On Saturday night we went clubbing in downtown Kitale. For pre-partying, we went to the allegedly cheapest pub in town, where a bottle of beer still costs about 2 Euros. Africa is not a cheap place in many regards. The pub was dark and fairly crowded, a pool table in the middle, a TV with BBC Africa news on the wall. A strong smell of urine pervaded the air, laced with some cigarette fume.
I learned there were two different toilets, one for number one and one for number two. Number one was just behind us, just like the only window of the room. So wind from outside blew in the smell.
Most of the guests were men. The pub was in a side-street that women didn’t like to use, explained Philip. We were around 10 people or so, crew from Otepic and friends. Some I had met before, others not. One guy came and shook my hand, like other friends before. I thought he was from Otepic and I just had not met him yet. He kept on holding my hand and saying things I could not really understand due to the noise around. When I the situation began to be strange I withdrew my hand. Philip to my left and another friend to my right chased the guy away. He was some weird stranger. Philip had taken care of my bottle immediately to make sure nobody would drop anything in it. Luckily I had people around me who protected me at every moment. Considering that I was only here for not even a week and most “friends” I had barely met yet I found it pretty amazing that they would make sure at all times that I feel safe and comfortable.
At 11 the backyard pub closed and we moved on to a club that was a bit fancier and even had free WiFi and a DJ playing music from an Apple notebook. Even here we needed to take good care of our glasses. For one because they could be dirty. That’s why we always took the first bit of drink from the bottle to “wash” the class and pour it to the ground. Another reason for this “ritual” was to honor the ancestors, an old local tradition. When another guy passed by and involved us in a short small talk we also emptied our glasses to the ground, for security reasons.
This second club even had a VIP luxury area on the second floor where we withdrew later, due to Philips good connections to the owner.
So clubbing in Kitale is possible but requires some precautions to remain safe and healthy.