25-09-2020 by Freddie del Curatolo
Turning the Capital with your own car is a double-edged sword: on the one hand you feel free to organize yourself according to impromptu programs, without having to account to Uber of your movements, nor having to capitalize the expense of a driver with a private vehicle that by the way does not cost less than 50 euros per day.
On the other hand, however, you have to have at least a minimum of smattering of Nairobi and be updated on the work in progress, otherwise you risk bottling without even being able to read a newspaper, call someone or surf the Internet in the meantime.
But we have a lot of things to do and from our "lair" of Karen we head to the United Nations area, where in addition to the Italian Embassy in Kenya and the Italian Cultural Institute, we also have two activities of compatriots to greet.
Taking Ngong Road towards the center we immediately notice that there is much less traffic than last year. Covid-19 effect certainly, but also effect new roads built, net of many others under renovation or construction from scratch that sometimes slow down the road system.
At the Junction Mall we take the ups and downs leading to the Lavington district, where our friend Flavio Traldi, importer and retailer of Italian products in Kenya with his New Italycor, operates.
Taking the James Gichuru Road we arrive to cut the Wayaki Way, and the novelty for us is a new bypass, which through the Red Hills, takes us directly behind the UN district.
So here we are at the Village Market, where we can tell you about the new life of Anna Leali, the historical ice-cream maker and confectioner of Watamu, who opened her "Nonsologelato" in the big Mall with an international scope and who is very happy not only with the business (alas, obviously limited by the pandemic period) but also with the fact that she moved. Of Watamu dreams above all of the sun and the sea.
Here is the video of the new activity!
Say goodbye to Anna and her husband Andrea with a load of cannoli and semifreddi for the evening, we head to a completely different location but equally coveted and interesting. This is the beauty of Nairobi, the possibility to live a metropolis in all its facets. There are shopping malls, ecstasies of shopping and meeting in tranquility, in modern and safe oases that may seem paradoxically cold and aseptic in Africa, but in a big city they become protected harbors that not only offer services, but also raise the awareness of many people and create jobs.
But there are also places that are more "in hand" that give space to young people, to "sustainable" aggregation and refer to places that are an example of ethnic and social mixes and fun without too many pretensions. This is the case of the former parking lot of the U.S. Embassy, a few blocks from the Village Market, which has been transformed into a shopping center, with small restaurants, stores, a space for fairs, exhibitions and stalls and (perhaps this sounds a bit out of tune) a large hardware.
Organic companies and farms around Nairobi sell their products: honey, cheese, mushrooms, sausages. There is a lawn for children to play on, a sushi bar, a wine shop (now closed...) and above all the pizzeria Solo Grano of Nicola Traldi, young and dynamic brother of Flavio. Little more than a chiringuito: a wood-burning oven, four pizzaioli and even in the Covid-19 period daisies and whimsical daisies are baked at full capacity. Here too, little else to tell, there is the video service that speaks for itself.
We meet tomorrow for the safari proper: from Nairobi to the Mara North Conservancy!
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