I’m back in blogosphere after a three weeks’ winter vacation in freezing Johannesburg. Well I haven’t really been missing in action, it’s just that I was having way too much fun to sit and type out my thoughts. I’ve been lurking around the KBW Aggregator though, hapa na pale kwa akina KenyanMusings na Acolyte enjoying some rather interesting but pointless drama (up at KM’s). It’s interesting to see how daft some people can be. But I guess basic logic isn’t common in all human beings. Some were nyimwad when it was being dished out.
Every November when I get back to Nairobi and meet my pals, guys are always like “My guy, si you bring those Rands we saidia you to finish them?” or “si you throw pints? Umetoka ng’ambo bana, hauwezi kosa chapaa!” I don’t know where guys get this idea that once you leave the country, you instantly start balling wherever you are. If only they knew how tough life is out here especially for a student. I don’t have a job coz I could say I’m fortunate enough not to need one. But still, it’s not as if I get a hundred grand a month. And when poverty strikes, boy does it strike HARD! You’ll understand what I mean if you’ve ever had a meal that consists of any of the following:
a) popcorn, a mandazi, black sugarless coffee
b) ice cubes and onions (SERIOUS!!)
c) dry bread escorted by the aroma of fried chicken from next door, and tap water
d) ugali na uji (where the uji is the mboga for the ugali)
e) ugali kubwa na ugali ndogo (where the small ugali is the mboga for the big ugali)
I can assure you that the above menu is not made up coz I’ve had some of the above on various occasions over the last three years, the most recent being a few nights ago where I had option (a). The last two were my neighbour’s two years ago.
I’ve just come back from vacation and before leaving I’d split my cash into two separate bank accounts and left one debit card at home and gone with the other one. Having cleaned out one account while in Jozi, I knew I had some cash in the other account when I got back but alas! The schoopid gym decided to deduct subscription fees for the last four months by debit order coz apparently they had a problem with their systems so they didn’t charge me before. So there I was staring at the ATM in utter disbelief as it spat out my card screaming in bold letters “TRANSACTION CANNOT BE COMPLETED DUE TO INSUFFICIENT FUNDS!!” What the f***?!
Getting home, my housemates had been partying heavily during the vacation so their funds were low as well. We organized a harambee chap chap to buy dinner and it was almost laughable to discover that our collective net worth was less than the price of a kuku down at the mini supermarket!! As we sat watching some soap opera on TV and passed the popcorn round, the commercial break comes on and it’s almost always something to do with food! Steers, KFC, McDonalds, Nandos, Spur Steak ranch etc and it’s sooo annoying when you can’t afford even the cheapest item on the menu and the advert does nothing but diss you and make you hungrier!! There’s always a family at a restaurant biting large chunks of their chicken/steak and smiling to each other in satisfaction, then someone turns to the camera saying “try out our delicious 300g spare ribs today for only R49.95! Now with a new secret barbecue sauce!” On several occasions I’ve been tempted to smash the bloody TV to pieces coz of this. Have you ever stared at a steak on TV till you can actually taste the “secret barbecue sauce” in your mouth?
That’s how I manage to shed 8 kilos during the year, but mama Archer has always been one to stuff my belly full with her wonderful home cooking so I always manage to regain the lost weight and more in only 2.5 months…only to lose it all over again the next year. Silly cycle. (I’m a skinny dude, so yes I’m allowed to wish for some weight!)
Life is tough guys, it really is. So this November, dare any idiot come up to solicit for pints with the quotes above, ati “aaaah beste! Ati umerudi? Mimi nimekuwa hapa hapa tu. Si vile umeosa huko ng’ambo si utununulie tu ka Tusker moja…..” I’m a slap the black off your face coz you have absolutely no idea what I’ve been through!
My three favourite Kenyan tracks:
1. Ritwa Riaku (Eric Wainaina): so beautiful. Instrumental plus vocals. If only I knew what he says!
2. Mane Wabet (Mercy Myra): not sure if that’s the name of the track though. Great instrumental but same as above: if only I knew what she says!
3. Katika (Indigenous): the instrumental is too deadly + the chic’s got a sexy voice! And it makes lunjez sound gisty ati “hako ka-maji…mbili mbili…” the rest of the lyrics are two bob though.
What are your favourite Kenyan tracks?