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September 26, 2018

Nairobians call this kind of stuff nightmares...

Nairobians call these nightmares
Nairobians call these nightmares

The stuff of dreams. It’s a simple phrase that every person on our humble planet should have encountered by now. This is because one of the things that every being that has intelligence (or not) will report having is dreams and, or, nightmares.

We in Nairobi like everyone else dream as well. We have the dreams of doing well when we are children, and we hold onto these dreams as long as possible before reality comes crashing down and the cynicism sets in.

You can usually easily identify the dreamer and bitter person whose dreams have failed to be achieved. These are the dreams that are nurtured from a very tender age. School going children are asked what they would like to do when they grow up; for example doctor, lawyer, teacher or policeman.

The theory is that all kids in our great city will want to attain dreams which all can access. In reality, the acceptable career dreams for this child are usually determined by their surroundings – the higher the income of their parents, the loftier the dreams they are allowed.

Therefore, all will tell you of hoping to become a pilot or doctor when younger, but only those with means will get to attain them. Many of those who didn’t have an option end up failing to get anywhere near the dreams that they had been dreaming of.

Apart from the dreams where we are telling the Almighty what we would love to happen to us, there are the nightmares. These are the negative dreams that leave us waking up in cold sweat and can vary from the simple to the very complex.

The simplest of these have to be the ones that apply to those who consider themselves to be the biggest fans of football teams. These football teams usually of the English extraction and going by the names such as Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea will determine the happiness of their adherents for a foreseeable part of any week.

Therefore this 'super fan' will be heard waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat dreading what will happen this weekend.

They are worrying that either their favoured team will lose a must-win match and their rivals will win theirs. This is because for the next week they shall be the subject of mockery or they shall be the ones mocking in their tribe of football fanatics.

Then there are the more practical nightmares that apply to reality for a human adult. Typically, the prices of the goods that we buy in this town are much higher than those of our neighbours in the region.

The President in a famous speech told us that teachers earn seven times less than their Burundi counterparts. This means the prices here are higher than everywhere else.

Therefore you will find many of Nairobi residents waking up sweating as they recall they have a vital purchase to make and they haven’t figured out where they will be finding the money to make it.

The prices of a committee that was concerned with ensuring we are prepared for the El Nino rains that we have been promised, and like the laptops for schools have failed to come, have been giving some of us sleepless nights.

The prices of these commodities such as one bar soap at Sh37,500 or sanitary towels for Sh6,000 give any right-thinking person nightmares.

This is because we all know if these prices start floating in our Nairobi, they will start being implemented by more shop owners and traders.

A new nightmare that has started terrorising the typical Nairobian has to be the cancer phenomenon. At one time the worst thing that one could be diagnosed with was HIV as it was considered to be the most terrifying thing to be afflicted with.

In recent times, with the research and new drugs, having HIV has stopped being the most dreaded thing. The new nightmare ailment that is giving us all nightmares is cancer. In the last few months the number of fundraisers for our citizens going for cancer treatment in Nairobi has gone up exponentially.

With these and many more nightmares, perhaps we all want to be allowed to be given more time to catch some shuteye wherever we are – the classroom, work or even our beds. It’s only the fair thing to do.

 

 

Venue review: Hotel Boulevard, Harry Thuku Road

 

The things that Nairobi traffic makes a man do. The plan was never to go to the Hotel Boulevard, at the end of Harry Thuku Road that Thursday evening. However, with the traffic I opted to get off Waiyaki Way and go into the hotel which has been around for quite a while.

I made my way into the back to the hotel bar which is a round circular variety. It was here that I sat and ordered my cold Tusker retailing at Sh300, which is quite pricey.

I was also quite hungry and my partner and I made our orders. I ordered the chicken while she ordered the lamb with both meals coming under Sh1,000. Unfortunately their food wasn't as good as we were hoping – the lamb was quite hard and the quantity of the chicken were not satisfactory.

I noted there was WiFi when I enabled it on my phone. The friendly barman gave me the password but I guess I shouldn't have bothered as it was on and off for the next half hour. I was forced to give up the ghost and went back to my own mobile data. Not ideal as one of things you would expect as standard when paying Sh300 a drink would be decent WiFi.

The pub had a few TVs on either side where they seemed to be screening some formula one race – this means this is yet another place for you football enthusiasts to get your fix from Europe.

At the beginning of my drinking I noted quite a few older professionals of both sexes. As the evening wore on, we were joined by a large number of European tourists who proceeded to drinking quite a bit. It was amusing to watch them as they got progressively drunker as they evening wore on.

 

A quick recap of the venue:

Good: Conveniently located, decent service and décor, clean washrooms,

Bad: Disability unfriendly, pricey, dodgy WiFi

My verdict: It's a hotel bar so expect a lot of loud tourists drinking with you.

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