Thursday, June 17, 2010

Welcome and unwelcome visitors

I made a new friend yesterday, an Australian journalist who was passing through Nairobi on her way back to Uganda, where she lives. We went to this sweet pub called Sippers that is rapidly becoming one of my favorite places in Nairobi - it has an outdoor patio with a flat screen TV. I went there Monday night to watch Italy vs. Paraguay with fellow New York grad student Sam (who, as a big fan of Italy, was furious at the 1-1 draw), and last night, we watched Uruguay absolutely destroy poor, sad little South Africa.

Life's been pretty quiet, which I think I needed after the insanity of the semester, but it felt great to be out and about with an awesome new friend. And Laurie and I didn't have to pay for a single drink! I'm planning on visiting her in August when I travel through Uganda, and she's going to hook me up with some interesting people in Nairobi who can help me find stories and freelance.

In the wake of my suspicion-leaning-towards-certainty that there are bedbugs in my bunk, chance encounters like this are a good reason to suck it up, buy some new blankets, and stick it out at the hostel.

Side note: I am not alone in experiencing disbelief from Africans that I don't iron my clothes. According to Laurie, not only has she gotten blank stares in the past because of that very thing, but some of the people she works with are so fastidious that they'll miss work or school to go home and change their pants if they get mud on the hem. Often, they just won't leave the house at all until it dries.

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