Have you ever heard someone describe a house as having “lots of character”? You do know what that really means, right? Well, we didn’t when we rented our first home in Nairobi. But boy, did we find out the hard way.
The place was situated along a narrow road that had the rather lengthy and lofty name of Roslyn Lone Tree Estate Road. It was a two-bedroom, colonial era cottage. Surrounded by large trees, the cottage was small, cozy, cheap and with a LOT of character. Delighted, we signed the contract, moved in and unpacked our bags, blissfully unaware of what awaited us.
It started with the electrical outlets.
First the outlets on one wall stopped working. The electrician, or someone who claimed to be one, fixed them. The next day, another set failed on the opposite wall. Our new best friend arrived to fix those outlets, and no sooner had he left then the first set failed.
This went on for a while. Having only recently landed in Kenya, I still had the rather naïve expectation that everything should work as per design. If there’s an outlet in the wall, it should work. Right? I mean, is it so strange to expect that a tap should have water in it? Or that an outlet should have electricity flowing through it?
I have long since abandoned that unrealistic expectation and am thrilled if there’s enough water for a quick shower and a cup of tea. Electricity is way overrated. It’s amazing how long you can manage without it. And if only half the outlets work, that’s still more outlets than any human being really needs anyways.
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