Family TV is the least unwatchable channel on the TV. I wish I could speak Swahili better, (i.e. at all), as the locally produced programs look interesting. Just now there is a lot of news on and a football match starring Chelsea and some European team, (sorry, I’m not very good on football). This is just an interlude before more soaps. The world clearly loves soaps – they are an international institution. The soap offerings so far this evening have been dubbed and look like they come from Latin America. The standard of acting is generally quite poor, (though the obvious endorsement for plastic surgery on display from most of the leading ladies is clearly designed to compensate for this).
The noise of the city is much more interesting. People walking past, the traffic ebbing and flowing and the dogs setting up for the howl. The howl is something I had never really heard before coming to Kenya. It starts as an uncoordinated outbreak of seemingly random barking and then builds up into an orchestrated howl – as if a wolf pack is camped out somewhere in the neighbourhood. It’s the strangest thing. I have a theory that it has something to do with the large number of German Shepherd dogs that are used as guard dogs. This will have to remain a theory in progress – carrying out the leg work of proving it is just too dangerous.
I’ve just stopped for a short news pause. The news is full of details of football hooliganism at a grudge match which was played over the week-end in Nairobi. In time honoured football hooliganism tradition the opposing fans were obviously up for a fight as they filed into the stadium. About an hour into the match a player was red carded prompting all hell to break loose. The police don’t mess about in these situations. Tear gas was deployed on the crowd, prompting a mass exodus from the stadium. The confrontation continued into the streets of Nairobi leading, allegedly, to a fan being thrown from a road bridge and breaking both legs and two deaths. This isn’t typical behaviour but it could make you think twice about going to any kind of local derby.
I’m going to need my wits about me in the morning as my friend Reuben and I negotiate official immigration channels. I guess I’d better stop filling my head with gratuitous TV and think about getting some sleep. The howl seems to have been short lived tonight, thank goodness, so I think I’ll draw some inspiration from my Kindle and hope that the prospect of becoming an official alien tomorrow doesn’t trigger too many psychotic sci-fi dreams in my Lariam, (anti-malarial drug), addled brain.