Every September in Nairobi the International Trade Fair (otherwise known as ‘the show’) is held at the showgrounds. During the rest of the year it looks like an abandoned village but for one week, the place comes alive.
Nothing spoils you more than living in Australia and going to the East Show, it is fantastic and nothing compares with it. But in reality, the Trade Fair is quite amazing for Kenya standards.
Our routine for the past two times we’ve gone, is to meet up with our Canadian friend Gary. Gary is awesomely funny. He and his beautiful wife Cynthia moved here for a couple of years. She works for IBM, Gary plays golf (and other fun retiree stuff). Cynthia is a wonderful breath of fresh air, hanging around with her revitalises you.
They have a car and driver as part of their package to be here so we’ve got the show down to a good habit. We drive to the local mall and leave our car there. Gary picks us up and his driver takes us to the showground then drops us back off afterwards. Next year we’ll have to park at the show as they would’ve returned to Canada.
This year was different in that we went on a Friday. Wednesdays are out because the President of Kenya comes and you can’t get around the place.
We haven’t had very much rain this year, but it decided to bucket down during the night. Hence, we bought an umbrella, which was used for all of 30 seconds before it dried up in the morning.
The show is always jam packed with school kids, farmers, hoards of animals on display, horse jumping, expo sites and eateries. There’s judging of the best animals and businesses spruiking their wares. It’s never a dull moment and if you want somewhere quiet, you won’t find it here.
It’s quite good value, only $3 to get in and if you really want to splurge, around 20 cents for a ride. Last year we found this food hall where you can get ¼ chicken, chips and a coke for $4.
Pete especially likes the show because he gets to see everything he needs for farming in one place. Nairobi is tricky to get around because of the congested traffic so if you get two things done in one day, you’re winning.
All year Gary has been onto Liz about going on a camel ride. She had psyched herself up for it and she was glad it had been raining because who wants to ride on a wet camel?
What we saw a lot of this year were people dressed up in crazy character outfits. Gary was in his element.
We also had Olwen, one of Pete’s work colleagues join us for a few hours. He’s a great young man who is working his first agricultural job since graduating from uni. There was no way on God’s green earth he was getting onto a camel and was also glad it had been raining.
One of the weirdest things I saw on our way out was a Witness Protection Agency tent. Not your average expo site and I didn’t go in because I thought they couldn’t say much to protect whoever was in hiding. Hopefully we’ll never need their services!
Overall it was a great day and although we won’t get to do it with Gary again, it has built some memorable moments.