My final day in Nairobi was spent packing, running some errands and sitting at the airport. Right before I headed out to catch my flight, the owner of the guest house I stayed at decided to take me out to eat with his kids. We stopped at a pizza place since his kids had only eaten pizza twice in their lives and they really wanted to have it again. I couldn’t help but laugh thinking of the practical impossibility of finding any kid in the US who would have only had pizza twice. We parted ways at the Nakumatt and I took a cab to the airport, where I immediately went to the bathroom and proceeded to puke my guts out. Ah yes, the foreign pizza did me in. 3 weeks eating local food and no problems, I have a pizza, and it all goes to pot. I ended up spending the entire flight to Amsterdam visiting the can every 30 minutes to vacate my stomach, it was quite a long flight.
Anyway, that was quite the rabbit trail there, because I wanted to make an observation I had while sitting in the waiting area of the airport in Nairobi. Once you get to your gate at the airport, you have to pass through security again and then you’re pretty much locked in to a small waiting area until your flight boards. I picked the furthest corner from everyone, due to my general feeling that I probably smelled like vomit, and waited. About 10 minutes after I sat down, a really tall guy decked out in a diamond studded watch, warm-ups and massive headphones sat down right in front of me. After a minute of sitting there, he stood up and started kicking a soccer ball around. It was quite obvious that the guy wasn’t much of a soccer player, but he had just finished watching the World Cup in South Africa and was in the spirit of things and had his ball. He had 2 hanger-ons with him and they proceeded to kick the ball around the waiting area, rather oblivious to everyone else there. Let me correct that, oblivous to all common-sense courtesy. Due to his lack of control, the ball was bouncing into people, hitting the wall rather loudly and, my personal favorite, banging into the glass wall that separated us from the unsecure area. One of the security people asked him to not kick the ball into the glass as it wasn’t shatter proof…he didn’t care and just kept right at it.
Sitting there watching all this, all I could think was, what a jerk. It’s no wonder people think so poorly of Americans, we act like the rules don’t apply to us. After watching this poor display of athleticism, some American girl ran up to the guy and begged for a picture with him. He agreed and when she got up next to him, she barely came up to his waist. The guy with her, shook his hand, said congratulations and they took off, giggling and looking back at him over their shoulders. It turns out, the guy is an NBA basketball player. I don’t know his name, what team he plays for or anything, but still…what a jerk. I don’t care how fantastic you think you are, or how much money you make, don’t be an idiot. It’s people like that that really gives the rest of us such a bad name in the world. Hopefully he grows up someday, though the way most professional athletes go, the odds are not in his favor.