May 27th, 2009

Design everywhere.

Even in the bathrooms at Schiphol, there's impeccable composition to be found.

No signplate with its own pesky edges, just words printed directly on the tile in a nice position. What caught my eye was the way the boldface compensates exactly for the slightly shorter Dutch text.

Arrived in Nairobi.

Arrival in Jomo Kenyatta airport, after making it through Passport Control.

View from the hotel of the Kenya National Archives building, across the street.

These yellow-green "Citi Hoppa" buses are everywhere!

Nairobi streets.

Traffic is pretty chaotic here. People pretty much walk wherever they want to; the pedestrians and cars weave around within inches of each other, avoiding injury by what seems like an ongoing miracle.

The poorly marked roads packed with tiny cars, the loud advertising everywhere, and the sticky humidity all remind me of Guangzhou or Singapore.

Today my colleague and I tried to get some Kenyan shillings out of an ATM, and the machine refused to return his card. We spent over an hour at the nearest bank branch trying to get them to extract his card from the machine, and couldn't. Across the street from the bank branch, the entire block was surrounded in a wall of corrugated metal. Every once in a while, someone inside would open a door in the wall and eye the street for a while, then close the door or step out.

Here was an opening in the wall of corrugated metal. I can't tell if people live inside or just run shops here. Nairobi seems to be a town of surprisingly well-dressed people (better dressed than the average Bay Area resident!) in surprisingly squalid environments.