Happy New Year!!!

January 9, 2009

Hello Readers,

I just relocated to Kenya from Dubai, and I have to say, its a fucking culture shock being back here and actually living here.

Lots to say, now that I have internet at home (finally!), but just want to wish everyone a happy 2009!


Expense Calculator

November 6, 2008

Found this amazing Expense Calculator from XE.com. A very useful tool for those of you who travel to different countries a lot.

It has a database of historical exchange rates as well as hidden charge adjustments to make sure that you claim the correct amount every time.

Here’s the link..

“Lara Croft” Alison Carroll In Mall of Emirates, Virgin

October 30, 2008

I walked into Virgin yesterday, and saw a huge stage with Tomb Raider Posters around it. It turned out that the new Lara Croft, Alison Carroll, was going to show up there. So wifey, cousin and I got invited to the VIP section and sat around till she showed up. Alison is the new poster-woman for the franchise starring in the upcoming Underworld game.

I haven’t seen any other real life models around which the game had been developed, so I am not an expert on commenting; however, Alison looked like any other girl that you might bump in the bar or the train, but a little glammed-up. Anyway, she was nice enough to answer our questions (I am sure she’s paid to do that ….) and we took a few pics with her and were even interviewed on MTV.

All in a day’s work, this is the second celeb I have bumped into in Mall of Emirates.

Kenya spare some change?

October 28, 2008

I was in Kenya for work last week, with some colleagues who were travelling to the country for the first time.

We were in Tanzania before and they were complaining about how unfriendly Tanzanians were.  Being the proud Kenyan that I am, I immediately told them about how friendly Kenyans were and how we always have a smile on our faces.

Immediately upon landing in Nairobi Airport, we were greeted with a smile …… and an open palm.

I tried to tell my colleagues that bribery was a part of Africa and people would find any reason to get money from your, but the manner in which it was done was brash and unabashed.  Like taking a bribe was a part of life and part of the immigration process.

It didn’t stop there.  It seemed that all of Kenya, or Nairobi(Nai – robbery) was looking at any way to squeeze money from visitors there. From the Bellboys to the Cab drivers to “Five Star” Hotels, everyone seemed to be out to gyp visitors out of their money.  Case in point – many of the hotels in Nairobi – (Serena, Intercon) used to charge a set amount for a bed and breakfast.  Now they charge USD$ 25 for breakfast – which is cereal, eggs, sausages and bread.  For Kenya, even with the economic status of the world currently, this is exorbitant! The least a hotel can do, after paying over USD $ 200  a night at a ‘five’ star hotel is feed you breakfast!

At one of the restaurants in Nairobi, The Tamarind, a waiter told us about his daughter getting married and he was expecting a big fat tip from us.  Not that I haven’t heard this story before, but how it was propositioned was a shock to me. He literally asked us to give him money.

We were there for three days and in the course, asking for money in one form or another was a repeat performance by Kenyans.  My colleagues left Kenya with a soiled image of Kenyans.

To me, it was a shock.  I kept on thinking about how we had come to this position.  From what I see, there are two layers to this.  The outer one is trying to exploit visitors as much as possible and the inner one is the easiest way to make money – begging.  Maybe our reliance on tourism was taking a negative turn for us.  It seemed like we have corrupted our morality and our humility to get here.  Then I got thinking about the fact that the govt. of Kenya doing the exact same thing with the World Bank.  Getting on its knees and begging for handouts.  It was appalling.  No wonder, many Kenyans don’t have any shame in begging.

I don’t know, maybe its the fact that I have been out of the country for far too long.

We have so many resources, industries, stability and it is a shock to see people doing these things. If we cannot pull our act together, there are many beautiful places in the world that tourists can head to.  If our tourism industry is in a decline we only have ourselves to blame for exploiting and disgusting tourists out of the country.

The funniest wideo I have seen in a long time..

October 11, 2008

Or .. how to move without moving!

Why we are messed up…

October 10, 2008

For those that watched this show as kids in the 80’s, get a kick out of this … I remember watching Rainbow everyday on TV growing up.. haha

The world’s fate lies in the hands of the American People…

October 5, 2008

As many people accross the United States lie awake through sleepless nights of impending foreclosure, we, across the rest of the world, can only await the wave of financial doom to hit our front door.

I think that this crisis cannot come at a better time than it has.

I am truly sorry for many Americans who have put their blood and sweat into building a home for themselves only to lose it to this financial crisis.

However, the question remains: could this have been averted were it not for the billions of dollars pumped into unwarranted wars? Could this have been avoided if the outcome of the last presidential election was… different?

I think that this might be a great wake up call for America to sit up and rethink their ‘freedom’ and put their country in the hands of someone worthy of the challenge.

Whether we like it or not, the worlds fate is intertwined with the the US world’s largest economies.

America – for the sake of the rest of the world, vote smart.

In the meantime, all I can say is O B A M A, O B A M A.