21 and counting.

For about three hundred and sixty days, there’s no sort of excitement whatsoever about my birth date. I even tell myself some weeks prior, that it’s a childish thing to get overly ecstatic about my birthday and usually it works, because I’m calm about it. Well, that’s until it’s a week till I become a year older. Beyond the actual day, my evasive mind probably thinks I’ll be experiencing life in a different way just because I’m a year older. Probably now, I’ll be focused as I’ve never been with my class work, or I may start hitting the gym on a regular basis. Maybe I might miraculously land on the next season of The Amazing Race, win and take a vacation in Luxemborg. Who else likes the Rihanna sung chorus on Wild Thoughts?

So, the other day I was thinking about some reasonable resolutions to take to my next age and I came up with a long list. But I’m really not a fan of setting resolutions. I merely want to implement them. You see, like New Year resolutions it is very easy to set resolutions on your birthday and say, now that I’m thirty, I’ll focus less on Instagram, save more for my house, slowly cut ties with kina Anto we can’t go drinking every other weekend and go church more often. Before you know it, you are thirty five and doing the same things. Then, you’ll make the same resolutions at fourty and before you know it, you are having a mid life crisis. That’s probably a white person thing, but either way, who wants to see out a stagnant decade? Well, not me. The thing is, on the eve of a new year or another age, you cannot magically set a new standard or a resolution for yourself and expect to carry it out like A, B, C. Anticipate, plan, make adjustments, implement with consistency and review. That’s a whole alphabet.

Mental fulfilment is what eludes us most, because we are fully convinced the physical aspect is more essential, because other people see it. A year ago, when I had just started with my blog, I would monitor the number of clicks I would get (Yes, I can do that) and that made me write more and more, even twice a week, and at some point, six hundred clicks made me feel ecstatic, because I gave what the readers wanted me to give.
Today, the ability to speak out my mind and put it in words, regardless of how many people click the link to read, exudes any other form of fulfilment.
Years back, a good friend of mine, we call him a socialite was obsessed with the number of likes he got, if he appealed to his followers and who was his competition. Fast foward to today. I recently paid him the occasional weekend visit and he was telling me how he thinks he’s grown mentally, accepting things as they are and focusing on himself and his goals. Maybe it’s an age thing, either way, I couldn’t be happier.

I have this thing with documentaries. I’d spend a whole day watching documentaries on diverse topics from nature, geography and culture. A week ago, I snapped up a documentation of the native Asian culture. In an island off the South Asian coast, there is a group of natives living merely just with basic needs. Small pieces of hide, just to cover the groins, temporary shacks for shelter, food in the form of fish, hunted wild animals and gathered fruits.
No school, no internet, no sheesha, perhaps no religion. I mean,they survive on the most basic basis. Just day to day hostile life.
So, one guy from the village took the camera crew fishing. The elder proceeds to dive almost 50 feet deep into the ocean and despite all the pressure, takes as long as seven minutes in the water. According to the team doctor, a normal human would have gasped for by that time, pressure forcing the lungs to collapse and drowned. He however reports that, the mind can conquer anything. The mental setting of the native man, is that without fish, his family will go without food. So, he’ll do whatever it takes to get fish and this mindset pushes his body to the maximum, to achieve his goal. You can bet he was successful. I was impressed. I mean, I would probably do two minutes maximum.

So, perhaps In my next year, I’ll drink the kind of wine I’m preaching. Wait, I’m not preaching. I’m just speaking my mind.

Goals and prospects can be deemed as useless sometimes.
Most of the times, infact. So, we’d rather have a result, an achievement to make this theory real.

Nice time fellas. 😊

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Just Another Day

Success is very relative. Some feel content in a mud-walled house, yet for some, if the floors are not ceramic, that’s not good enough. For one, a bedsitter is more than enough, for others, a three bedroom is too minimal space to be comfortable. A bachelors degree may not be enough for some, yet a secondary, rather an A level education may be just enough. We not so long ago, witnessed a hundred shilling wedding. Yet, every other weekend, wedding shows cover weddings worth millions splashed on designer wear, custom made jewelry, high end cars and exquisite locations. Some of us, make do with a couple of chapattis and beans for lunch. Yet, some only regard to have had lunch if it was from Kilimanjaro Lavish or Kempinski or the likes.
See, unlike Nairobi, Mombasa actually goes to sleep. In fact, rather early, as early as 10 p.m. I was still in Likoni at around that time, heading towards town. At that time, you have to wait much longer for the ferry. It’s pointless ferrying across a few number every five minutes, so they basically wait for a reasonable number of people and head to the other side. As I was walking towards the waiting bay, this man walked close to me. He was slightly plump.Around five feet tall. I wonder why they say five or four feet tall. If you are that ‘tall’, it should simply be, five feet short.Four feet short. Six feet tall. Agreed? Anyways, he was clad in a casual manner, not to say he wasn’t smart. I mean, he looked like any other regular dad heading home late from work to an angry wife endlessly fidgeting in bed and children sound asleep worried the least about their father. That is, as long as there was always a modest breakfast in the morning when he was again leaving. 
I said a meek hello, and he smiled widely, and greeted me with a free spirit and such happiness that I found so awkward. Perhaps it’s because, everyone nowadays is so self centered and we just forget our manners and goodwill. Dr. Ibua, my Culture and Diversity lecturer says Kenyans seem to have lost it. I couldn’t agree more. This guy fascinated me, he starts a very random and basic conversation. “So, where are you from at this time of the night? ”

