Nairobi, Kenya: Fast trains and mud huts in East Africa

Title: Fast trains and mud huts in East Africa

The Food

Lots of meat, sometimes raw beef,  a green vegetable dish called "Skumaweeki",  many kinds of bean stews, and "Ugali" which is ground maize meal pounded to something similar to "Cream of Wheat" or mashed potatoes is used as the staple to pick up other items one is eating. Ugali is eaten with your hands.

The Drink

Many times we went to small beer places outside and shared Tusker beer, which are in large bottles, as well as other beer brands - usually European but brewed in Kenya. English style tea is wonderful in Kenya, as Kenya is a big tea producer.

Kenya is not a society where gays are open, as it is frowned on, but like everywhere else in the world gay people are present but are quiet about their lives.


I went to Kenya when it was bitterly cold in USA and arrived into warm sunshine and lovely weather. I stayed with my Kenyan friend who really was a gem and showed me around this adventurous country. It was my first trip to Sub Saharan Africa.

 Arriving in Nairobi and staying at some budget hotel ( cant recall the name) before contacting my friend, we together stayed at his family home, where he come into the shower room with me and washed my body, telling me that is is customary to wash guests on the first day of their stay. We wandered around his favourite places in Nairobi, eating local food such as skumaweeki ( mixed green vegetables) and other food eaten with ugali.

Together we travelled by an old British era train to Mombasa. It was like going back into colonial nostalgia days. The dining car was all wooden and the waiter was dressed in uniform and carried a white towel over his arm. Food ( wonderful tasty food!) was served on silver plates. Dinner and Beer for my friend and I together was around $USA 8 at that time. Our sleeping compartment was a cosy place with a wooden sink, nice heavy blankets, and pillow. There was a brass emblem near the windows which read "East Africa Railway"- It felt truly classic!

We stayed in a small village near Mombasa with his relatives in a mud hut which had  no electric or running water. We ate local food prepared the traditional way and drank Tusker beer! delicious!  It was so hot during the day that I had to stay inside the dark and cooler hut. In the hut he gave me my first nude  body massage. I have been liking massages thereafter ever since.  Wandering around in different villages, we came across some Somali guys. They were selling some herb called "mira'a. I bought some which made me feel like I was on a boat on the sea.

When we were leaving back to Nairobi we were late to catch the train from the train station, so we ran along back paths of the town, ran along the tracks and hopped onto the train when it was moving slow enough for me to hop on, nearly yanking my arm off!

He's a wonderful friend with a good heart. Because of him I had a very memorable and exciting introduction to East Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa.


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