I first came to Nairobi after high school. My grandmother packed fish and bread in a lunchbox so that I could have something to eat on my way to the big city. Earlier on, she had counselled me against bad company.
I cannot recall what bus I travelled in, but I remember it was very fast. We arrived in Nairobi at around midday. The atmosphere was quite different from Kisumu. I felt like I was in a city abroad. Although the people were not as loud as my villagemates, they were a bit intimidating from the way they dressed.
I saw men dressed in khaki and open shoes. What really shocked me was their feet and toe nails. Back home, if a man wore sandals for only an hour, it would be very hard to differentiate his feet from cassava! I was really impressed by how the men here cleaned up well and knew that was what I wanted to be some day.
I then went to City Market for lunch. This was closer to what I had seen back in Kisumu, but still it was too sophisticated. Nairobians are also fast people. Everyone was eating their food as if they were competing. I did not understand why they were in such a hurry.
It was in the same market that I met my first girlfriend. She was seated in a corner eating ugali and eggs using a fork. That was too sophisticated for me. You should have seen her. She wore a denim suit with flowers on the bottom of the pants. I watched her slice and combine the ugali with eggs with her fork and I told myself that I must talk to her. We exchanged contacts and continued communicating through letters until the loved faded off due to distance.