“Well, I had alot of things to attend to, time just caught up on me.” Truthfully, I was feasting, idling and story telling with a friend. But who in their right mind says, he or she was doing nothing. No, you were busy. Okay?  He says, he’s been working. So yes,  I guessed right. “So, where are you headed to?” he asks. This time, I’m a bit more honest. “Home, I’m quite beat.” He goes ahead and offers a sort of a consolation, “But we have to toil to eat. Such is life young man.” I couldn’t agree more. 
I can’t describe it as ‘small’ talk, what we had. The more he spoke, the more you wanted him to continue. He had this zest about his words and a whole perspective that you may just want to sap from his ideology. You don’t meet people like him every other day. You may meet an angry  lady for a neighbor who frowns when accompanying her children to catch their school bus. She may nod hesitantly when you accord her a warm morning greeting. You’ll certainly come across a rude tout who’ll swiftly ask, no, demand for fares and take a decade to hand you back your balance. Bet he’ll most assuredly howl at the driver to proceed with their ride when you are mid-air, alighting from the vehicle. Or you’ll come across a temperamental guy along the street who brushes by your side and even steps on your white shoes. Incidentally, he sneers and walks away, without a modest apology. That, you’ll experience. But not a happy man, content with life, sharing a word or two. Perhaps we really have lost it. 
While sitted, he points out to me a couple of young girls. Prior to that, I hadn’t noticed them. Three, to be precise. Two of them seemed to be much older and the other probably slightly young. Younger than you would expect to be out and about at that time. One is in a short, pink, figure-hugging dress. Too tight for my friend’s liking. The other is in shorts and a vest top, showing more than probably what should be seen. The younger girl is in what they call leggings and an oversized blouse, bent to one side, exposing a shoulder on the other. So, my friend gestures for one of them. The two look at each other, probably surprised and raise their shoulders, as if to ask, whom of the two? He points at the lady in pink. Yet again, they seem perplexed and look at each other. The lady in pink points to her chest and the guy nods in acceptance. She leaves her seat and walks towards us, leans and smiles a bit then heads on to ask, “How may I help you? ”

“How are you?”
“I’m fine”

“For how much?”

I’m taken back a bit and try to hide the reaction on my face, but I’m probably not too good at that, and perhaps it’s why she hesitates a little, shows a shy smile, tucks in her lips tightly, points towards her seat and walks away quickly. If I was to take a wild guess, she’s a lady probably just into her twenties. So I ask my friend why he did that.
 “Well, for one she’s gotta know that she looks good for business today. I won’t be the first to notice what she does for a living, besides I know something when I see it.”

He intrigues me. Not because he’s smiling everytime he’s done talking but he speaks like he’s sure of every single word he says.  Until he clarifies, “I don’t indulge in such purchases. But, imagine if everyone didn’t, where the hell do you think they’ll get the income they get.”
“But, don’t you think your words came out as a prejudice to her lifestyle?”

“No, In fact I’d think of it as a complement, in that line of work.”

I can’t find an argument to counter his stance, so I keep my dissatisfaction to myself. 

Then, there’s a little silence, until a lady selling boiled eggs comes up to us. She’s slightly tall, yet plump.She has an apron, which I’m not quite sure is white but dirty or just beige. Blame it one the lighting, compounded with my colour vision deficiency at night. She says she only needs to sell two more to meet her threshold for the day. That so large part humane part of me was inclined to part with her plea, and I oblige. My friend says he doesn’t take eggs, even after I offer buying him one. He says something about eggs upsetting his stomach or something like that. So, I duly pay the lady and she walks down the waiting bay. 

My friend starts again, “She’ll tell every single one of the people here the same stuff she told you, just to get another sale. Pretty opportunistic if you ask me, but she’s gotta do what she’s gotta do.” 
The ferry was close and it’s horn blared as it approached the dock. A beggar just passes through the entrance of the waiting bay, limping, almost in a manner that seemed he was doing it in a rhythmic tune. He carried a small, rusted tin with his left hand. On the right side, he supported himself with an old, wooden crutch with a rugged cloth for an arm rest . I have this thing with beggars; I never really know whether they are sincere or they are simply taking advantage of the benevolence that surrounds them. Not many of you do, so I prefer to face downward and avoid any kind of engagement. I can hear my new acquaintance drop a coin in the tin. Almost immediately the beggar walks away, he says, “You’d rather buy an egg, but not a dime to the beggar.”
“Usually my gut tells me they should be in a better place than on the streets with a tax collector like tendency, ” I shoot right back. 

“Well then, I can’t do anything about that. ” This guy is hilarious.

