Kenyans have strange habits which sometimes can be difficult for foreigners and even local people to understand. Many foreigners find some of our habits strange at the onset but after they spending quality time here, the habits become a norm for them. Either you are here on a vacation or a stay visit, these strange habits will always find a way to influence you.
Here are some strange habits you are likely to see in Kenya:
1. Bargaining while making a purchase
You may pay for goods or services without bargaining when you come to Kenya the first time. However, it does not take long for you to start haggling like Nigerians when you want to buy anything. The trader would hike the price to an unreasonable amount and it is expected that you bring this price down and it would take time to come to a compromise.
2. Jubilation when electricity come on
With the error of capitalism that brings up monopoly even in business firms, electricity going off has never been news to us. They will force rationing of power to us and there’s nothing much we can do. When the electricity goes off there are hisses and moans but when the light comes on, there is this excitement and shouts. Most of us his because we know the company shall take ages before they come repair a faulty line, and this means darkness shall be embraced in yourhom for a while. If you are new here, it may irritate you initially, never to worry, because soon you may find yourself jubilating too.
3. Lack of respect for those in authority
Have you seen how we stay in traffic for long hours? Our drivers cannot even listen to our police sometimes. We talk down on the government, the presidency regardless of the venue. We have opinions on what our leaders should or should not do. If you respect the authority you seem naive and weak, if you can’t deal with them you run or dodge in the nearest corner.
4. Flashing – You call people and hang up
When you call someone and you cut off the line before the person picks up; Kenyans call this ‘flashing’. If you are new here, you may believe that it is a missed call from a friend especially when you are far from the phone. It is often intentional because the caller does not have enough phone credit to call or talk and it is expected that you call them back. When you finally understand this concept of flashing, you may find yourself doing it.
5. Shouting when making calls
As Kenyans, we have this habit where we don’t know how to talk in low tones. Even when we are giving stories, some of us can only do it at the top of our voices. This habit can be more pronounced if you make use of a public transport system or you are on some major streets.
6. Walking barefoot in the house
You arrive at some homes and find out that there are lots of shoes outside the door and soon, you may start following suit. You will instantly remove shoes and get comfortable walking that way. For men, they walk in their socks, even when the house some extrapair of slippers they will still not wear them.
Ahh…This is a strange habit you may pick fast if you are new in these streets. Have you seen how we create funny routes to avoid traffic and you would wonder what the rush is all about? Even at ATM booths, in malls, in banking halls you name it, we are always in a rush. Most Kenyans are always in haste that they do not want orderliness. One day, you may find yourself trying to cut corners too.