We’ve been in Nairobi for a little over a year and we’ve been in our house for almost a year. We finally a got a guest bed. Why did it take so long? It’s not so easy to find a bed in Nairobi.
First, I tried all the expat moving sales. I could never act fast enough. A bed would be posted and within minutes it would be sold. I could never time things well enough to catch listing soon enough. (I was not willing to stare at the Facebook group’s page all day, waiting for each moving sale post to appear.)
Next we tried to buy a bed. We shopped around a bit. We found something we liked at a store called TACC. We were ready to buy. But then TACC got really shady.
First, the mattress we wanted wasn’t in stock. There was only a more expensive mattress. Fine. Then the bed set was a little more expensive than listed. Okay, fine. Then, as we were ready to make payment, the whole set including the mattress was actually a lot more expensive than they had told us. Stop.
I told the people at TACC that their business practice was dubious at best, that I did not trust them, and that I would never do business with them. I will never go into a TACC again. I am convinced that it is a store run by con artists.
We shopped around some more. We had trouble finding a double bed, we could only find queen sized beds. Then we had trouble finding any kind of standard size (double, queen, or otherwise). There were slight variations in lengths and widths that were going to make it impossible to get a mattress unless the store was also selling a mattress designed for the specific bed.
At that point, we decided to take a different approach: Buy a mattress and get the bed made. We remeasured the guest room. We figured out what size bed we wanted, with some wiggle room. We bought a mattress that would fit the dimensions we needed. We then got a fundi (carpenter/handyman) to make us a bed.
Side note: putting together a bed made by a fundi is just as complex and frustrating as putting together a bed from IKEA. It took more time than it should have. Many swear words were uttered during the assembly.
But now, we have the bed. It’s put together. It’s sturdy.
We have sheets. We have pillows. We just need to get a bed cover. Then, we’ll be ready for guests.
If you want to see what the finished bed looks like, you’ll just have to visit.