On May 13th 1980 I was in Nairobi.
My last day in Nairobi, my last day on this journey. I'd stayed previously in the Iqbal, the travellers' stand-by, but I wanted more privacy this time. I chose the New Kenya Lodge, almost as cheap but with better rooms. I could hear cars moving through the wet streets outside, there was music playing on many sides, and a lot of mera chewing going on in the lobby. This was my fourth stint in Nairobi and I was finding it useful rather than inspiring. I had things to do of course. I checked out the education ministry to be sure I could arrive and apply for a teaching job; not before the end of the summer they said. I could eat in decent restaurants, whether posher or not. I went to the museum. I went to an American film (Kramer v Kramer which was current) to help me prepare for my return to Europe. I went to the National Museum and enjoyed that. I read the newspapers. I had coffee in the Thorn Tree. For my last day I was unusually nervous before my flight remembering the anxieties of passing through Addis on the way down.
As always my favourite bit of Nairobi was around River Road, which felt like an African area but with some amount of prosperity; it had Indian food shops and traders as well, but it didn't feel colonial or like a slum. The music was good.
|Record Shop in River Road: My picture taken in 1984|
|Nairobi Market with Matatu: My picture taken in 1984|