Arriving at Nairobi: the contrast between its airport and the airports I was used to in South East Asia was huge! This is a tiny ariport and it’s seems we go through a voyage of time…up a few decades…or even centuries…
|the Duty free shops selling sweets and wine||The VIP lounge!||Tiny airport luggage belts||Getting one’s luggage|
It was the first time I stepped in “Afrique Noire” as we say in French. As I already had my entry visa and the airport being so little it took less than 15 min to reach the luggage belts. But getting the luggage, that was another story! It took a very long time : so much luggage in such a big plane! Sometimes they put the luggage aside to relieve congestion in the belt and in that case you can wait for yours for a long time!
Major G*** and his beautiful wife were waiting for me. They had been waiting for more than an hour and a half. As I had been told the traffic in Nairobi is a true nightmare. So they came really early in order to be sure they weren’t going to miss me.
It was a diplomatic car: a huge car.
They said sometimes we could see people lying by the road. We should never help them. Often there were people hiding behind the bushes that would leap out and assault you. If someone was indeed dead, we could be taken as the main suspect just because we were the one by the corpse… Sometimes the lions escaped the Parks and attacked the cattle…so last year they killed four of them. Sometimes we could see zebras crossing the road. A few months ago it was an elephant a car crashed into it, the family and the elephant died… Waoo! all these things made me enter a new dimension in a few minutes.
Eventually I arrived at my place: 7 km away from the busy traffic city. It was a very calm area, full of greenery and open spaces. Nothing to do with Nairobi itself. Later the people of the school would tell me it was the first time a teacher lived so close to the school. They usually lived in areas for expats – which implied hours spent in jams everyday and also paradoxically insecurity: that’s where the people would rather go for their hackings.
Where I lived it seemed a totally different world from Nairobi, a few minutes away from the Nairobi National Park, which allowed me to walk there. Others would have to arrange a day off to reach… because of the jams…