Fun in the City

Day 10

I didn’t sleep well last night. I had constant nightmares as a result of seeing the cockroach, I woke up throughout the night scared that bugs were crawling all over me. After a restless night’s sleep I woke at 6 a.m. courtesy of Rose turning on the lights, talking in the room, being in and out and leaving the door open so I could hear the music from the kitchen loud and clear. I have begun to put her on the same level as the rooster.

It was an easy day at school today. We left at around 1 p.m. to take a short trip in the city. We had a new volunteer in our group, Ian, a 24-year-old from Ireland.

In order to take the bus it costs 50 shilling which is equivalent to 50 cents. Everything is so much cheaper here for us, I saw laptops today selling for 18,000 shillings which is 180 USD.

After an hour ride, we were finally in the city. We did a lot of walking around and were supposed to go to the masai market but it is only open on the weekends, so we settled for walking around and looking at the shops. The city is much cleaner than Kibera where we live. Th e sidewalks are not ideal with potholes and the pavement risen in places, I actually tripped a couple times; not one of my most graceful moments. We walked along the street and looked through the windows on the right while on the left people had lined the sidewalks selling all different things from watches and jewelry to toys and fruit. People shouted out at us t o buy their product and at one point my hand was grabbed by several men and I had to pull to get them to let go; shortly after Lydia and I got whistled at. I guess they were trying to make us feel right at home.

For lunch we stopped at a pizza place. Their menu was very simple yet it didn’t have just a plain cheese or pepperoni pizza listed. They had options like bab bacon chicken pizza or pepperoni plus which is pepperoni and mushroom. I told the woman I want a small pepperoni. She said “A pepperoni plus.” I said “I don’t want mushrooms.” So she said “pepperoni and onion.” I said “no, just pepperoni.” She said “pepperoni and black olives.” I swear she was dead serious, not joking at all. I said “no. Just cheese and pepperoni.” Who would have thought ordering a pizza would be so difficult.

Lydia and Virginia needed to go to the st or e, so we walked in a massive grocery store that was four levels tall. There were no escalators, we had to walk up ramps so steep we were out of breath by the time we reached the top. They had everything in the store you could possibly need. It was more like a Wal-Mart than a grocery store.

Back outside there were book stands laid out every half a block, it is a bookworms dream. And for those of you who know me, yes, your suspicions are correct, I bought a book. I couldn’t help it, it was only 200 shillings or $2. Yes I know, I have an illness; because who goes to Africa and buys a book? Oh yea, I do.

The way home was quite eventful as I got to know the new volunteer. I got to learn a little about Ireland and told him about America, (Its surprising how similar our countries are) and we swapped embarrassing stories. It soon became a competition of who could level the playing field with the more embarrassing story. At one point I mentioned my record player and Polaroid camera and he started laughing and telling me I am a hipster. I argued that I am definitely not, but I think I lost. I said I just appreciate older things and don’t conform to mainstream technology and everything. He started laughing so hard and said “you literally just explained what a hipster is!” Apparently all that combined with my love of travel, used bookstores and writing a blog make me a hipster. So this is a shout out to everyone reading this, I need you to back me up. What is a hipster and do I fall in that category? If you answer you will be helping to settle an argument.

Two hours later we finally stopped in Kibera and got off the bus. Realizing my shoe was untied I stopped off to the side to tie it. I stood up and went to walk around a puddle and slipped on the sidewalk landing me in a bigger puddle. Dirt, water, and I’m sure some diseases shot up my leg covering me in this smelly substance. I did mention early I am not graceful, right? Sounds like a fabulous end to the day.

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