I have, at last, escaped from Nairobi and returned to Kosele. It’s nice being back, after a very frustrating few days in Kenya’s capital city. Having said that there is usually humour in all situations. Driving to the airport in Nairobi this morning was no exception. Driver Wesley and I set off early again in case of traffic jams. As we were heading away from the city centre the traffic wasn’t too bad and the pedestrians didn’t seem as intent on committing suicide as they did on our earlier trips to the immigration department.
We did, however, travel slowly enough for me to spot a couple of stand out signs by the side of the road. To the credit of the populace and business community in Kenya an awful lot of business is advertised and conducted in English. It makes me feel quite ashamed sometimes – I wish I could say my Swahili is as good as my driver’s English was but it isn’t. Living up to the ‘lazy’ tag as far as the English and languages go. Anyway. Because English is by no means everybody’s first language there are a lot of interesting spellings, (and sentiments), on display all over Kenya. One of my all time favourites from a few years back was advertising a Christmas/New Year function at a happening disco somewhere in Nairobi. I don’t know how anybody in their right could resist an invitation to a good Boggy Down. Another one I liked was in a restaurant near the immigration department which said No idle sitting. (The immigration department waiting room also has a sign which says No idlers. I’m not sure if that’s an exhortation to the staff in an effort to make them work harder or a stern warning to time wasters).
The first sign I saw today said Clean Water Car Wash. You have to think about this one a bit to really appreciate it. Taxi drivers and motor bike taxi operators, (piki piki), are usually keen to keep their vehicles clean. I guess a well presented vehicle might attract more customers. Consequently you see Car Washes advertised by the side of the road all over Kenya anywhere that there is a source of water – streams, puddles, public taps etc. Drivers will park their car in a stream and wash it down. The one I saw today was obviously very special – it had clean water!
The second sign was more mysterious. The three words that stood out were Hidden Pork Available. I hadn’t realised that pork was a banned or illegal product before. The mind boggles. Do Kenyans gather in the suburbs under cover of darkness and indulge in dubious pork rituals? Are there cults that worship pork? When and why did it all start? As we drew level with the sign one more, very small word, put the whole thing into perspective. Next to the word Hidden was the word Club, written so small that it was very difficult to read. The Hidden Club is obviously a cool place to go to if you fancy a pork bap!