Retail therapy

I’m writnig this one from the VSO office in Nairibi. Today is my first trip back to the city since I was here two weeks ago for my In Country Training. Got a lift here wtih Sister Euphemia who was, I think, going to visit the auditors. I travelled in the back of a pick-up with bench seats and a fiber-glass top that was too small for me. Also travelling with me was my colleague John, sister was in the front with the driver. John told me his, absolutely amazing life story, on the way. The journey was over in no time and I didn’t giev a thought to the fact that my head was bent over all the way.

I was taken right to the shopping centre aobove which the daktari has her surgery. My original plan had been to travel to Nairobi in a matatu and take the shuttle bus to the shopping centre, so I had made my appointment for 11.30. This meant I had plenty of time to look round the shopping centre. Among the fascinating things I bought were:

parcel tape. The bat was back last night, while I was munching on my fried bananna provincale (I dunno, I just bunged some other nice things in the pan with them). At the first moment I felt cold fear run over me; then I recovered. I thought it would leave as swiftly as it did last time but it did not. It persisted in an amazing display of indoor aerobatics (there had been severa mosquitos in the room before that point). After a while, I staretd to feel uncomfortable with it. I tried making it feel uncomforable with me — by chasing it with a frying pan (!) — but it seemed unphased, and determined to rid my room of parasite-bearing vampiric insects, whether I wanted it to or not. Finall I stopped letting it harass me, sat down and continued eating my supper, and the bat, since I had stopped harassing it, continued eating its own supper of mosquitos. When they were all gone (it seemed) it left, back up the chimney. I am going to cut a square out of the old tatty mosquito net that was left in the house, and sitck it over the fireplace with parcel tape. I hope this will help keep out a variety of unwelcome flying visitors.

porridge oats. I bought oats when I was in Nairobi before and they are almost all gone. Local breakfast of choice is ugi, I tried it several times in Nairobi during my first week but didn’t find it particularly plesant.

chocolate cake mix and chocolate peanut spread. I’ts my birthday in a fortnight!

I noticed that it is possible — at a price — to get Green & Black’s organic drinking chocolate here too. Shame I don’t have access to fresh milk.

I must not forget to mention that last night, while I was at the market in Tala, storm clouds gathered in the East. In order to get back to my house before the inevitable deluge (and, man!, did it come!) I rode back on boda-boda. That was fun, and attracted lots of comments from my friends along the road.

OK, I will write about my new nick-name, but not today.


  1. tygger Says:

    right, are you going to be including a glossary at the end of your erm, webpages as well?

  2. misstiamaria Says:

    Hey you, you met Cyka yet?

    Did you get the message i left before. I wanted to check if the address is your permanent one so i can send CD’s out? Do you have your laptop?

  3. Cad Says:

    I reckon you and that bat could come to some sort of agreement you know.
    I mean, it’s not like it is going to get tangled up in your hair, now is it? 😉
    Like Tygger, I am keen to understand all of these wonderful words you keep using, especially "boda-boda". I really want to know what that means!!
    I had an old Honda CX500 motorbike that used to make that noise 🙂

  4. Nikki Says:

    YOUR BIRTHDAY IS COMING UP? That’s wonderful! What day? 😛

  5. Katie O. Says:

    Dear Mark,
    Much as with Mr. Blurry-Face Snake, I think you ought to name this new visitor to your castle, and make him feel welcome. "Bat" is a nice serviceable name, and preserves the previously-established tradition of bestowing a designation which neither requires, nor leaves much to, imagination.

    Also, I worry about the possibility of Bat becoming entwined in the netting/parcel tape blockade. Can you provide assurances of his continued safe passage from your fiefdom?

    Katie, I.G.P.C.

    PS. I am abstaining from the use of smilies for Lent, and, since I’m not Catholic (and only sort of Jewish), Lent could be a considerably longer time than the traditional schedule would suggest. You will simply have to conceive of my tongue-in-cheek intentions without the help of a visual aid.

  6. Penny Says:

    It’s good to see that the whisky line hath not been broken and the Lagavulin is now with it’s 4th owner. I’m glad that you are enjoying it Cad!! 🙂

  7. Martin Says:

    I know it’s a bit late to comment about the bat, but I’m still curious… For me, I HATE MOZZIES!!! Give me a bat any day. Or a snake. Is malaria a problem in Kenya?
    We used to have bats whizzing around at dush at my school. They were always faintly spooky, but I’ve never had one in the room with me. If you could forget about it, it would clearly be a good thing, but I guess that wasn’t an option?

    I have made good use of some of your CD’s, and will continue doing so. Hugs. 🙂

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