I’ve always been a minimalist, certainly never a hoarder. Then I moved to Nairobi. Everything changed.
The hoarding started before I moved here. I needed to make sure I had enough of everything I need. Clothes, shoes, makeup, toiletries, my preferred brand of tampon, you name and I stocked up on it.
It got worse once I arrived. I was told that if I saw something I liked, then I should get a few. So, I started to buy in bulk. Then I experienced a shortage first hand.
Nakumatt (sort of like the Walmart of Nairobi) ran out of the sediment collector part for our water filter. This needs to be replaced every 4-6 weeks. We always had a few (like 2-3) extra on hand. But they ran out for about six weeks and I freaked out.
We were okay, but once they restocked, I began hoarding a ton. I now have somewhere between 30 and 35 of these filters, enough for at least a couple years. I don’t have a photo of that. You’ll just have to trust me on it.
The featured photo for this post shows my
collection stash hoard of conditioner and other haircare supplies. It’s a mix of things from the US as well as items I’ve found here. There are some skincare products too, like 6 bottles of micellar water.
I make no apologies for the hoarding. It’s a necessary evil. I can no longer get just-in-time deliveries. I can’t rely on a store to have what I need. I need to stock up like there’s no tomorrow, or like a New Yorker does when there is news of a snow storm (even though it will just be flurries).
It still feels weird to hoard, but I’m getting used to it. I’ve decided to think of it as a new cultural adjustment.
If you’re interested in reading about how other ex-pats are adjusting in Africa, click on the image below.