The ferry is finally here and as the passenger on board make their way out and walk towards different destinations. The cars also slowly go uphill the steep hill from the dock. Our gate is opened wide and the few passengers walk towards the ferry. I expect to walk with the guy, but as I stand to head to the ferry, he goes like, “You have a safe trip home and a good night.”

Very queer man. 

So I ask, “What, you mean you are not going over to the other side?”
“No, I sleep here. I’ll head home later in the wee hours.”

I am left in some quandary and I’m really not sure what to make of his calmness , so I offer him a tame handshake, which he gladly engages in. I slowly walk away, not sure if looking back will give me some reassurance or implicate an impression towards him. So, I look straight ahead and board the ferry. On board, there’s a few people, the lady selling late night eggs,the beggar, a few cars with tinted windows up, probably with their air conditioners on. Different walks indeed. 
The ocean is calm and a brisk wind blows to and from the shore. Whatever the geographers call that. I can almost taste the cold, fresh, salty air as the breeze hits my almost numb face. Behind the noisy rumbling engine of the ferry, the wind whispers gently on the surface of the ocean, forming miniature waves heading towards land in seismic fashion. 
Just another day.

Under the soil. 

I have just completed yet another season of The Survivor( Outwit, outplay, outlast). Yes, I watch that. In fact, I’d rather watch such than the hyped Winter Is here stuff. It’s more entertaining, more educational and though  stage managed, like most reality shows are, it’s more realistic.

In fact, I just learned a whole lot more about nature. 

In south Asia, turtles lay 150 eggs after mating season.

Not just at any time; they make their way, half flipping, half crawling from the ocean towards the beach, to say a distance of ten to fifteen feet on dry land. Once a suitable spot is identified, the female turtle digs a hole, about four feet and lays all the eggs and buries the hole with a pile of sand to protect the eggs from predators and harmful UV rays.

Turtles literally put their eggs in one basket. Okay, it may not necessarily be a basket, perhaps a hole but it goes against an adage we, let me speak for myself, I believe in. Out of all the one hundred and fifty eggs, one successfully hatches and grows into a baby turtle. 
What fascinates me most, is that while turtles and perhaps many more creatures find life from the ground, new born creatures bringing forth life from the soil beneath, we, humans seek solace and our final rest lies in the soil. We bury the dead into the ground. Some religions probably don’t resonate with that, but majority of us do. 

Just so happens, it’s been two weeks since we laid dani to rest. Apparently a great majority of you are not conversant with this universal dialect, dani is French for grandma. Like any other death, it was unexpected. See, she is one of the few people who ever believed in me.
“Dani, I want to pursue music. ”

“Ni sawa tuu baba, Mungu ako na wewe.”
“Dani, I think I’ll start my own business.”

“Bora umeeka Mungu mbele, baba kila kitu unaweza fanya. ”
“Dani, what do you think about me farming?”

“Kuja, nitakupea shamba baba na tutaishi tukiomba Mungu na kila kitu Itakuwa sawa tu.

 Usijali.”

Unlike most of us, her life was barely centred on the mantle of Christiany and what was an extraordinary belief in the existence of Christ. She would wake up at four a.m and pray, go back to sleep and wake up later and pray, prepare breakfast and pray before taking her breakfast, take a short walk around her farm, uprooting weeds and tending to vegetables with utmost precision, prepare lunch, pray with her farm workers before eating, have evening fellowship, prepare supper, invite someone over, pray together prior to eating and right before sleeping guess what, she’d pray to God, that her family would prosper in their respective endeavors. It is one thing to experience uncertainty in one’s life, but it’s a whole different ball game when you have someone to walk with you through your uncertainties and make them feel valid. While I knew her, she lived for her God and her family alone. Okay, maybe her church too. 
May her soul rest in peace. 

Now, my honest opinion about our kind of burials is that they are plainly ceremonial. Wait. Is that the reason they call it a burial ceremony? Well, it’s very awkward for me to watch people eat like they have never before, sleep during lengthy incessant and unnecessary speeches, politicians incite local mwananchi on the outcome of the outcome of the presidential petition, continuously drink soda claiming that their third bottle is actually the first, sitting under tents mumbling then hilariously start wailing just when the casket is lowered six feet under. They will then give their final goodbyes and leave behind a whole heap of work to be done by the same family that is grieving. Jo dala yawa.

My old guy has always had something against my sleep, so he was already on my neck at nine o’clock in the morning. Talking about rehearsing my speech and getting my stride on. I kind of sense the real reason him waking me up was to iron his shirt, but you know, I don’t mind doing these petty chores. 

I ended up being the last person on my seat. I don’t know, perhaps I take alot of time grooming the afro, much to the annoyance of the old guy.

 
So, we were sitted and the priest, plump and of average height, going through the sermon when my cousin of thirteen years old got up, for the umpteenth time. This time, the priest got in his way telling him to get back to his seat. But you see, these kids and their attitude. So he went on, but the priest was adamant, he wouldn’t let him have his way. He sad again, “Young man, please get back to your seat. We’re almost done here. ”

You can imagine the attention that draws; so everyone turned heads to look at the poor boy. He is roughly five feet, taller than you would expect for his age. He had a blue shirt on, with white polka dots and dark blue  jeans. Neat boy, perhaps the only spoiler was that he had a slight bump on his shirt, something like a potbelly. He was rooted to the ground, almost all eyes on him, then almost after what seemed to be a lifetime of silence and bewilderment, he gestured towards his stomach and walked away hurriedly. Everyone laughed wildly, but you see he is not the kind to be intimidated. He did come back though, head high, walking like nothing happened. 

