Thursday, December 08, 2005

Why Nairobi is Better than Delhi

By Special Guest Blogger Hubby

Well, I suppose it’s time for another guest blog, as I have been asked nicely to provide perspectives on my trips outside of Delhi. Fair enough. Anyways, I spent a week in Nairobi on a business trip during the last week of November; it is mainly my own sloth that has prevented from guest blogging sooner.

So… Nairobi. Well, for starters, there’s not a lot of difference weather-wise right now: warm days, cool nights, just like Delhi in November. The only difference is that it is always like that in Nairobi, whereas here we have to grapple with 100+ temps starting about April, so I’m told (we’ll find out soon enough). But that’s where the similarities end.

• Traffic: like Pakistan, it keeps to its own lane for the most part in Kenya. When it moves (which is about half the time), the average speed is about 150 km/h. Advantage: None.

• Food: OK there’s lots of Indian food in Kenya, from the large Indian population there. But there is MEAT and LOTS and LOTS of it. We went to a Brazilian BBQ that was downstairs from the hotel, which was all-you-can-eat everything: chorizo, beef (!!), ostrich, chicken, springbok, camel (really good I might add), plus a salad-bar, good drinks, desserts. Coming from my standard lunches of dal and aloo (potatoes for the uninitiated), this was a really nice change. Advantage: Kenya.

• Drink: Tusker in Kenya, Kingfisher/Castle in Delhi. Both pricey. Advantage: Toss-up, probably slight edge to Kenya since there’s more draught beer there.

• Security: A minus point for Nairobi. Security is intense. There is razor wire and high walls everywhere. On the building next to the hotel, you could see barbed wire on the roof itself from the hotel restaurant. When asked why you would have such a thing, I was told that thieves stole computers by cutting a hole through the non-secured, corrugated roof from another business a few months back. Hmm. I was also told about houses having panic rooms and panic rooms within panic rooms (think the Jodie Foster movie, but I don’t think the rooms are as modern as those). Advantage: Delhi.

• People: very friendly in Kenya. They are in India also, but it’s just a little more laid back in Nairobi, security notwithstanding. Advantage: Kenya.

• Shopping: THEY HAVE BIG SUPERMARKETS IN KENYA. BIG BIG SUPERMARKETS WITH EVERYTHING!!!! And, as an added bonus, they have good coffee in Kenya, as judged by the 2 kgs sitting in our freezer. Advantage: Kenya (double points here).

So does that mean we’ll be hopping on the next plane to Nairobi now? Probably not, but maybe someday in the future, we could be blogging from there.

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