DOT . COM Biscuits

Wish I’d had my camera in Nairobi this week…

Went to town to get more larium (the anti-malaria drug that makes you lairy), and to photocopy some bits and bobs for Kenbrick college (whose first ever open day is this afternoon, watch this space). Stayed with a friend in the city so I had time to go visit the VSO office and claim the bus fare for the journey.

Waiting by a bus stop in Westlands, Nairobi I saw an advert for Britannia Biscuits, a kind of buttery sweet biscuit frosted with sugar crystals, of the sort that my auntie Lou would arrange on a plate with a doilley to accompany cups of PG-Tips on sunday afternoon. Precisely the sort of confection, in fact, that one can imagine being eaten in these post British colonial days, by some rural kenyans in a mud hut (yup, they have them here, I’ll have to take some pics for you) on a sunday afternoon with tea as a special treat (Only the doilley would be missing).

And all the more so now that the company advertises them as: “DOT.COM Buicuits”. Its hard to explain this advert: pink background, big photos of buttery sugary biscuits and the words “DOT.COM” emblazoned accross the whole thging in electric blue. (Shouldn’t we pronounce “DOT.COM” as “dot dot com”?)

The phrase “Dot Com” has a big following in Kenya. Its used by the middle-aged as an adjective to describe young people of that godforsaken generation who have grown up with television and that Internet. Down the road from me in Tala is a battered Ford Anglia trundeling ’round giving driving students their first experiences of life on the road. On the roof is a battered sign with the words “Dot Com Driving School” in red paint (you have to remeber it’s an adjective here).

From busses that pass along the uneven and unkempt maram roads between lesser towns and cities of Kenya I sometimes see small ramshackle bars called “The Millennium Pub”, or “2000 Millennium Bar”. I guess that has a similar sense: something that gets talked about on TV or by people who have been to a town with a post office and used that Internet; something that depicts the new and cool.

So why, I wonder, is there a “Kosovo Bar” in Tala?

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