Wednesday, October 30, 2013

it's the real thing

During the week, I spend most of the daytime alone. (OK fine, I spend all of my daytime alone). But come the weekend, my solitary confinement is finally over and Johan indulges me by driving me around town while I point excitedly at other humans: "Look! There are other people here too!" 

On the weekend, we also go grocery shopping, and on our way back from the mall, we usually pass by this beautiful spot on a street, which I have yet to learn the name of. My photo clearly doesn't capture it, but those three little shops are kind of perched at the top edge of a lush, green valley. And this weekend, we made a point of making a pit-stop to buy ourselves a Coca-Cola at Maggie's Kiosk and enjoy the view.

Seriously, look at that. There's something about the sight of that Coca-Cola red against the backdrop of green trees and blue sky hat just looks so beautiful. Expect to see more Coca-Cola photos on here, is all I'm saying. 

I like that the kiosks down here carry eggs and Coca-cola. And toast. Kind of like the primary colors of the modern cuisine. If you have those ingredients, you can cook anything.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Oh my word. I just wanted to pick one of these guys up, put it in a stroller and raise it like my own kid.

I once saw a nature documentary on TV, in which a baby elephant fell into a mud hole, and some park rangers had to employ tractors and ropes to pull it right up again. All of which would probably be relatively manageable if it weren't for the fact that its mother simply. would. not. budge. from. its. baby's. side. And the park rangers were all: "Ma'm. You need to step over here, so we can safely get your baby out of this mud hole". And she was all: "Na-ah. Ain't no way I'm leaving my kid behind with complete strangers".

Anyway, it felt like a long five minutes to watch that ordeal, and by the time the baby was reunited with its nerve-wreck of a mother, I was sitting on the couch bawling my eyes out. Which is pretty much what I did when I visited The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (except I restrained myself to only crying on the inside). There I was lucky to get up close and personal with a whole bunch of orphaned baby elephants. Especially the young ones, who looked so sad and fragile, tugged violently at my heartstrings, but I really took comfort in the fact that the toddler ones seemed to be having a really good time, frolicking in the mud, chewing on branches and getting bottle-fed by their substitute, green-clad male human moms.

All in all, I got one word for you, if you ever get the opportunity to go: GO!   

This is not even the saddest picture I got. The saddest one I got is not suitable for this blog space, which I strive to keep perky and happy.

These guys have the coolest job ever, and they know it. 

This one had clearly entered its independence stage.

Look at that wrinkly tush. 

Here they are marching in for their daily, half-hour show. All in all, I think they demonstrated a very good work ethic. Kind of like: "All right, let's get people what they paid for. You guys take the audience on the left, you and you play with the ball and you do the mud bath. Alright?" 

This one tried to do a downwards dog but failed. 

I don't know what this one was doing, but it seemed to enjoy itself. As did I watching it.

I'm not sure, but I think they cover them up in these blankets when it's chilly and it's time for bedtime stories. "Squeeeee", as the girls say.

See, it's almost like I'm the redhead, reverse version of that quirky girl Amélie

I thought it would be fun to kind of barf the raspberries onto my fingers, but clearly her method is way cuter.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

This weekend, we frolicked in the pool, 'built' a terrace and went hiking at Ngong Hills

As you can tell, this weekend wasn't half bad. We took a few trips to the nurseries to buy more plants, which we used to create a little cocoon-like terrace space outside our front door. We just inaugurated it with an afternoon gin and tonic, which felt very colonial, followed by a candle-lit taco night, which felt very romantic right until we got guacamole all over our faces.

Tacos, I feel, are not a very elegant meal.

And then there was beautiful Ngong Hills, where we went for a steep hike while overlooking The Great Rift Valley on one side, and Nairobi and its hinterlands on the other. It was one of those pinch-yourself-is-this-real experiences, not least because we were accompanied by a guard who brought his machine gun to ward off a curious combination of roaming buffaloes and prowlers.

Look at that dreamboat sipping G&T's in Africa. In a Packers sweatshirt, no less ;O)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Milton Glaser. Art Is Whatever.

So here's a thing, I thought I'd do, while I'm in Kenya: Learn about graphic design. The icons and their iconic work, overlooked icons, lesser-known icons and just as importantly, start dabbling in the metier myself. You know, baby steps.

First up is Milton Glaser, because frankly, what's not to love about Milton Glaser? He founded the best magazine of all time (OK, that I don't know for sure, but I do know that I love New York Magazine more than any other mag around). He designed the I ♥ NY logo, which I never ever tire of looking at, and he created that smile-inducing Bob Dylan poster, the Baby Teeth and Kitchen font and a whole bunch of other beautiful work, which I thought we could all watch and learn from.

All images borrowed from except from the Baby Teeth swatch, which I snatched from here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

We didn't buy that wooden rudder (and other disclaimers about our decorating decisions)

I've been meaning to post pictures of our new abode in Nairobi, but have kept putting it off because nothing really looked quite right yet. But then today it dawned on me that it will most likely never really look right right, because:

a) There's no IKEA in Kenya, which means that
b) You kind of have to work with what you've got, which, in our case means that
c) We have to embrace the dark wooden pieces that came with the apartment, even if
d) Those 5 feet tall chair backs are way too neo-medieval to me.

No really, we're quite happy with the little things we've gradually added to the space to make it more homely. Plus we're looking into having custom built a few pieces by a local cabinetmaker, which, in all fairness, is so much cooler than buying yet another Billy bookcase.

So whaddayasay? You dig our new crib? And you got any suggestions for how to brighten up that supermassive black hole of a kitchen, which we most likely aren't allowed to paint?

And yes, that wooden rudder is bolted to the wall with 10 inch screws ;OP

Sunday, October 6, 2013

It's only been five days, and already we're arguing about decorations.

Habari! I think that means hello in Swahili, but I'm not sure! I would ask Johan for advice, except today, he casually greeted a guy with "moi". At first, I was wildly impressed by his worldliness, but when I asked him what it meant, he had absolutely no clue and reasoned it must have been a hasty mispronunciation of good morning.

So here's the deal. I'm back in Nairobi, Johan's hangout for the past four and a half months, and, I guess, my new home town? Or perhaps temporary home town is more like it. I'm not sure yet. All I know is that it's been grand to be with Johan again, redecorate our new place and remind myself that Johan can be the single most spontaneous shopper ever! Right until he spontaneously regrets buying whatever it is that he bought, that is.

See those plants in the bottom picture? We spent forever yesterday picking them out, potting them and giving them a proper wash down. And then because I made the one single mistake of mentioning they're garden pots, he simply cannot live with the idea of keeping them inside our apartment. And I mean, see how pretty they look by the panoramic window and how they kind of merge the indoors with the outside? Amirite?

But nope. They had to go outside. Not as in "let's sleep on it and decide in the morning", but as in right. this. minute.

Twosomeness. Nothing beats it ;O)