. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: June 19, 1999

Saturday, June 19, 1999
Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya's FlagNairobi's Flag

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Nairobi, Kenya:
Latitude: 1° 16' 49" South
Longitude: 36° 49' 7" East
Altitude: 35 feet
From Seattle: 10738 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Parkside Hotel

Map
Today's Travel:
Country: Kenya
Region: Nairobi
Weather: Mostly Sunny

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Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 800
Linear Dist: 147007
Countries Visited: 58
Regions Visited: 230
More stats...
Hotels: 244
Friends / Family: 160
Camping: 117
Hostels: 217
Transit: 55
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 3033
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Journal Entry:
Not the most productive day. Headed out to the Come to Africa (the company I went on safari with in Tanzania) office. In Tanzania they had told me they organized gorilla trips in Uganda and that I could get information in Nairobi. Well they don't - the best they can do is organize the permit for me - something I can do easily enough on my own once I get to Kampala.

Since all the other chores I have to do in Nairobi have to wait until Monday I spent the rest of the day wandering around the city center. The city is actually pretty compact. I visited the main markets (both food and crafts). Also did the rounds of the curio shops. There are some fantastic stores with stuff from all over Africa - made me wish I'd bought more souvenirs. The main thing of notice was the prices - Nairobi is not a cheap city. I asked about some wood carvings and the starting price was ten times the starting price of the same items in Zanzibar - and I thought Tanzania was expensive! I'm fairly certain that most of this stuff could be found considerably cheaper at home.

Also managed to buy a book, some toiletries, and basically figure out the layout. The harassment factor of Nairobi is very hi. Everyone wants to get the commission for selling you a safari or bringing you into a shop. I think a year ago I would have hated the city - now I just try to maintain the proper attitude. Even so it was a welcome relief to find someone working at a tea counter who treated me like a human - it was amazing what a relief a smile, an honest recommendation, and the correct price could be - just the reminder that there are still real people, even in Nairobi.

Had a fast food diner and spent the evening reading. Not that I'm going to be careless, but Nairobi doesn't feel nearly as threatening as I'd expected it to be.


Related Sites:
CNN: Current Weather in Nairobi
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Kenya
CIA World Fact Book: Kenya

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