Daily Life
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Figuring Out Transportation

In New York, I walked everywhere or took the subway. You can’t do that in Nairobi. There really aren’t many places you can walk to (at least not where I am), and, even if you do, you need to be careful and not have a regular schedule or route. There are matatus but I am not brave enough to take those. So, I rely on a driver and taxi cabs.

The guy I use as a driver is really good. He’s a great driver and he knows his way around the city. But, he’s getting expensive to use all the time. So, I am exploring the taxi options

Right now, I’m loving Easy Taxi. It’s like Über, but I kind of like it better. It’s a simple metered fare and the drivers I’ve had so far have been really good. (Über is in Nairobi now but I haven’t tried it yet.)

I found that I do not like JimCab. The number to call them is often busy. One driver that I had didn’t really know his way around. Luckily, even though I’m new here, I knew exactly where I was going. On the return, when I called (and finally got through to JimCab), the car never showed up. That was a lot of fun, especially as it was later in the day and getting toward dusk.

What else have I learned so far? Bargain, bargain, bargain. Then, bargain some more. I’ve learned the going rates so it’s gotten easier for me to demand a fair rate.

There will be more trial and error. I’ll keep trying different drivers (yes, I am getting the referrals from trusted sources). I’ll figure out a system and I imagine it’ll be a flexible one. I will need to figure out something for getting to and from work, once I start working. Most likely I’ll go with my original driver and set up a fixed rate for the round trip.

Long term, and this is a big deal, we may wind up with two cars. I’m going to hold off for a while and stick to the driver option as it’s really convenient. But, I can imagine driving myself to and from work in the not too distant future. It’s not a scary thought, but it’s a really weird one.

If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever want to drive to work, I would have laughed. My, how things change.

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