Golden did the setting sun crown the broad streaks of clouds above the outskirts of Nairobi. As we sunk beneath the shimmering plumes their bellies revealed a dark purple reflection of the barren land below. As I turned my gaze to the rusty landscape scarred with shallow valleys spotted sparsely with vegetation, my lips uttered my thoughts aloud, though barely audible even to myself above din of turbines:
‘Huh. Kinda looks like Nevada.’
I don’t think this was the longest trip I’d ever taken, but in a champagne celebration of my departure, I maanged to mix up that I was flying out of JFL rather than Newark. Luckily it was discovered just in time for me to forget I to put on deodorant.
I didn’t make any friends on the plane.
I flew Swiss Air (Star Alliance, baby!) and was very impressed. The food was edible, they didn’t charge for drinks and had a number of movies available. In an inconceived attempt at boring myself to sleep I decided to watch Along Came Polly. At least Phillip Seymour Hoffman shined as he always does.
The stopover in Zurich was brief, but pleasant. I bought a watch because I decided to retire the fake Rolex I’d gotten in Hong Kong to impress shallow girls Vegas. My cell phone had always served as the utilitarian watch, but I’m still not sure if I’m gonna get one here.
And, I mean, c’mon.
It was friggin Switzerland.
I got chocolate too.
Anyway, after boarding, snoozing, a good morning beer over Zaire, the awe inspiring descent to land, and a few thousand Nairobi shillings changed, I arrived at passport control and customs. Both of which have always gotten me a bit nervous.
Not that I have anything about which to be nervous, I don’t like guns and I don’t do drugs anymore. Besides, didn’t I take that quarter out of my guitar years ago?
Actually, getting a three-month Visa to Kenya was easier than getting into Vancouver for four days in July. /Stamp/stamp/scribble/scribble/smile/thank you!/ and my bags are rounding the carousel. A driver whose name—I think it consisted mostly of vowels—eludes me now was waiting for me with a sign.
On the way to the hotel, the driver talked a lot about the city, Mumbasa on the coast, and informed me that hakuna matata actually means ‘no worries.’
Way to go Disney.
Tomorrow morning I get picked up at 10:00 (I could get used to this!) and start my first day as a professional hitman^ in Nairobi.
Five continents down, two to go.
^I’ve decided it sounds better than ‘implementation manager.’