After what seemed to be a lifetime, two queues of old ladies dressed in navy blue dress uniforms carried the casket to the grave. 
Deafening wails from everywhere, untidy children wielding sticks and a certain mongrel limping all over place are just the few scenes I witnessed as the procession made its way to the grave. 
You can’t help but think, one man’s food is another’s poison. We bury life into the soil. Sea turtles bring forth life from the same soil. 

Yet again, they are not men. But you do get my point, right? 
Blessed time.

Under the soil. 

I have just completed yet another season of The Survivor( Outwit, outplay, outlast). Yes, I watch that. In fact, I’d rather watch such than the hyped Winter Is here stuff. It’s more entertaining, more educational and though  stage managed, like most reality shows are, it’s more realistic.

In fact, I just learned a whole lot more about nature. 

In south Asia, turtles lay 150 eggs after mating season.

Not just at any time; they make their way, half flipping, half crawling from the ocean towards the beach, to say a distance of ten to fifteen feet on dry land. Once a suitable spot is identified, the female turtle digs a hole, about four feet and lays all the eggs and buries the hole with a pile of sand to protect the eggs from predators and harmful UV rays.

Turtles literally put their eggs in one basket. Okay, it may not necessarily be a basket, perhaps a hole but it goes against an adage we, let me speak for myself, I believe in. Out of all the one hundred and fifty eggs, one successfully hatches and grows into a baby turtle. 
What fascinates me most, is that while turtles and perhaps many more creatures find life from the ground, new born creatures bringing forth life from the soil beneath, we, humans seek solace and our final rest lies in the soil. We bury the dead into the ground. Some religions probably don’t resonate with that, but majority of us do. 
Just so happens, it’s been two weeks since we laid dani to rest. Apparently a great majority of you are not conversant with this universal dialect, dani is French for grandma. Like any other death, it was unexpected. See, she is one of the few people who ever believed in me.

“Dani, I want to pursue music. ”

“Ni sawa tuu baba, Mungu ako na wewe.”
“Dani, I think I’ll start my own business.”

“Bora umeeka Mungu mbele, baba kila kitu unaweza fanya. ”
“Dani, what do you think about me farming?”

“Kuja, nitakupea shamba baba na tutaishi tukiomba Mungu na kila kitu Itakuwa sawa tu.

 Usijali.”

Unlike most of us, her life was barely centred on the mantle of Christiany and what was an extraordinary belief in the existence of Christ. She would wake up at four a.m and pray, go back to sleep and wake up later and pray, prepare breakfast and pray before taking her breakfast, take a short walk around her farm, uprooting weeds and tending to vegetables with utmost precision, prepare lunch, pray with her farm workers before eating, have evening fellowship, prepare supper, invite someone over, pray together prior to eating and right before sleeping guess what, she’d pray to God, that her family would prosper in their respective endeavors. It is one thing to experience uncertainty in one’s life, but it’s a whole different ball game when you have someone to walk with you through your uncertainties and make them feel valid. While I knew her, she lived for her God and her family alone. Okay, maybe her church too. 

May her soul rest in peace. 

Now, my honest opinion about our kind of burials is that they are plainly ceremonial. Wait. Is that the reason they call it a burial ceremony? Well, it’s very awkward for me to watch people eat like they have never before, sleep during lengthy incessant and unnecessary speeches, politicians incite local mwananchi on the outcome of the outcome of the presidential petition, continuously drink soda claiming that their third bottle is actually the first, sitting under tents mumbling then hilariously start wailing just when the casket is lowered six feet under. They will then give their final goodbyes and leave behind a whole heap of work to be done by the same family that is grieving. Jo dala yawa.

My old guy has always had something against my sleep, so he was already on my neck at nine o’clock in the morning. Talking about rehearsing my speech and getting my stride on. I kind of sense the real reason him waking me up was to iron his shirt, but you know, I don’t mind doing these petty chores. 

I ended up being the last person on my seat. I don’t know, perhaps I take alot of time grooming the afro, much to the annoyance of the old guy.

 
So, we were sitted and the priest, plump and of average height, going through the sermon when my cousin of thirteen years old got up, for the umpteenth time. This time, the priest got in his way telling him to get back to his seat. But you see, these kids and their attitude. So he went on, but the priest was adamant, he wouldn’t let him have his way. He sad again, “Young man, please get back to your seat. We’re almost done here. ”

You can imagine the attention that draws; so everyone turned heads to look at the poor boy. He is roughly five feet, taller than you would expect for his age. He had a blue shirt on, with white polka dots and dark blue  jeans. Neat boy, perhaps the only spoiler was that he had a slight bump on his shirt, something like a potbelly. He was rooted to the ground, almost all eyes on him, then almost after what seemed to be a lifetime of silence and bewilderment, he gestured towards his stomach and walked away hurriedly. Everyone laughed wildly, but you see he is not the kind to be intimidated. He did come back though, head high, walking like nothing happened. 

