The cool journalist looks around. Mzungus, so many, too many. Look at them, looking so happy and confident and satisfied, with their neo-hippy look, their explorer look, their NGO beard look, their NGO big skirt and headscarf look, their I’m-not-on-holiday-but-anyway-I-dress-as-if-I-were look… The cool journalist looks around with scorn and disdain and contempt. Because he is different, the cool journalist. Precisely: he is cool, I mean, actually cool. Because he is real, genuine, authentic – unlike the other mzungus, isn’t he, the cool journalist. Yeah, he thinks, looking around with – well, no, not with a sense of superiority, it’s not that he is better but just different (that’s why he is cool, he thinks). Although, he should admit, he does look around with some complaisance but, well, that’s not that bad and he’s still cool, he thinks, the cool journalist.
So, yep, he looks around and sees all the mzungus wandering around at this shopping centre in Nairobi. Man, so many mzungus, and you barely see one walking out there in the streets. But there aren’t only mzungus, of course, there are also many Indians and many black people and even the odd Chinese-looking guy can be seen. Actually, if you think about it, the scene does look good, so multi-cultural, with many different people sharing a table at the café or the American bar or the Italian restaurant or even the African food place. With so many different people shopping for that cute African dress or for those expensive jeans or for that book about Darfur, written by a Westerner, of course, the cool journalist thinks again with some disdain. Although people here look fairly happy, truth be told, the cool journalist thinks while looking around, people look well-fed, well-dressed, they look busy and content and pleased. But, see, that’s the point, the cool journalist suddenly remembers: this doesn’t represent Kenya or Nairobi, not at all. Look at all those black Kenyan people: they are just the tiniest minority, ridiculously overrepresented here, with their surreal big bellies, doing business and making decisions that will affect the vast and more real majority of Kenyans, who couldn’t even afford to step in this shopping centre, the cool journalist reflects, right?
And look at the bloody mzungus, just look at them, laughing and feeling important and thinking they are cool and believing they are saving the world just because they can afford to mess around with their laptops at these nice cafés. Oh well, thinks the cool journalist shaking his head and almost feeling at the peak of his coolness.
Yeah, he is different, he thinks, looking now back at his table at the café. In despite of everything, he is different, he thinks checking his BlackBerry while sipping his giant cappuccino. The cool journalist takes a last look around and then goes back to his laptop, “Gotta go, the battery is dying, will write more soon”, and he sends the email to her friend in London. Then he closes his MacBook, puts it into his backpack, takes this, leaves some notes next to the bill, smiles nicely at the Kenyan waitress and walks away followed by the unmistakable noise his flip-flops make.