All posts filed under: Daily Life

Coffee!

It’s hard, damned near impossible, to find good coffee in Nairobi. I had heard that Spring Valley Coffee was good. However, I never made it there because getting in and out of that shopping center (on Lower Kabete Road, same center as the Total Station) is a nightmare. Well, now, everything changed. They’ve opened a shop in the new food court area of Village Market. Now, it’s easy for me to get good coffee, including whole or freshly ground beans. It’s a big improvement in the quality of our life! If you’re not near Village Market or Spring Valley, then I am sorry. You will have to make do. If there are other places for great coffee (Wasp & Sprout is nice but the coffee doesn’t compare to Spring Valley Coffee) please put that information into the comments!

WAPI? Box

Wapi means where in Swahili. In Nairobi, you’ll hear a lot of, “iko wapi…?” Translated to English, this means, “where is…”—insert whatever the person is looking for. WAPI Box, however, is all about “where” in a good way. It’s about where to get cool stuff that is local. The company, WAPI?, puts it best: Nairobi is full of hidden treasures. WAPI? enables you to discover the best of what your city has to offer, connecting you with local businesses, artisans and initiatives which meet your needs and interests. WAPI? works with local businesses, artisans and initiatives to increase their visibility, reach and impact. WAPI? provides a range of options to help you find local, authentic, meaningful products and experiences, according to your needs and interests, away from the dining, shopping and social experiences offered by go-to malls. The way it works is quite simple. Much like monthly boxes you can subscribe to in the U.S., WAPI? Box lets you sign up for a three-, six-, or twelve-month subscription or you can order month by month. I …

Review: greenspoon

One of the things I miss about life in New York is the convenience of things. You can walk to most places. You have public transportation for when you can’t walk. And you can order in just about anything. In many parts of Nairobi, delivery is an option. For me, on the edge of the city, it’s not easy. So, I’m really happy when I find someone or someplace that can deliver to me. Enter greenspoon, my latest find! Greenspoon is an online grocery and beer/wine seller. You simply go online, pick what you want, pay (various types of mobile money (I use Mpesa), Visa, or MasterCard), and then your items are delivered to you. You get it the next day if you order before 3pm. It’s that easy! They sell a wide variety of items. Everything is from artisan producers and local farmers. Not everything is always in stock—but that’s part of the deal when you’re shopping from artisan producers, plus the site is well designed and it’s clear when things are out of …

Review: Brioche

Several weeks ago we went to the launch of Brioche, a little cafe tucked in the back of The Alchemist. It’s a cute place with a great brunch menu. I highly recommend it. J. and I both had the shakshuka and it was amazing. If Westlands is a bit far for you, they also have a location in Karen. Yes…this is a short post. There isn’t much to say other than you should get yourself there NOW and eat!  

How to deal with KPLC when you have an issue

KPLC, also known an Kenya Power, is the national Kenyan electric power company. The company owns and operates most of the electricity transmission and distribution system in the country. (The Government has a controlling stake at 50.1% private investors have 49.9%.) When you’re dealing with a power outage, brown out, or other issue, they are absolutely terrible. I have not discovered any ways to make dealing with them any less painful. However, I have found a way to get them to act a bit faster. First, call right away, as soon as you notice the problem. Don’t expect your neighbor to do it. Don’t assume anyone else called it in or that the issue will resolve soon. Call them ASAP. Second, start with your account number. Then you can tell them the issue. Giving them your account number will let them know exactly where the problem is. Third, tell them it’s your whole area. Most likely, it’s not only your house, so it’s not a lie. Also, they won’t do a thing if you tell …