Month: March 2017

Two Rivers Mall

Two Rivers Mall has opened, thankfully without any caged up dolphins. The mall is still pretty empty, but some stores and restaurants are open. The key store, Carrefour is open, which makes life easier. Overall the mall is nice. It’s an alternative to Village Market. There are plenty of the same shops (boring) but some other ones too. I’m hoping (probably in vain) that there might be some smaller boutiques and small businesses opening up in the mall. If not, then I’ll mostly be going just to the Carrefour. The overall feel is very much like an airport. It’s nice and airy…but still like an airport. The restaurants are still opening up. The one that’s open and running is Nove. It’s decent. It’s not amazing, but it’s solid. Sadly, they changed their menu. They used to have a nice weekend brunch menu but no longer offer it. In addition to the Carrefour, there is a Chandarana. It seems odd to have to two grocery stores in the same mall, but there it is. It’s a …

Trying New Things: #1 German

Trying new things is a theme for this year. One of those things is learning a new language. I chose German. How, you might ask, does one decide to learn German while living in Kenya? I thought about taking a proper Swahili class, and I might do so in the future. (In the meantime I’m learning bits and pieces on my own.) I thought about French, as it might be easier for me because I can speak Spanish (although I really need to practice so I can really speak as opposed to just being able to read it at this point). Then I thought about German because many of the friends I’m making are German speakers. Yes, we speak in English. But, why not take advantage of the opportunity to naturally practice when I’m out socializing? Also, I found out that I could take lessons at The German School (Deutsche Schule Nairobi). I don’t live far from the school. It’s a small class. It meets once a week. It’s not intensive. It can be as …

The World Has Clocks…

…Africa has time. I just learned that idiom. (Shout out to my new pal, Jill, who taught me this one!) This is especially true in Kenya. We wait and wait and wait and wait…and wait. When will you be here? Just now. (A year-and-a-half in, I still don’t know what that means.) When will this be ready? I will have it ready Saturday. (That means any given Saturday) I’m learning how it all works. I’m accommodating the culture difference between me, Ms. New York Minute, and this place where time is just different. Sometimes, you have no choice but to wait it out. Traffic and things affected by traffic is a good example. Are you at the waiting room at Aga Khan? I hope you brought a good book because you’ll finish it. Sometimes, you can be explicit and set your expectations. You can state a time frame and if the person doesn’t meet the time frame, that person loses business. Yes, that’s possible here. You can indeed set a time. But, you have to …

Review: Urgent Cargo

For our move within Nairobi, we used Urgent Cargo. They were professional, timely, and did a great job. I highly recommend them. I give them 95 out of 100 points. I’ll explain the points later. The main thing to know is that they’ll arrive on time, pack up all your stuff, and deliver it safely to your new home (and unpack if you want them to). As for the points…they lost ten points because of how they packed my clothes. I gave EXPLICIT instruction that the clothes were to go in a wardrobe box and stay hung. They kept the clothes on the hangers but laid then flat, folding over skirts and dresses, and then put shoes on top. I was pissed off. I was really pissed off. You do not disrespect a woman’s wardrobe! They could have ruined a few evening dresses and my leather jacket. They did crumple some of my clothes. But, nothing was damaged. I calmly but very firmly explained what they did wrong and why I was so pissed. They …

Moved!

We are in our new home! We didn’t move far, but it made all the difference. Our new place is much better. The move itself went about as well as it could have gone. It was stressful. It was draining. Between the packing, shuttling small stuff, the actual move, and the initial settling in, it was three weeks of torture. But now we’re starting to get comfortable. We’re starting to really settle into the new space and be able to enjoy it. So far, my favorite things about the house include: Bigger kitchen Gorgeous garden, not just a yard, a real garden (see main photo for a glimpse) A garage Not having to share my desk with J. as he has been sent to the basement given a man cave for all his manly items Much more stable power and water It was an upgrade and it’s making life much nicer! Here are a few more shots from the same part of the garden. You have to admit, Kenyan roses are amazing!