Saturday, June 29, 2013

Small observations of Nairobi Kenya

I arrived in Nairobi yesterday morning. It's my 4th time being here. As always when I visit an African country, I try to be observant and learn different things. Here are a few thoughts below and some concluding thoughts.

Kenya does a good job on tourism. But then again, with all the Lion King memories and the safaris, it shouldn't be that difficult. I do love how much Safaricom does to support Kenya too. At the Jomo Kenyatta Airport, there are several boards teaching visitors how to say popular phrases in Swahili. That is such a good move!
Kenya Airways, on the other hand, has to do more. I missed my flight to Nairobi because my ticket was never issued as per a rejected payment. The Kenya Airways offices in Accra don't take debit or credit cards and online booking via third-party is problematic. These are not issues for the customer to worry about and end up missing flights, KQ should take care of this pronto.
I've been realizing that some of cars I've ridden in Nairobi can't have their radio tune past FM stations of frequencies 90 and higher. Turns out it's a Japanese thing. Shifuu!
So then I have to listen to Classic FM mostly, and hear their presenters do their Locally Acquired Foreign Accent thing. That all is forgiven by hearing them say "254! 254!"
After telling my driver that I worked in the IT space and introducing him to what the iHub is, he thought it prudent for me to set up internet on his new Nokia phone. Thank Mungu that Safaricom also uses internet as APN. 
It was a Friday and I could hardly see people wearing African wear. Yeap, this is not Ghana. But this place is cold too o! We need to design African attires for cold weather. They'd be a hit.
I saw so many Nairobi residents walking freely and briskly. Briskly because they were not stopped by people clogging the streets selling everything from mobile phone credits to chewing gums. After seeing the AMA task force come to rid the streets of downtown Accra the Saturday before, it's crazy to see that this 'problem' doesn't seem to exist in Nairobi's CBD. Accra can do it too.
Nairobi is more cosmopolitan than Accra, with less crowded streets, and a little bit more traffic. It has many plazas, malls and centers. I had lunch at an Indian resaturant at Yaya Center. It looked like a mall but it might not be called as such in Nairobi. Cos there are multiple bigger ones. Nairobi looks developed but I feel it might be developing without much of an African touch. Is that important? Maybe not. Is that cool? It's not. African cities should be better African cities and not just Londons in Africa. #thatisall
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