Nairobi: Culture in a cup

I closed my eyes for a moment. I could only hear footsteps towards me. “Can I ask for some water?”, I immediately opened my eyes and a baby bottle was handed to me by a beautiful African woman around mid-thirties dressed in a very colorful garment or Kanga rather. Headed down to the galley and filled the container with lukewarm water.


I tried to keep my composure amidst of mild aircraft disturbance while holding a tray with a single bottle on it. As I approach the lady sitting in the front row, a man wearing a white button down shirt asked for water. “I’ll get back to you Sir. Would you like to have some coffee or juice instead?”, he replied with, “No”. Just as I hand over the feeding bottle, I offered if she would like to have something, “Water”, she requested. Reason being why I suggest coffee this much is because of this early morning flight. 

I poured in five to six cups of water to make sure I cover whoever wants some. Went back to the galley empty handed. Plane ride sure does get you dehydrated. It’s a fact.

Strapped myself in after cabin duties. The plane is descending. I kept on swallowing to keep my ears from popping. I glanced out the window where a thousand acres of coffee beans are cultivated. Welcome to Nairobi!

Twenty-four-hour layover just started. It’s a hot, humid Sunday. I only have my Google map as a tracking device. “Nairobi Java House is the best!”, the concierge exclaimed. That’s what I recall. 

Standing adjacent to Mama Ngina Street where I could smell the coffee aroma and heed reggae beats from afar, “It’s here! I just arrived!”, a small voice uttered inside my head. Spotted a vibrant huge menu coffee board wall-mounted inside where different coffee varieties are displayed. My eyes were glued on Iced Mocha concoction. 
Via Trip Advisor
                                                            Via Trip Advisor

I can taste the richness of coffee beans infused with cocoa. Coffee was not so empowering. This blended beverage is just right. I can see through this cup how diverse this country is. Nairobi is a contemporary Sahara. Whereas European and Western urbanity influenced this modish part of Kenya without dismissing its aboriginal African roots.

A couple of minutes passed and my drink just ran out. Spent the last few shillings I had on high-speed internet access for three hours back to the hotel while sipping instant coffee pulled from the aircraft galley!

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