An Adventurous Weekend in Nairobi (1)

This weekend we decided to take a week off exploring the country- given Tom’s shoulder, and my terrible cold.  So we spent one of our rare weekends in Nairobi.On Friday I moved house, and moved in with Paul.  Paul is a very interesting and fun person- an AIDS activist who enjoys drinking and partying as much as I do.  I will take this opportunity to share with you one of Paul’s gems:  the end of AIDS is in sight, as a new clinical trial has established that specific early treatment of couples where only one partner has HIV can reduce the chance of sexual transmission by 96% – effectively halting sexual transmission of HIV.  Please read the following link, my explanation doesn’t do this justice:

So on Friday night we headed out to a local bar to celebrate my new home, and room mate.  It was so much fun, we definitely danced the night away.  Relatively early (around midnight), Tom and I decided to go home – a 5 minute walk.

Having walked a couple of hundred metres, we were stopped by a group of men wearing hoodies and shabby clothes.  “Stop, we’re the police, and we need you to accompany us to the police station.”  Like heck were they police.  I asked for their ID’s – one handed over a card stating his blood group.  I asked for their names, so I would be able to take it up with their superiors.  They natuarally, refused to provide names.  Where are your uniforms and rifles? I asked, one guy lifted his jumper to reveal a gun tucked into his trousers.  We were in a situation.  “Sir, Madam, we need you to accompany us to the station right now, down this street.” (Imagine the tiniest, darkest, most overgrown alley way you can).  There was no way I could let them get me down that alley.

So I walked onto the middle of the road, and stopped in front of the oncoming traffic.  A nice gentleman immediately stopped, and I asked him to call the police for me urgently, as I was being attacked.  The man was concerned, and go on his phone straight away.  However, as it was ringing, the oafs trying to mug us started shouting at the man in Kiswahili.  (Damn it that I don’t speak well enough yet to have understood).  All of a sudden, the man’s attitude changed, and he hung up the phone.  “You don’t need the police, they are the police- go with them down that street!”  Clearly, he had been bribed.

So with nothing else for it, hoping that surprise would throw them, I turned and sprinted as fast as I could back towards the bar.  Tom caught up, and while I was stopping due to asthma, he dragged me back into the bar, where we asked the security guards to get us a taxi.  I hate to think what those men were planning.

All’s well that ends well, though.  3 months in Nairobi, and that’s the first time I have been the target of any criminal behaviour.


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