After what seemed to be a lifetime, two queues of old ladies dressed in navy blue dress uniforms carried the casket to the grave. 
Deafening wails from everywhere, untidy children wielding sticks and a certain mongrel limping all over place are just the few scenes I witnessed as the procession made its way to the grave. 
You can’t help but think, one man’s food is another’s poison. We bury life into the soil. Sea turtles bring forth life from the same soil. 

Yet again, they are not men. But you do get my point, right? 
Blessed time.

Under the soil. 

I have just completed yet another season of The Survivor( Outwit, outplay, outlast). Yes, I watch that. In fact, I’d rather watch such than the hyped Winter Is here stuff. It’s more entertaining, more educational and though  stage managed, like most reality shows are, it’s more realistic.

In fact, I just learned a whole lot more about nature. 

In south Asia, turtles lay 150 eggs after mating season.

Not just at any time; they make their way, half flipping, half crawling from the ocean towards the beach, to say a distance of ten to fifteen feet on dry land. Once a suitable spot is identified, the female turtle digs a hole, about four feet and lays all the eggs and buries the hole with a pile of sand to protect the eggs from predators and harmful UV rays.

Turtles literally put their eggs in one basket. Okay, it may not necessarily be a basket, perhaps a hole but it goes against an adage we, let me speak for myself, I believe in. Out of all the one hundred and fifty eggs, one successfully hatches and grows into a baby turtle. 
What fascinates me most, is that while turtles and perhaps many more creatures find life from the ground, new born creatures bringing forth life from the soil beneath, we, humans seek solace and our final rest lies in the soil. We bury the dead into the ground. Some religions probably don’t resonate with that, but majority of us do. 
Just so happens, it’s been two weeks since we laid dani to rest. Apparently a great majority of you are not conversant with this universal dialect, dani is French for grandma. Like any other death, it was unexpected. See, she is one of the few people who ever believed in me.

“Dani, I want to pursue music. ”

“Ni sawa tuu baba, Mungu ako na wewe.”
“Dani, I think I’ll start my own business.”

“Bora umeeka Mungu mbele, baba kila kitu unaweza fanya. ”
“Dani, what do you think about me farming?”

“Kuja, nitakupea shamba baba na tutaishi tukiomba Mungu na kila kitu Itakuwa sawa tu.

 Usijali.”

Unlike most of us, her life was barely centred on the mantle of Christiany and what was an extraordinary belief in the existence of Christ. She would wake up at four a.m and pray, go back to sleep and wake up later and pray, prepare breakfast and pray before taking her breakfast, take a short walk around her farm, uprooting weeds and tending to vegetables with utmost precision, prepare lunch, pray with her farm workers before eating, have evening fellowship, prepare supper, invite someone over, pray together prior to eating and right before sleeping guess what, she’d pray to God, that her family would prosper in their respective endeavors. It is one thing to experience uncertainty in one’s life, but it’s a whole different ball game when you have someone to walk with you through your uncertainties and make them feel valid. While I knew her, she lived for her God and her family alone. Okay, maybe her church too. 

May her soul rest in peace. 

Now, my honest opinion about our kind of burials is that they are plainly ceremonial. Wait. Is that the reason they call it a burial ceremony? Well, it’s very awkward for me to watch people eat like they have never before, sleep during lengthy incessant and unnecessary speeches, politicians incite local mwananchi on the outcome of the outcome of the presidential petition, continuously drink soda claiming that their third bottle is actually the first, sitting under tents mumbling then hilariously start wailing just when the casket is lowered six feet under. They will then give their final goodbyes and leave behind a whole heap of work to be done by the same family that is grieving. Jo dala yawa.

My old guy has always had something against my sleep, so he was already on my neck at nine o’clock in the morning. Talking about rehearsing my speech and getting my stride on. I kind of sense the real reason him waking me up was to iron his shirt, but you know, I don’t mind doing these petty chores. 

I ended up being the last person on my seat. I don’t know, perhaps I take alot of time grooming the afro, much to the annoyance of the old guy.

 
So, we were sitted and the priest, plump and of average height, going through the sermon when my cousin of thirteen years old got up, for the umpteenth time. This time, the priest got in his way telling him to get back to his seat. But you see, these kids and their attitude. So he went on, but the priest was adamant, he wouldn’t let him have his way. He sad again, “Young man, please get back to your seat. We’re almost done here. ”

You can imagine the attention that draws; so everyone turned heads to look at the poor boy. He is roughly five feet, taller than you would expect for his age. He had a blue shirt on, with white polka dots and dark blue  jeans. Neat boy, perhaps the only spoiler was that he had a slight bump on his shirt, something like a potbelly. He was rooted to the ground, almost all eyes on him, then almost after what seemed to be a lifetime of silence and bewilderment, he gestured towards his stomach and walked away hurriedly. Everyone laughed wildly, but you see he is not the kind to be intimidated. He did come back though, head high, walking like nothing happened. 

