Same same but different

Let me start by saying this: I believe that virtually all people around the world want the same things for themselves on an abstract level. They want to live peacefully with their loved ones, having the freedom to live their lives according to their own beliefs.

What makes us different on a more concrete level is mostly circumstancial. We are dealing with an unequal distribution of wealth, different political and religious systems, even such seemingly small things as different weather conditions.

Sunday breakfast on the porch

Anyone who’s ever lived in Germany or any country with really freaking cold seasons and then moved to a warmer climate will know this. It simply is a different lifestyle when most of your leisure is spent outside. Even if it’s just, say, sitting outside having tapas.

That being said, I have a feeling that my life in Nairobi is going to be quite different from my life in Berlin. The two cities are roughly the same size (around 3.5 million inhabitants; 700 and 900 km², respectively) and are the capitals of their country. But that’s about as far as the similarities go.

For starters, I am not used to living in a beautiful house with an even more beautiful garden behind barbed wires with a security guard and a panic button.

I am sitting in said garden, reading and smelling like the twenty layers of sunscreen I applied to protect my delicate mzungu skin. The shadows of big black birds of prey are swooshing over me.

Riding the knowledge train. Choo choo!

I am also not used to watching what I eat. At least not in the sense that I am doing it here. “Cook it, boil it, peel it or forget it” is a piece of advice I am trying to stick with, at least for the first week or so. If I want to eat fresh fruit, I am rinsing it thoroughly with safe drinking water from a container. Even so, TD has been knocking on my door ever so softly. So far, I have been refusing to let it in. I have even been brushing my teeth with drinking water instead of the suspicious tab water.

So, what else have I been doing for the last two days? Time for you to meet Stefan, the supervisor of the project I am going to be working on.

Meet Stefan!

He has been driving me around a lot in his big white Toyota four-by-four. Also, I have been living in his house, with his two dogs Kibo (as in the Kilimanjaro’s highest peak) and Mara (as in Masai Mara).

Driving around Nairobi is an experience by itself, and I am planning to do an own blog post about it later. Just let me tell you this: They have quite a lot of speedbumps here. Most of them are completely unnecessary, if you ask me, since the quality of most streets doesn’t allow for much speeding. To give you a little impression of that, just take a look at the footage below that I have taken for your enjoyment.

(Although, to be fair, this road seems to be under construction. Rest assured that the potholes in most concrete streets would produce about the same level of shakiness.)




2 thoughts on “Same same but different

  1. I really love your posts, Ruthi. Espeacially while I am sitting here in my flat with my clean tab water. When I read about your house, garden and the food you can pick and peel I forget about my comford here. I just want to jump in an airplaine and sit in your garden with you. In this time on this planet a blog like yours is so important and helpful. While Working with refugees I see so many open minded people and the number of them will grow with your writing. Te extrano ❤️🙏


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