, while i was looking down, the guy seated next to me was in my bag. And thats how my phone disappeared.

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