NIGHT TRAIN

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On our way to Nairobi. We travel first class in a colonial night-train through wilderness parks.

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The conductor assures us to close the window at night, cheetah’s might want to come in… But we can’t stand the heat so we sleep with musquito-window. Of course it has a hole, so my body is covered with sun-screen, sweat of all day and DEET. And dust, red dust: we did the safari-trip in open vehicule. We see Elephants, Giraffes, Zebra’s, Lions in their beauty and grace and laziness. So silent. So impressive.

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And we see all these beautiful nervous animals who are used to being hunted. Right now I feel I feel very connected to them…

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I have trouble surrendering in being white and a tourist.

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Prices are not fixed. I bargained down a mask from 15.000 to 4.000 shilling, and it makes me feel stupid. I pay 200 for a coffee that should be 50. I make a big scene, I feel made stupid. Being white in Africa, I loose all control. (Yes I behave like an embarrassing dutch mistrusting tourist)

And on the other hand, what are prices…I myself use price-differences: expensive for rich people, cheap for non-rich people, barter for the poor.

But in Mombasa, Hilary or his wife Helen makes the deals with the tuki tuki drivers while Laura and me hide…Hilary is angry with this racism against his guests.

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In the train we meet 2 black men and we ask them to help us find a safe cap for a reasonable price once we are in Nairobi. We pass big slums..and we are warned so often how dangerous Nairobi is. We think the trainstation might be one of the easiest places to rob us. We are all prepared…