Tree House bar only really comes alive very, very late at night. Or rather, the early hours of a morning when party goers in Kenya’s capital emerge in droves, any night of the working week. We were invited to a white t-shirt party (not the wet competition type) through friends of friends of the city’s coolest socialites.
We arrived very, very early (10.30pm), were given blue permanent markers and marveled at the structure built in and around trees,
complete with low wooden tables, a large dance floor which populated very quickly and a long bar sweeping across the back of the room. It was fun to watch small groups or pairs of expats arrive, initially self-conscious in their tees and warming up until everyone was talking and writing on everybody else. Yip – belatedly we realized the purpose of the white tees. To write on! More effective as an ice-breaker than it sounds, we quickly got busy, first writing on the backs of the people we knew, then they’re fronts and then on everybody else.
The cosmopolitan nature of the gathering gave us plenty of ammunition, as we chatted and joked with other South Africans, a regiment of the British Army, a few Americans, a Moroccan training US soldiers for the United Nations Peace Corp and a Brazilian
who worked at a Swedish university. The Kenyan crowd came later – it seems as though no matter the day job, many of Kenya’s middle and upper classes party (virtually) all night long – often paying ridiculously inflated tourist dollars for home-grown drinks such as Tusker or imported luxuries – this party was sponsored by Belvedere Vodka.