From the Passenger's Seat

Lately, when asked what has the been the most surprising or difficult thing about living in Nairobi, my answer is: the traffic/driving. Now, thankfully, Aaron has become quite the skilled Kenyan driver, but that doesn't mean that I don't have to mentally prepare for some kind of an adventure every time we get in the car. I use the term "adventure" a little loosely here, as sometimes said adventure means being given directions for the "faster route" home only to get stuck in standstill traffic and said route ends up taking three times as long.

Neither Aaron or I have lived in a big city where major traffic is ever an issue; so we're learning patience and to always leave the house earlier than you think you need to. Since Aaron is driving us around 99% of the time, I've taken it upon myself to document some of the fun/crazy/bizarre/hilarious and also beautiful things that I get to observe from the passenger seat. So today, I'll take you behind the scenes on what it's like to drive through parts of Nairobi.

*Disclaimer: my photographer self doesn't love the quality of many of these photos, but the reality of taking quality photos through the tinted windows with my iPhone is rather slim. But these are just too good not to share! Also, there are many videos in this post, but they're all super short & give you fun little glimpses of what you'd see riding around in Nairobi!

Traffic, exhibit A. This is in the middle of a roundabout; which if used properly will keep traffic moving. Despite traffic circles being everywhere around the city, Nairobi has yet to get the message on how these are supposed to work.


Traffic, exhibit B. Really, it's just a free for all most of the time. Also, the video on the right below is the longest one on this entire post at a little over a minute, but be sure to listen to the end (or fast forward to the :50 mark) to get a good listen at what most public transport horns sound like.

Sometimes, you have to slow down for things other than vehicles. Like cows. Or donkeys. Or camels.


Other times you slow down because of speed bumps. They are quite literally, everywhere.



These guys give new meaning to "oversize" or "wide" loads. We figure if they are carrying all this stuff with their motorcycles/vehicles.....



...then surely it was okay for us to transport our new couch like this. :)



Rain or shine (or fog); you just keep plugging along until you make it to your destination.


But what Kenya lacks in road rules and sensible drivers, it makes up for in beautiful scenery just outside of the city. I'm in awe of the views every single Monday as we drive to and from our office in Limuru.


I couldn't end this post without a quick glimpse of "Narcos Netflix". The noise that this public transport bus makes cannot be described with words, but suffice it to say that it's so loud we can hear it from the bedroom in our home when it drives down the road half a mile away. If you come stay with us, you'll certainly get to see and hear this particular bus on a regular basis.


That completes our journey riding around Nairobi for now! Hope you enjoyed a ride in the passenger's seat getting a little more of a glimpse into what our daily drives are like in and around our new city. Like I said, it's always an adventure!

- Casey

CaseyCasey MarkhamComment