Seeing a double rainbow for the first time before boarding a plane only meant one thing – The trip is gonna be exciting! It sure was…
Africa (Day 01)
It all started with the inflight menu. I took the Ethiopian Airlines flight from Stockholm to Nairobi via Addis Ababa. Based on my past experiences, I always order vegetarian meal before departing. Only this time, they said they never received such a request. In the end, I ended up eating bread and some sort of tomato paste.
The day only got weirder when the airlines misplaced my luggage in Addis and I did not get my suitcase in Nairobi. 24 hours waiting time and I had no other set of clothes for a meeting the next day.
Then, the airlines refused to change my return ticket – for no reason apart from bad internet connection 😦
And to top it all, couple of police officers tried to extort money from me outside the Nairobi airport. Sensing that I was a foreigner walking alone, they started asking for my passport, visa, accommodation, flight, vaccination details etc. It was so obvious that they were trying to find a way to make me pay. After interrogating for a full 10 minutes, they let me go. Remember: Always have your passport and vaccination documents with you!
I can go on forever: no pin converter for charging, getting stuck in traffic for 3 hours, loud noises from construction work beside the accommodation and the worst sin of all – forgetting the camera charger on my first trip to Africa. Duh!
As for the positives, there are many. People are so friendly – always smiling and waving. Even though there is a considerable Indian population in Nairobi, people still wanted to take photos with the Indian on the street. Couple of times the conversation went like this:
Stranger: Hey, you from India?
Me: Yes 🙂
Stranger: Aah. Good. Shah Rukh Khan eh. Lets take a picture!
Me: Ha ha. Yes of course!
The end result was few group photos with strangers. Also, everyone speaks English. The food was amazing – lot of options for vegetarians. The best part was the nature. The city is so green – trees everywhere. And as for the wildlife, animals were grazing together beside the streets – zebras, donkeys, cows, sheep, goats and so on. Life is so colourful 🙂
Welcome to Africa!!
Part II and III will be about the field trips to few biogas plants, an animal orphanage in the city and a memorable safari to Lake Naivasha via the Great Rift Valley.!