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Showing posts from 2013

A ride on the new Nairobi Commuter Railway from Imara Daima Railway Station

Foreplay  Today morning found me walking to the bus stop as usual. This usually involves crossing the highway we call Mombasa Road, where we don't have foot bridges. Perhaps, there would be foot bridges if the government did not have to spend money on designing logos, branding stuff and Mercedes Benzes for visitors.
Government aside, I usually check if there are lots of people at my bus stop, and if so, do a 10 minute walk to the next one. See, our bus stop has too many people at peak hours which means you have to spent 30 minutes there or start off your day with a short run, after a bus.
Today, it did look busy, they didn't appear to be many people, but there were police officers. A lorry carrying ballast had tipped over by the side of the road, and this was slowing down traffic, probably people stopping by to watch. 3 officers, these are too many for an understaffed force  (in a country where dozens of them will line up the highways when the president is passing by?).  Mayb…

Why Kenyans love Kigali (Part 1)

My Kenyan pal came and sat next to me at a conference. She rummaged through her bag, before suddenly standing and heading out of the conference room- she had left her expensive camera at the table where she was having tea, outside the large conference room. she came back a while later with her camera. She told me if this was Nairobi, for we were in Kigali, she would not have found it.

The Size Kigali might be a small city, of 1 million residents, in the country of 12 million. Rwanda's 12 million might not seem many compared to Kenya's 40 million, Ethiopia's 90 million or Nigeria's 168 million. They however are the most populous country - by virtue of population density at 400 to 407 people per square kilometre, due to the country's size.

Kigali though, small as it may look like - It appears built out over a series of hills surrounding one hill - is quite spacious compared to Nairobi. A good number of streets are wide, and there are few people and cars on them. Thi…

Delhi's development and amusing culture to a Nairobian (Part II)

DelhiThis bit has been written months after the former bit. Sadly,  I have little medium and long term memory,  the omissions may be glaring. It is continued from part I


We got to Delhi at almost 2 AM in the thick of the night. Delhi is an expansive city, with lighting on and off,  a greater part of the city is illuminated,  and the main roads around the city can be mapped from the air. There’s also a good part of the city that remains unlit.

Indira Gandhi Airport itself could do with better lighting especially on the apron side (where planes are parked). There’s just barely enough light here. The airport here is quite large - Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is one of the smallest,  actually,  the smallest country airport I have been through.

At the airport,  a guard did stop our troupe of 5 black people,  inspected our tickets,  and our yellow fever booklets,  before letting us through. He did not bother inspecting any other person’s tickets or anything.

Walking out of the airport…

Delhi's development and amusing culture to a Nairobian (Part 1)

Kenya is a country quite ahead of it’s peers, and developing at a fast pace. The traffic jams in Nairobi are a progress of our fast development that has outplaced planning. The past two statements are blatant lies, as i came to find out in the beginning of May. Nokia was launching a revamped version of the Asha operating system that runs it’s low end phones (Those costing under KSh. 15,000). The phone was being launched in India, which is the same country where the “Asha” name comes from.

The launch therefore saw me and a number of other journalists scheduled for a trip to the country of 1.2 billion. For your perspective, the 54 or so countries of Africa have a combined population of 1.06 billion.

For starters, one needs a visa to travel to India. This shouldn’t worry you though. All you need to do is fill in an application form online, print it out, and submit it to the Indian embassy together with 2 passport sized photos. Visa processing takes only 2 days for journalists and 3 or …