Posted by: hilarycole | December 18, 2007

I’ll have a Cafe au lait and a life lesson please

Sitting in a quaint, historic coffee shop in the heart of Nairobi, my good friend asked me how I felt to be back in the big city. I told him my shoulders had definitely dropped this time around; I felt much safer than at the start of my trip, being able to communicate a little better and with the full realization that Nairobi is not the danger zone it used to be. I told him how guarded I’d felt at the beginning of this trip, having heard and read all the dire warnings. I told him it doesn’t seem to warrant the old nickname “Nairobbery.”

A few minutes later, I stood up to greet Mama Mercy’s son Kimani who’d come to drop something off to Bart. He left after 60 seconds, and I sat back down, rummaging under my big bag, looking for the smaller cloth one. Gonzo. I’m open to interpretations on this life lesson, but I’m going with “Don’t get cocky.”

So once again, Hilary Cole is cell-phone-free. But I also lost the lovely blank book my mother and sister bought for me, now filled with the names, addresses, e-mails and phone numbers of every contact I’ve made across this country. Also snatched was a book I was reading, ironically entitled “Becoming Human.” I’m niaively hopeful the thief might read it.

Here are the list of positives Bart and I came up with while calling my phone on the street to try to hear it ring and checking garbage dumpsters:

#1. The thief didn’t take my other bag, containing passport, money, credit and bank card, clothes, and malaria meds.

That was a big one. That should be #s 1, 2 and 3.

#4. I’ll now be in touch with only those people I’m meant to stay in touch with, and who decide to contact me. Streamlining; I like it.

#5. My bag is lighter now; more room for the wickedly cool cowboy-shirt clothing line Bart and Kimani have started and want distributed in Vancouver.

#6. I get to see good fortune turn things around. I have a loaner cell phone for my last two days, and Mama Mercy gave me a brand new blank book this morning, ready to be filled.



  1. Ah Hil – PRICE-LESS!

    Love ALLLLL the stories but this one made me laugh out loud! Yes, definite potential variations to a life lesson in that one.

    RE: #5 – say what??

    RE: para 3, last 2 lines – or maybe someone will notice that the book he’s reading is decidedly a traveler’s stolen book and get a mob together and beat the shit out of him.

  2. Make a report with the police. It’s a pain, but when I was mugged by Uhuru park and my bag was taken I reported it.

    It was an interesting experience at the police station if nothing else.

    The bag came back with no money, but it did contain all my other items that were important to me.

    But, I did it the day after. If it happens again. Try it. Might work.

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