After what seemed to be a lifetime, two queues of old ladies dressed in navy blue dress uniforms carried the casket to the grave. 
Deafening wails from everywhere, untidy children wielding sticks and a certain mongrel limping all over place are just the few scenes I witnessed as the procession made its way to the grave. 
You can’t help but think, one man’s food is another’s poison. We bury life into the soil. Sea turtles bring forth life from the same soil. 

Yet again, they are not men. But you do get my point, right? 
Blessed time.

Christine.

I have this thing with my timing. It’s either I’m exceptional in keeping time or I am a torrid late comer; the former being the most common outcome. I hate running late as a matter of fact. It’s depressing. That’s when matatus overlap for no reason and your driver is in completely no hurry. The vehicle you are in will always seem slower than all the others and people will keep on alighting and boarding at each and every stage. I despise that, it makes me wish I was capable of pushing the vehicle I’m in forward. I can recall, one day, on my way from South B, the driver thought it wise to use the City Stadium route. So, I was strapped to my seat, comfortable and all, swiftly heading towards town. Until we get to Landhes Road, just before Muthurwa Market. There’s always some sort of snarl up there. Three minutes in and I’m like, I’ll wait patiently. Then Vernon starts calling. “Uko?” So, I truthfully state my location since I’m close to town an even add that I’ll be seeing him in a matter of minutes. He must have called me on numerous occasions and I had to run all the way to town. I mean, can you pay 200 shillings for a nduthi from Muthurwa to Archives?  So, I prefer keeping time.
Sadly, as much as you can keep time, some people won’t and you’ll always have to wait in anguish and for my case pre order because you can’t be idle in a restaurant. Like I did, waiting for Christine at AlBaik. She did not do too bad though, ten minutes is not bad at all. I’m half way through my soda can. She’s in a long, yellow sun dress that seems to sweep the sparkling clean tiled floor in glorious fashion. She’s a beautiful lady. Tall, slightly dark and petite. Then she has this sense of fashion, accompanied with her aura of confidence. It’s no wonder alot of heads turned to take a look at her, I included. Then there’s that stroke on my ego that such a lady would approach my table with such a wide, beautiful smile. Yes, I liked that. She’s my seasonal workmate. I say seasonal because we work on projects from time to time as brand ambassadors for different brands from time to time. The latest being Safaricom. She sits, signals for a waiter to attend to her. A bulky middle aged man approaches in the contemporary black trouser and white shirt. Restaurants should change that look, it’s too cliche now. I can’t even pull off that look nowadays. Anyway, after he  takes both our orders we get straight right to it.

“Hello Mike”

“Hey, you’re late.” I’m wearing a cheeky smile.

“Kwani what time did you get here?”

She really doesn’t believe me. For a moment, I want to prove to her that I got there early enough, but after second thoughts, there’s really no need.

“Never mind, we’re both here now.”

“Come on, I’m sorry,” she teases.

“So you are paying for lunch?” 

“Sure.”

“So, tell me, how did you go about work.”

She takes a slight pause, smiles in an almost vague fashion and looks away for a while. She had just completed a three day project with Safaricom, purposely on The Groove Tour in Mombasa under one of the various agencies contracted to partake the job. Yes, raia, that’s what I basically do when I’m not in school. 

She begins, “Mike, I’ve been having a very hard time.”

“Why, what’s up?”

“So, we were contracted by a guy from Nairobi, I don’t even know the agency he works under. We all just took the job. I mean it really wasn’t a matter of interest. His name is William.” She shared some photos they took during work. Tall, slender guy. Ooh yes and he’s dark too. He has this slim face and a light beard.

“So Willy, was good all through the project. Interesting guy who’s got minimal pressure. He even bought us lunch the other day after a tedious morning work session.”

“Wait, kwanza where were you? You didn’t want the job?”

“You forgot I had exams to do.”

“Ooh, yes.”

“Let’s make this about you, please”

“Okay.” She smiles again. Beautiful smile, I must say highlighted further with the thick shade of dark red lipstick. Why would you wear lipstick to a lunch meet and greet? I mean, do you eat the lipstick too. Just then, the waiter comes through. He’s sweating lightly, like he had to prepare the food himself. She laughs because I’m having vegetable rice and salad. She’s the chips, chicken girl who complain about body mass, keeping fit and yoga yet she’s always eating what I deem unsuitable. It’s like everyone was starving, because we both immediately delved into munching and yes, it’s tasty.

“So, a day after we were done with the project, William called. At about 10 a.m. You know formalities and all, saying hi and how we’ve both been. He asked if I’m busy. Honestly, I wasn’t, so I said no. He then told me to meet him at Milele Beach Hotel, where he’d been staying. I thought it was odd. Why? I asked. He said, he just wanted to talk. Still, at the hotel, I thought it was inappropriate, so I thought for a while and told him I’d think about it.”

“So, you thought?”

