By the time you are a certified Nairobian, there are certain inevitable rites of passage that you must go through. They happen to all of us, sooner or later. Some are not rites per se, but rightful conclusions, informed by skepticism only borne by a city that stops, starts and stops yet again. Here is how you know you are a Nairobian…
1. You must have been approached by the same person twice with the same cock and bull story about not having bus fare to some far-flung estate.
2. If a man, you must have passed through Sabina Joy out of sheer curiosity. If women have touched your groin area and you were persuaded to make a bargain, you are now a Nairobian. Come for your certificate.
3. You have been caught in a teargas mess and you had to run for your dear life. This comes courtesy of rioting students or hawkers.
4. You must be picked in a matatu. You only realised when you alighted and cursed the day you were born. If a woman, your handbag has ever been shorn through and emptied as you fiddled with your phone.
5. You have been sold a fake electronic gadget, more out of your greed and the characteristic lack of patience to examine carefully what you are being sold.
6. You laugh when you listen to a story about someone being conned.
7. You have since learned the best time to escape town as clouds gather, lest you pay double or triple the bus fair.
8. You have given up on the national broadcaster.
9. A landlord has ever stuck with your rent deposit and all you did was curse incessantly, threaten until you gave up.
10. You have reached a point you loathe bus preachers.
11. You never mind a matatu driver breaking every traffic rule in the book, as long as it works to your advantage or you are not arrested.
12. You have been carjacked or your bus hijacked and you were relieved every other valuable. You don’t even bother reporting.
13. If a man, you have ever bought several drinks for a woman. She got drunk and you thought you will have your way but she turned down your advances.
14. You are used to waitresses stealing from you to a point you have your phone calculator.
15. Your car has ever been towed by kanjos when you stepped out to an ATM.
16. You have been arrested by askaris for picking a call while crossing the road or stepping on the flower bed.
17. You have given up on the day the potholes in your neighbourhood will ever be fixed.
18. One or more of the following has ever been stolen
Your car. Stuff from your car. Phone. Your wallet.
19. After spending a night in the police cell, you will do your best never to be arrested or you learn how to talk to cops (read bribe).
20. You have given up on complaining why whites and foreigners (especially Nigerians) are always getting better treatment in restaurants or in any shared utility.