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Nairobbery

Car with a piece stolen

That’s a nickname for Nairobi – Nairobbery. We experienced it first hand this weekend. The damage wasn’t bad, but the experience was terrifying.

We went out to the Garden City Mall to check it out. It’s a bit far out from us but it’s a nice mall and has some good shops: a great green grocer, a Nakumatt (of course), a place called Game which seems like a WalMart, Clinique, MAC, and some furniture shops (which was what drew us there in the first place). There are some decent food options there as well.

I should note that last week an IED was found there. It was found in time and safely detonated. I should also note that security there is pretty tight, which is good given that things like this happen.

Our afternoon there was great. It was on the way back where we hit some trouble. We missed a turn. Isn’t that always where it goes wrong?

We missed a turn, but weren’t too worried as Google Maps was redirecting us back on course. But then, something wasn’t right. We were supposed to make another turn but there was no turn there. The road we were on was an overpass the the turn we needed was actually from the road below us. Google Maps had not picked up on that.

So we turned around at the nearest place we could…which was unfortunately at the outskirts of the city center. This is a terrible area. It’s not the safest place. The traffic is horrendous.

So, there we were. We were doing our best to go around a round about. Traffic was inching. We were surrounded by cars and people walking and it did not feel safe at all. It was like that scene out of every movie in which something bad is about to happen.

We we inched along, we saw a guy approaching us. It was obvious from his stance, his hand movements, and the look on his face that he was going to steal something off the car. It didn’t matter what he would steal, he was intent to take something, anything. And he did. He grabbed the back of the driver side rear mirror.

We are lucky that’s all that happened. The situation we were in was not safe and was a prime time for a carjacking or getting mugged. Thankfully nothing else bad happened. We got the hell out of that area as fast as we could.

We didn’t really make any mistakes here, but we did learn a few lessons:

  • Bigger cars make a difference. We were in a sedan, a loaner. We’ll be getting a Land Cruiser soon (still a loaner until we get our own vehicle). A larger car would have allowed us to push our way faster and might have been a deterrent to the crime.
  • We need a proper GPS unit, something better than Google Maps.
  • U.N. plates help, but they are not like a magic barrier.

Fingers crossed nothing like this happens again.

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