I mailed in my ballot sometime back. Presumably it got counted where it mattered.

But you’ve gotta love Kenya.

Somebody wins an election in a foreign country, Kenya declares a national holiday.
Somebody wins an election in Kenya, its time for a National Emergency !!

Why have elections at all ? Lets celebrate other elections !


Cup of fine Espresso in Rome : 1 Euro (coffee imported and blended)

Cup of fine Espresso in Nairobi: 1.25 Euro (coffee produced locally and blended)

Nice third degree price discrimination at work. i.e. the average person drinking fine espresso in Italy is poorer than the average person drinking fine espresso in Nairobi – same product, different audience segments.

From poor and thin to poor but fat

I am away in the US with Mugithi.

I rented a Hyundai at the airport. The gas prices must be hitting home, the woman with heavy makeup at the rental agency (she had an ugly little pekingese crawling inside a child basket) told me Hyundais have been particularly popular.

Drove three hours, and then took an exit off the interstate, through some really downbeat townships. Mugithi noticed: “All the poor people are fat”. In the richer localities, where there are houses instead of trailer parks, and lawns instead of potted fungus and cacti, the people are fitter, some jog, some take their dogs walking and are generally thinner.

How to pronounce the Secretary General’s name

(via : New York magazine)

So all those “mooning” jokes at the UN finally reached the ears of the secretary general ?


Briefly, I worked as an auditor for a UN project. While auditing Value Added Tax redemptions (the UN is tax exempt because its a well-heeled humanitarian organization). I discovered they were filing VAT claims for individual purchases (5 reams of paper, a computer mouse, 50 rolls of toilet paper and so on). For most of these items, the cost of processing the VAT was higher than the VAT itself.  I was subsequently relieved of duty for suspected insanity. (Though at at point I was merely acting like a true vulgarian)


In a matter of 3 days, we had 2 deaths in the family.

I was sitting in the living room discussing some tedious details with mugithi’s aunt. The sun had made it round the house, by this time I was being blinded by the reflection from the aunt’s nose (the nose having burnt up its ration of talcum powder – a failed attempt to look très digne).
It was at this moment that our internally displaced house help came sobbing uncontrollably, and a death was reported.

I rushed to the cage, and president hamster was indeed lying listless on the tiny swing inside the cage (which swung back and forth in a dreadful silent ballet).

We have 2 hamsters, named after the president and the prime minister, sometime back, just for the dismal pleasure of it, I had made the house-help’s child in charge of feeding the hamsters. The child had diligently taken on the task and fed these mute creatures 10 times a day – and fed them to the point of gluttony and sinful death (the hapless prime minister hamster passed away a day later).

After a solemn ceremony, we buried them together in the garden. May they find a happy place in hamster heaven

Prostitution Tax

This story in the Standard made good reading: Peddlers of flesh get a touch of class

My only problem with the story is that it tries to evoke horror and suffering, but evidence to the contrary is present right there in the article:

A college student known by her trade name of Brandy, who plies her trade from a girls’ hostel in the city, confided to us that she makes up to Sh35,000 in a week when business is good.

It a thrilling business,” she says. “I was forced into it due to hardship and the harsh living conditions, and now I pay my own fee and still have something left over to send to my mother who is a widow.

Her mother believes that she is the beneficiary of a lucrative internship with an international NGO in the city.

(Nice touch I must say, claiming to work for an NGO)

Apparently it is shocking that the business is a lucrative one:

In a shocking revelation, one of the bureaus alleges to pocket close to Sh300,000 a day from the services delivered by some of the 20 girls in its stable.

A regular office worker earning KSH 30,000 a month pays income tax to the government. A prostitute earning more than the office worker lives on a tax-free salary.

Either way you look at it: there is little incentive for a prostitute to change professions, and the government loses out on tax revenues.

Hummer Plague strikes again

You know the hummer-plague has reached epidemic proportions when, you find hummer toys being sold on the streets:

(above: smiling man selling hummer. women and children hide right now)

(Coincidentally, I had Mozart’s requiem mass in D minor playing on my car’s stereo)