“Yes, I told him not on that day. He said he was leaving the next day for Nairobi. That he only had that particular day to meet and spend the day. In a sincere note, he told me to tell him if I had any doubts whatsoever. I felt like it was offensive to tell him It seemed akward meeting at the hotel. He’d invited me to the bar, by the way. I just had my reservations. I hope you understand.”

“Yes, sure.”

I’m halfway through my plate. No. I’m no glutton. She’s doing most of the talking. Last time I checked, good listeners do not talk a lot. But they can eat, right? She eats slowly for a while, takes a sip of her cocktail juice and proceeds. Her lipstick is still intact.

“So, I was sitting at home, thinking and I drew a conclusion. Prejudice is awful. You can’t go around doubting every guy, especially after having to work withou any kind of intrussion between you. So I thought I should go. But first, I’d play hard ball. He called later.”

“How later is your later?” I ask . She giggles a bit then sips her drink. 

“Just about an hour. Seems more of soon that later, right?”

“Depends on your sense of urgency.”

“Okay, right. So he asked if I’d thought about it and I said I wasn’t going to make it. He didn’t sound disappointed a bit. He then told me he’d leave my drinks at the counter and I that I could go for them at any day. Regardless if he was still in town. Good gesture. So, I cut him short. I asked if he’d give me an hour and a half.”

“He obliged?”

“Of course he did.” It seems obvious to her that does to me. I don’t know why.

“So, I made up my mind, prepared myself, looking gorgeous and all and left. I was there in an hour and a half. Talk about keeping time.”

“I wish I had the same effect on you.” She laughs lightly and puts on a meek face as if to say she’s sorry. She continues eating slowly. No, in gracious fashion I should say. She speaks while eating and It doesn’t seem wrong a bit.

“So, I’m at the hotel bar. He was sitted in a corner in a pair of blue, floral shorts, a white polo shirt and blue moccasins. Very tidy. So we start taking cocktails and we are busy telling all kind of stories. He’s suave and cool. Plus, he got a lot of interesting ideas on his purported vision. I say that because I seemed to want to listen to more and more. For a while, I thought to myslelf I was completely wrong to judge him earlier in the day.”

“Perhaps I had a drink too many and I was a little tipsy. So, I wanted to leave. He retaliated, saying he thought I’d stay overnight. So, I sobered up and said I was to go home. He stood and held my hand. Asking how I would do that to him after he offered me a job. But I really had to go. So, I said I was sorry. I just hadn’t planned to stay overnight.”

“Any tension?” I asked Christine.

“Tension, fear, despair, betrayal and being belittled. Every possible negative feeling. I thought I’d mistaken him, yet my gut was clearly right. He’d held my hand, so I slowly retreated but just before I could turn to swiftly walk away he forcefully groped my butt and pulled me by my shoulder and pushed me towards him. He then kissed me on my neck and whispered something into my ear. I don’t recall what. I just pushed him aside and ran. He shouted at me saying, I’d always want a job. That he was the gaffer and he’d not allow for me to work for anybody he knew.”

I can’t begin to digest the whole thing. I feel sad for her. I feel exasperated and emotion is welling up. So I excuse myself and head towarda the lavatory. Just for a while, to think. How humans of certain capacity take advantage of others below them, just because they can. I shake my head clear and wash my face.

I’m back to our table and there she is silently sobbing. I pat her slowly and sit to console her. Just then, she wipes off a tear and says, “What hurts most is that I can’t do anything about it.”

She stands and swiftly walks away.

​HIDDEN IN VOI

You know, some of the best things are usually just beside you. But of course, you won’t notice because you are too busy looking farther for whatever it is you want. In my case, a day or two, okay maybe three; that’ll bring with them peace of mind, immerse me in serenity and allow me to eat good food, while having fun: To escape from the blaring horns, choking dust, scorching heat, the humid air and  irritable sounds of rickshaw engines navigating the streets of Mombasa. I didn’t have to go to Naivasha, or the snowy Nyahururu. Leave alone Serengeti and its wildebeests. Not even Dubai and the huge sky scrapers with large glass walls. No. I picked Voi.

We were a team of 20 guys and we had some jobo to do over the weekend. These twenty people are not ordinary people, they are suckers for noise, fun, night outs and food of course. We arrived in Voi at about 4p.m. I noticed it’s a quiet town; very peaceful. My workmates were the noisy ones, looking for food and whatever it is they could get to fill their mouths. A few consultations and we got to a small café. The guys at the bus stage told us it served the best food around, of course at pocket friendly rates. There’s always that uneasy lot of people. Yes, Jacky and Sharon; they just couldn’t agree to sit down and eat with us for no reason. Ooh, the food doesn’t look good, ooh the place isn’t clean enough, ooh the waiter is rude and all kind of excuses. So they hop out and continue looking for a ‘better’ place. 

They served a sizeable portion of pilau, some goat soup and a fresh banana. It was a decent serving and I couldn’t help but think that it only got better because there was a new bunch of customers. Even the waiter seemed a little too humble for a waiter’s liking. He went back and forth dealing with our orders and even exchanging what some of us deemed inappropriate. There are just those kind of people, I tell you. Adhiambo: Change the TV channel, we can’t eat watching snakes on Nat Geo. Irene: This food is cold (not even lukewarm yawa), go warm it. Sam: Why don’t you serve fish? And a bunch of other complaints and few requests. But the guy complied with each and every ones demands and instructions. Nice guy. 

