Sunday, March 23, 2008

Muthurwa L.O.V.E.

Muthurwa is marked RED!

I took a trip to Eastlands last week to chec on my folks. Of course I'd been following the news about the 'Walking' Nation scenario ever since the Local Government minister decided to take a shot at solving the traffic and hawker situation in one stroke, by making all Eastlands public transport stop at the new stage opposite Country bus station, and having the commuters walk through the hawkers market on their way into the CBD.

I decided to go on a Sunday afternoon, figuring that it was the period with least traffic, and I'd heard nightmare stories from workmates about the great trek especially during rush hour. Walking through Tom Mboya Street, it hit me that something was different, almost not right. Turns out I'm walking on the sidewalk without issues, and the road is devoid of much traffic. With the hawkers gone and the matatus relocated, the space is refreshing. However, the human traffic seems to have increased in size.

I slowly made my way across town to the entrance of the new Muthurwa market (eeh this isn't a short walk). Evidently, the place is far from completion, with work on going, and the makeshift entrance being too small and therefore very crowded. Hawkers of course consider this a good location, and many of them have etched their names on floor and wall spaces to stake their claim despite the fact that no one is meant to have a permanent place.

One has to walk through the market to find the vehicles and of course this for a first timer is a bit tricky. Once on board, I got to see why there is a bottleneck. The three lane Jogoo road rush hour traffic is forced into a two then one lane entrance, with no option of overtaking or exiting till the end. Woe to any vehicle that stalls in between! As of last week, a new exit was opened but still hasn't gotten things to flow freely. A plan to bring shuttle buses from there into town is in the offing but isn't this just increasing the same traffic we are trying to reduce?

Clearly, this discongestion issue is going to take a while to effect, with talk of bus lanes, by passes and raised highways among other solutions mentioned. In the meantime, the bodabodas (and whoever gets that shuttle contract)will make their killing, while the rest of Nairobi waits to find out where their PSVs will be made to stop outside town. With parking fees set to rise, telecommuting or working outside the CBD is the best escape route for wasee wa Eastlands.

Keep walking ;-)

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Getting noticed

Case 1:

I got a mail from the CEO of a startup called VerveEarth. In short the jamaa says that they were looking for the best blogs in the world by geography, and they found mine for Kenya. (Alright you can stop applauding now, the sarcasm is killing me).
So they are inviting me to sign in with their site which plots the content of the internet on an interactive map of the world. Of course being chosen as Kenyan ambassador gives me great pride and I will serve my country online with distinction ;-)

Case 2:

Someone wrote a comment in my blog 2 weeks ago. It was for a post I'd done mid last year. I only noticed it from the email alerts from blogger. I'm surprised that probably it came up on a google search for someone looking for Kenyans in Germany. Talk about being relevant way into the future!!

Case 3:

She sent me an email. She says that she was spending time checking out facebook and decided to go through my profile. She discovered the link to my blog and says that it was really cool. She also read EVERYTHING! Who is the person in question? The 'she' being referred to in the Smitten and Saying It Like It Is posts!!!! I could only reply back "oops..."

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