5 Effortlessly Annoying People Who Walk Nairobi's Streets
These few characters can turn Nairobi into one of the most annoying places of all time.
It's no secret, especially in the East African community, that Kenyans don't have the best rapport when it comes to socially acceptable behaviour. We tend to come across as rude, aggressive, and arrogant, which is somewhat accurate to say the least. It would be futile to try and pinpoint what made us the way we are (or seem to be), and it would probably go into one of those nature versus nurture discussions. But since I'm not here to talk psychology, I'll get right to talking about what inspired this post – the people who make the streets of Nairobi nothing short of unbearable!
Personally, every time I walk through Nairobi's busy streets, I do a few "Woo-Sah" chants under my breath because of the wave of stress that comes every 5 minutes. And the annoyance extends beyond the streets! Wherever there is a gathering of people, there will be at least one effortlessly annoying person. Let's look at the top 5 on my list.
1. The Litterbug
Perhaps the most notorious of the lot, this one will litter the street even if there is a bin just a few paces away. While majority of the culprits will toss candy wrappers, used scratch cards, plastic bags and bottles, fruit peels, and other manner of trash, it has to be the one who discards chewed gum onto the pavement with zero care that gets to me the most. The number of times I've unknowingly stepped on gum while walking is unfathomable! Even worse is when the subsequent step with the "gum shoe" is on some wrapper or paper someone else tossed. I would love to live to see the day majority of my people will have learnt to find the closest bin.
2. Sir Spitsalot
I have a special bone to pick with this one! Fair warning; if you get easily disgusted, you might want to pass on this. I was once walking and minding my own business when all of a sudden, out of nowhere (okay, out of a man's mouth) came a jet of green, khat-laden spit that projected squarely onto my sandaled foot, immediately finding its way between my toes. I understand the occasional urge to spit for various reasons, but I guess some people didn't get the memo about it still being considered rude (and disgusting). I wish we'd just watch where and how we discard our salivary secretion!
3. The Chimney
The County Council set up "smoking zones" strategically around Nairobi City, so I fail to understand why certain smokers force others to be their "ride or die". The fact is that a lot of people struggle to give up the cancer sticks, so this is not a judging contest, but I would love to believe that they should be courteous enough to refrain from smoking in public. I mean, smoking is a choice that one makes single-handedly, so is it so wrong to say that non-smokers should rightfully be cut some slack?
4. The Encroacher
If you have queued in Nairobi, then you will take this one to heart. The concept of personal space seems to not be appreciated by many Kenyans. While waiting in line for whatever reason, I guarantee you that by the end of it, you will have mastered the respiratory rhythm of the person right behind you because their exhalation will keep sending gusts of warm air to the scruff of your neck. We need to understand that an allowance of many inches between people on a queue never hurt anyone, and I appreciate and respect those who get it.
5. Rogue Walker
These wild and unpredictable pedestrians seemingly are yet to master the art of walking in public spaces. Culprits will be guilty of one or more of the following; maintaining a frustratingly slow pace, coming to a grinding halt (usually to score a bargain from a street vendor), pitiful multi-tasking (usually due to distractions of the cellular nature), taking street selfies, aggressively cutting off and bumping into other pedestrians (all unapologetically), weaving uncontrollably, and many more. I haven't any idea in the slightest on how to make such people see the light, other than being rogue myself from time to time, of course. Fight fire with fire, I guess?
There you have it! Certainly these are not the only annoying people roaming the streets of Nairobi, as we can talk about them for hours. These culprits merely made it to the top of my list, so please feel free to make your additions in the comments section below.