The sky suddenly got thicker and there was this cold breeze sweeping through the town. You could tell it was about to rain. So, we rushed to drop off some of the guys to their designated work place; Hotel La Paz. The building isn’t fancy neither is the architecture, so I was disappointed at first. But well, these sayings guys were true. You do not judge a book by its cover. It’s a grey, three-storey building on the edge of a street on the slope of the town. It overshadows some breathtaking scenery of steep hill slopes with dense thickets and huge rocks that look like they are about to roll down and run over you. I think I stared at that for more than a minute. The ground floor of the hotel is a restaurant. We were welcomed by all kinds of aromas and I even wafted my arm back and forth to have more of the various aromas. The tables were neatly done and the fact that there was completely no raia enjoying a meal allowed me to have a clear view of the space. The serving area was on one end of the space, with a buffet like arrangement. We fell hungry, took some snacks with us and rushed up. 100bob for a samosa. That sucked.

The first floor holds a classy lounge and a very large bar. The place has this kind of darkness that puts a very different feeling in you. Not fear, no, excitement. The place is spacious, cozy and exquisite. The toilets are sparkling clean too. The top floors are rooms, which I didn’t get to look at but my ooh my, I was already fascinated. So, we leave a team there and head downstairs. Only then did I remember I was In Voi; that hotel was some other thing. The weather had changed drastically and the skies looked like they were about to open any minute. We hoped in a rickshaw. Eight of us, and headed towards Hotel Rosewood. It’s back on the highway to Nairobi, so I felt this kind of nostalgia, like I needed to travel all the way to Nairobi. It’s been long. 

The rain began pouring heavily, but luckily for us the rickshaws there are fully covered, somewhat like cars. So we went on slowly. It’s a ten minute ride from Voi town. The hotel architecture is prettier. It looks like a mini-castle. The entrance is not interesting as such, you’d even peep at Red Elephant Bistro across; it looks much fancier. But once you get inside, things get way better. The ground floor is an open restaurant and here it is the aroma of chicken that drives us crazy. On the back, is a pool and playground that looks well kempt that invites us and we escape before our noses decide to liaise with our stomachs, in the process denting our pockets.

The swimming pool is L-shaped  and I really wanted to dive for a swim, but the weather was Nyahururu-like. So we played on the playground like children, swinging back and forth and jumping on the trampoline until we became adults again. The first floor is an open bar. Soft music and a calm ambience. Everyone looks at you, once you appear on the entrance. It is that open. Also a wide space, with nice tables and seats and blue neon lights. The top floor is a lounge. It’s noisier but equally wide.  Themed in red and white. It’s also dark, perhaps it’s the weather, or the time. It’s about 5p.m. Similar to La Paz, the place was mind-blowing and it looked very exquisite ooh and expensive too.

12.00 Midnight.
We were done with work and we all met at the lounge at La Paz. This time, it’s noisier, loads of people going up and down the stairs. The bouncer looked friendly and we had a little chit chat while he was frisking me. I like talking to people whom are rather more than often ignored.

“You guys are not from around here, are you?”

“No, just in town for a job. You might have seen my workmates here earlier.”

“Ooh, yes. You like the town?”

“Definitely, very nice place you guys have here too.”

“Okay. Have a nice time”

He opened the door with no facial expression. That seemed unwelcoming; but again, would you have a muscular guy opening a door smiling at you. No. That would look odd. The place was full. Old men, young ladies, teenagers dancing, a Caucasian lot of guys in their own corner, waitresses jolting stuff and rushing through the place. The music was also loud but thoroughly entertaining.

We got a place of our own, only that there were three guys there. They looked like normal people, mid-thirties perhaps, checked shirts, khaki trousers and three beers each. They looked like they couldn’t hurt a fly, so we sat beside them and the cocktails began flying in. So; we are dancing and interacting, till one of the older guys beside us starts to approach Joan. First, he wanted a dance, then he bought her a drink, then he wanted to touch her, then he wanted to marry her. Eish. So Joan started complaining. I cautioned the guy and he obliged and sat in his chair. Ten minutes later, he stands again and this time, he is not being told what to do. A stand –off and just when it was about to turn into a brawl, my bouncer friend comes in, roughens them a little bit and takes them with him. On his way out, he nods at me. I can’t tell what that is. I just nod back and we get back to dancing and throwing our hands up.
5.00A.M

The place is half empty, so we decide to call it a day, rather a night. We can’t agree on whether to sleep or catch a bus and sleep on the way back. I talked to the bouncer guy and he disappeared downstairs for a while. He got us rooms for half the price. Nice guy. 
9.00A.M

Fresh like a lily and we are heading to the bus stage for a ride back to Mombasa. I swear these guys thrive in bargaining. From 500 to 300bob. The ride back is smoother, I’m still sleepy, but the view of the hills and the landscape in which the SGR rolls.

Peace 👌