Saturday, October 16, 2010

What to expect when you go to a Kenyan law firm...

So, it's probably not fair to generalize after seeing 2 lawyers in Kenya yesterday, but still there are a few things to laugh about. But before I share those moments I want to emphasize that both of them were professional, did understand Kenyan law, and reassuring that all should be well.

First, the directions to the law firm were something like, "It's near this building," turns out it wasn't even on the same street as this building and we nearly got stuck in a military parade. Second, there's no parking at the massive building complex which in Nairobi can turn into a real hassle. Thank goodness for the gentlemen who nearly backed his Lexus into us as we walked just to say that he had previously owned Besley's car and we could have his parking spot--license plate numbers don't change here, so he recognized the plate which is amazing. He also told us that he was a lawyer and happy to help anyone who owned the car now that he had once loved. Third, you will be expected to sign in over and over at security check-points and then be asked, "Is this official business?" At which point I wanted to sarcastically scream, "No, the medical director of Kijabe, myself, an OB/GYN and my husband, a dentist, all thought taking a day off to visit a lawyer would be entertaining." Next when you get off the elevator at the 12th floor there will be no directional sign to the specific office so of course we went the wrong way. Then when you ask for the key to the restroom the secretary will say, "I hope you remembered your own TP." Yes I did, that's a permanent fixture in my purse now. Finally the lawyers will appear, look at the 3 of us, introduce themselves and say, "Our office is too small to meet in let's go to a restaurant in the building." Then you take a glass, outside elevator down 12 flights (at which point I really thought about getting on my knees and praying) only to arrive a dumpy, fly-swatting, non-airconditioned restaurant that is out of bottled water and serves instant coffee.

I think my favorite part though was when we had asked some specific legal questions and they graciously admitted not knowing the answers, but they had a friend who was a lawyer and a doctor. So yes, they phoned a friend and proceeded to talk to him as they talked to us. It felt something like a Who wants to be a millionaire life-line. Except instead of winning a million dollars I'm hoping to stay out of jail.

No comments: