I went out today to buy tree seeds because I’m tired of getting ripped off by the nurseries on Limuru Road. It was a lovely drive racing manic matatus from just after Muthangari, it was so exhilarating with the sun roof open and watching the lush green of trees on the central reservation go past, until I think after Uthiru where some quack of a road engineer decided to build a concrete solid wall for miles. So dangerous, expensive and unnecessary. I smiled when I passed ‘Nucleur’ service station.
I turned left at Zambezi (the filling station not the river otherwise you'll be in the wrong country Mr Livingstone, lol). My pirelli scorpion tyres and suspension groaned at the sight of the torn tarmac, stone and soil omelette of a road leading to Nderi where the Kenya Forestry Seed Centre at KEFRI is located.
When I got to the gate it was one thirty the guard said sorry but the staff are out to lunch. I said sawa sawa I'll just leave the car here and come back later so I alighted and started wandering down the gentle slope to dusty and sleepy Nderi trading centre. I also took this photo of the sign outside - one gold star for you and a kiss from me if you spotted the donkey.
I saw a young knock-kneed woman with lovely dimples selling fruit and veg and I said hello gorgeous. I asked her whether she could do me a mixed fruit salad, she laughed hahahaha until I could almost see her liver and said this is not Nairobi where you can buy anything. For instance, dear reader, you can buy an iPhone new in a box for 4999 shillings (less than 60 dollars) in the less salubrious parts of the capital city but it's designed in Shenzhen not California. Anyway, I said to Fruity Lady I know this is Nderi and settled for a banana at 5 shillings and told her ubarikiwe (be blessed), she replied nishabarikiwa tayari (I have already been blessed). Then I walked further down to Nderi Gen. Store which was advertising ice cold soda however this turned out to be room temperature soda because the fridge was not switched on. I walked back to the seed centre as it was now nearly two, passing idle groups of hungry looking young men. They turned to stare as I passed, George says people stare at me because I usually avoid eye contact and I have a walk that says I know who you did last night - only I know this can't be true if I wasn't there.
2pm I was back at KEFRI and bought my seeds from an unhelpful and unremarkable man let's call him Zephania. I think he pays money to speak because he only uttered monosyllabic phrases. His demeanour was unbothered and jaded. Then I was punished by a one hour wait from the cashier who was still out to lunch. She strolled in at 18 minutes past 3 looking bored with no apology. Because I can also be a petty, spoiled brat and I was feeling pissed off I didn’t even say thank you when she gave me my change, I just stormed off. Annoying public servants such as Miss Attitude are a law unto themselves.
Speaking of which on my way home I was stuck in traffic for more than an hour because a truck carrying some plant machinery had stalled and flow was restricted to one lane southbound. Arrrgggh x 99 to the power of 13. Traffic cop Scholastica Mutheu brandished her baton banging on car bonnets to stop matatu drivers from adding to the chaos. In spite of her valiant efforts I still got caught up in rush hour traffic further up the road. Not good.