It’s almost like as if they are already keeping the thumb on the phone’s red button.

Trying to call someone in Nairobi from abroad is easy and cheap, lakini most jamaas there – it seems – are used to 10 seconds conversation: no long greetings, a very short smalltalk and then an abrupt ending.

– “Eh, hello, this is JKE calling.”
“Oh, r u in Nairobi?”
– “No, I am calling from Germany…so, how are you?”
“Oh, here everything is just fine.”

… (~ 20 seconds)

“Ok, goodbye & thx for calling.”
– “Ah…?”


Irritating, especially since I am the one who is calling and paying for the call.

AOB: came across this textbook on “Swahili for Starters” yesterday while strolling through our local (university) library.


I just had to borrow something as all the books I went there for were already taken by someone else and since the really interesting stuff (as pictured below) wasn’t available for lending.


Kikuyu-English Dictionary, by T.G.Benson, Oxford @ Clarendon Press, 1964

(and the best thing I saw there was a Lingala-English dictionary…*sigh*)


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