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Scouts motto-always be prepared.

I miss Germany.

Before you all go on some righteous tyrade about how I am betraying my country and selling out to the idea of the superiority of the West give me a listen. It’s been raining lions and tigers and bears in Kenya the past few days. It was pointed out to me that Kenya doesn’t have 2 of the above 3 animals but it emphasizes my point on how intense these rains are-somehow the tigers and bears got evaporated from the far off lands they habitate and came pouring down with the heavy long short rains we are experiencing.

What happens when it rains?? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Everything is at a standstill. From the cars on the roads to people in the morning when one wakes up knowing you have to venture out into the dreary weather. I have noticed that the city is particularly flooded. Is it just me who thinks this is unlike any other floods ever experienced (even el nino 1.0 ) because I do not remember such massive pools of water at all conceivable corners, dips and turns. What is happening??? Infrastructure that worked a decade ago is suddenly overwhelmed…and this is only a few years later!! It seems our subterranean sewers are clogged with all manner of dust and dirt that the city council workers swept into them. Let’s call it the ‘sweeping under the rug’ mentality. Atleast they are sweeping right?

What should be done seeing as the sewers are full and no more sweeping under the rug can happen? Its been a discussion with my Civil Engineering mates on whether we as Civil engineers are to blame for our shoddy design work or whether it is our Ministry of Works department for its very wanting maintenance exercises. Or is it the contractors hired to bring to existence these very necessary conduits who do a sub standard job by cutting 10 million corners (wouldn’t that then be cutting circles, don’t you think??)

Unfortunately we can’t fix our roads with the snap of our fingers and thus I’d rather suggest a few methods in which we can increase our comfort during these long/short rains period.

1. Gumboots – As off as they may look in a city setting we must bow to the wiles of the weather. Guys who stay Up country are pretty clever-they see rain and unleash their gumboots, all nice and brown, caked over with last season’s mud. We stay in a city, a submerged one at this point. Lets think of gumboots as the must have item for the season. “Each of us will look sooo fab in the new fall designs” *dead*. You can leave your official shoes at work 🙂
Apparently Bata have a 40% off on the 2nd pair sale (am I the only one who feels swindled by Bata?? You always need to buy shoes in pairs to get the deal…smh)

2. Leave your car home – Easier said than done seeing as EVERYONE removes their tu garis when it rains. Considering that you’ll be stuck in the gridlocks for hours on end… You’ll be warm in your car but you won’t be home. Then they’ll be those engine knocks to consider when you brave the ocean that exists before one approaches offshore Rongai…in your vitz. I hear the buses to Ronga are called Hope and Rejoice. Duly named, I consider, as it is Hope that is forefront in one’s mind on the way home, hope that you’ll actually reach your offshore destination before the stroke of midnight. Then rejoicing when you actually do get home 🙂 Yes, Toya, that one’s meant for you!

3. Get a penchant for dancing in the rain – Remember Step Up 2? The dance sequence at the end that had them win the Street dance title. Now think about all the drivers out there who bear no empathy for us simpletons without cars and run straight through puddles at top speed. Welcome to “Dancing in The Rain 101-The art of evading Vehicle induced showers”. A necessary course in this here city of ours.

4. Buy yourself a good quality umbrella – These guys selling Kshs 200 brolis on the street make a killing because in 1 week we are right back at their corner asking for another broli that will fall apart in a few days.

5. Get a good jacket – You don’t have to go to work/school each day with a different funky jacket. This is not The Real Housewives of Nairobi. One good jacket suffices. You never see the characters in movies with 10 winter coats. You get one to keep out the weather AND FEEL NOTHING about the ignorant people who’ll say your broke with your one jacket. Your warm and all your essentials are dry, what could be more important?

6. Carry a flashlight – There is nothing more uncomfortable than a pair of drenched shoes when one steps into a newly formed puddle when the streetlights heading to your place somehow are off cause of Kenya Power’s reliabie service (lack of it i.e) Mulika mwizi shall be aptly renamed to Mulika Maji.

7. Lastly, a good book – With these rain everything will be at a standstill. You might as well carry along that book that’s been decorating your bedside table and finally finish it as you wait in line for the bus or as your stuck in a gridlock.

Now why do I miss Germany? Well, because come rain, sunshine or snow, I would still get home right on time… and in one piece.