Sunday, November 22, 2009
I’m in Kenya. Fucking surreal.
After a few glasses of wine with the other Swedish birds that are staying in my guesthouse (they are here to build sustainable windpower machines for rural communities. Interns. Fuck me.) I start to wonder if I am, in fact, too old for this whole ‘arbing around Nairobi for the weekend before I hit work’ thing.
I arrived yesterday to find my suitcase had been busted open at the airport and rifled through. The fuckers didn’t find anything of value in there though – so ha! You thought I’d ACTUALLY put my electronic shit in there? You thought my bag was from Copenhagen didn’t you? Wrong again. Still, they bust my suitcase. Annoying, and yet, not completely surprising. Welcome to Nairobbery.
Today, John, a trusty, talkative, and slightly senile driver, drove me around Karen, the neighbourhood I am staying in. The neighbourhood is in fact the old farm of Karen Blixen, now turned into a suburb.
She used to shoot lions here willy nilly, because they ‘terrorised her workers.’ And she wore two hats on her head because, coming from Denmark, thought the hot African sun was so strong, it would harm her brain. Interesting.
First stopped at the animal sanctuary, of rescued wildlife. Shame, most of the elephants were orphans of mothers who’d died of starvation or were otherwise poached. One rescued rhino was born blind, poor little bastard.
One elephant farted right next to my face. This little guy who’d just been fed milk. It was rancid man. Half of us had to jump out of the way.
They were tame, and played with this soccer ball, some kicking with their back feet. While warthogs – LOVE those guys, seriously warthogs rock my planet something epic - they have the naughtiest faces and their aerial tales crack me up - they just wallowed and rolled around in this mud bath. Happier than, er. pigs in shit. Their babies were so small, the size of a daschund.
Then we went to Karen Blixen’s farmhouse. The original colonial setting, made famous by the Out Of Africa movie – it was all filmed here. Saw Meryl and Robert’s clothing for the set. The dude, Humphrey, who showed me around was in barrels of laughter the whole way through – ‘oh and those were Meryl’s boots for the movie haaaaaaa hahaha, look how small they are.’
So Meryl Streep has small feet.
Basically, he was chuckling away and having a right old gas the whole way through my tour. He was the most entertaining of the lot. Karen died of lung cancer; and she self-medicated with small doses of arsenic before she died back in Denmark.
She also had two lamps, which she’d place on her window for her boyfriend, Dennis Finch Hatton (Bob Redford.) Red was for ‘Don’t come in, I have PMS’, and green was ‘Come in, I need a shag.’
The Danes are so practical.
Then went to a giraffe spot where I could feed them directly from my hand. What I loved the most was that the giraffes came to you when you called them by name. Laura and Daisy. Bless!?
Laura slobbered all over my hand with her big black tongue, and Daisy headbutted me.
Never thought I’d be able to say I’d been headbutted by a fucking giraffe.
In my life. Never did I imagine I’d be headbutted by a giraffe called Daisy in my life.
Well now I can.
Went to a bead factory, bought some earrings and ate…goat. I had a goat stew at a crocodile farm.
Crisis. Now I feel bad, and slightly pukey.
My driver took a vested interest in my family life as we drove. And spent about an hour consoling me about my parent’s divorce (that happened, like, 10 years ago.)
‘You must just leave over Christmas, and then hakuna matata.’
‘That’s what I do John. I leave.’
Maybe I am completely fucked up. I mean, I choose to spend a relatively arb weekend in Kenya don’t I. I leave, at any excuse. And I certainly fuck off for Christmas.
Oh well. John seems to think I am doing pretty well for a fucked up kid. Never thought I say that in Kenya, now.
Oh and the Swedes, having being interning on the edge of Lake Victoria with no fresh running water nevermind normal amenities, loved me when I gave them the latest Marie Claire, a bottle of wine and a Skype headset.