September 2009


Seeing as writer’s block has hit hard over the past several months, I’ve had to dig deep to find something blogworthy. I blame this on living a rather quiet life these days, lack of inspiration from other blogs, Twitter too. Yes, Twitter is a major culprit! See, ideas for posts somehow end up as discussion topics on Twitter and therefore become exhausted by the time I think of typing them out. I still love Twitter regardless, me thinks it’s the coolest thing since 3G internet. If you’re not on Twitter, I have no words to describe just how much of a shagz-mundu you are.

For some reason, I tend to get hit on by gay guys. I’m not joking! I have absolutely no idea why this happens, coz I don’t understand what makes me a target! I have absolutely no gay inclinations whatsoever. I’m a perfectly average shave-when-I-remember-to, iron-shirt-when-time-allows, beer guzzling, football-loving, female-posterior-appreciating-run of the mill type of guy.

The first time this happened was 5 years ago in South Africa. I left Kenya as a naïve young chap, with eyes wide open, eager to travel the world, experience new cultures and all that. During that time, there weren’t many openly gay men around Nairobi so I don’t recall ever meeting any, or knowing any that were in the closet. So it’s safe to say that I had never experienced encountered any gay men.

There was this Namibian girl I was hitting on at the time. She wasn’t very pretty to be honest, but she had a body of a goddess! And I’m not talking about Hermaphrodites, the goddess of sprinters. Perfectly sculptured, tall, silky smooth “yellow yellow” skin, medium breasts, little waist, bewitching ass like Michelle Miller’s in Fashion House (if you’ve seen that ass swing from side to side, then you’ll understand why I watch the show sometimes…on mute) and legs as long as… Pity she was blowing hot and cold. Mara she was interested, mara she wasn’t. And I was getting really bored with that vibe. I don’t like mind games.

One Friday night, some friends and I headed out to our regular joint, a pool bar in an upmarket area a short distance from our university. I’d just sat down to my first beer at the counter as my pals waited to make a challenge on the pool tables. Then the girl, let’s call her Zoe, approached from the other side of the bar.

“I knew you’ be here tonight”

“Hmm…look what the cat dragged in.”

“Oh c’mon Arch, that’s no way to talk to a lady. I thought you’d be happy to see me?”

“Should I be?”

“Perhaps. Who knows what the night has in store for us”, she added, as she smiled coyly, a glint of mischief in her eye.

That was my cue to get her a bar stool and order a coupla panty droppers from the barman, a good pal of mine who could tell that I was definitely on the prowl that night. Zoe and I sat and chatted for a while, flirted and stuff. In reality, I was trying to pick her mind to see what her game was, coz I knew for sure that if we were to meet a couple of days later, she’d be completely disinterested in my vibe, so what makes her so jumpy tonight?

About an hour later, Zoe excused herself as she went to the little girls’ room. I ordered a third panty dropper for her as the barman winked at me knowingly. Chemical warfare ni lazima boss.

As I sat there fidgeting with my phone, some random guy walked over and leaned against Zoe’s stool.

“Is this seat taken?”

Without looking up at him, I simply pointed to the drinks on the counter and told him to fill in the blanks.

“Fine then, do you mind if I sit down for a few minutes?”

“Yeah whatever, as long as you leave when the girl gets back.”

I continued fidgeting on my phone, perhaps texting other pals to find out what they were up to. Then the kubaff tapped me on the shoulder.

“So what’s your name?”

That’s when I looked up at him for the first time, wondering what his problem was. He had a smile on his face so I figured that perhaps he was simply being friendly and trying to strike up some 5 bob conversation.

“Julius”

He reached out his hand to shake mine.

“Nice to meet you Julius. My name’s Jake. I’m new in town…and I want to meet some new people. Would you like to be my friend, Julius?”

What the?? Is this dude hitting on me? Wassup with that cheeky smile on his face? And why the hell wasn’t he letting go of my hand? Dude had squeezed it a bit tightly and I couldn’t get mine out of his grip without involving some violent motion.

“Er…well…”

My mind was confused. Especially as he started stroking my forearm with his other hand. What the bloody fcuk?? I think I was rooted in confusion, not knowing what to do or how to react. Logic should have told me to yank my hand out, fold it into a fist and acquaint his face with it. But noo, I just sat there like an idiot wondering if this was really happening, hoping and praying not to get a hard on coz either way, touch is touch, regardless of the gender of the toucher, and if applied in the correct way, embarrassing things can happen!

Of all the seats available in the pub, he chose this one? Wsup with a black man named Jake? Many questions ran through my mind.

“Let me buy you a drink, Julius. Would you like that?”

Suddenly, my mental faculties resumed normal operations, just in time for me to firmly pull my hand away from his.

“Er…tell you what Jake, you’re the guest in town. Why don’t I buy you a drink instead?”

“That’d be lovely!”

Lovely?? That confirmed my suspicions, I WAS being hit on by a dude!

“Right then, lemme dash to the ATM, I’ll be back shortly. Please watch over these drinks, and if my girl comes back before I do, please tell her I’ll be right back.”

I walked briskly out of the pub…then fled like a bat out of hell! I never turned back. I didn’t even care about Zoe at that moment. I didn’t have her number, but so what, kesho pia ni siku! My boys later found me in another pub downstairs, still looking shocked.

Incident 2

Within two years of the first incident, I’d come across a large number of gay guys, lesbians and those confused about which side of the fence they should be on. After all, it’s South Africa, it’s not called the rainbow nation for nothing!

Foreigners like myself used to hang out at joints that had a large number of other foreign students, especially East Africans since it always provided that sense of security, familiarity and comfort. We did hang out with black South Africans too, but that was only if they were with us, as opposed to us being with them.

See, black South Africans are not very friendly, welcoming people. They’re extremely suspicious of foreigners, and even those that are not openly xenophobic tend to make one feel rather uncomfortable by switching to their native languages when you’re in their company, thus leaving you wondering what you were doing there in the first place. (And I don’t need to mention the Afrikaners, you know how I feel about that lot) So you wouldn’t find many Kenyans hanging out in Central, which means the clubs in the city downtown.

One Saturday night, a friend of mine suggested that we head over to Central to check out the competition at the pool bars. I wasn’t up for the idea initially, but the change of scenery and the lure of cheap liquor and cheaper women was a welcome suggestion. So we both dressed down, which meant swapping baggy t-shirts/jeans/fancy sneakers/timberland boots/studs/watches/fancy phones/bracelets etc for checked sweaters, fitting jeans, preferably those of the don’t-you-dare-touch-my-ankles variety (I borrowed my housemate’s jeans, he’s a couple of sizes smaller than I am) Nokia 3310s and Converse sneakers. We completed the look with tweed caps, kinda like the ones our semantically proficient brothers from the lakeside adore. Seeing as our new dress code made us less conspicuous as foreigners, we headed out to Central.

My pal, let’s call him Albert, hang out around these parts quite often, so he was well known in the pool bar that we first set foot in. The pub was in the seedier parts of town, comparable to Luthuli or Accra Roads in Nairobi. Kwaito music pumping, smoke filling the air and some tough looking fellas seated all round.

“See that guy over there? He’s a drug dealer. Those are his peeps, so be careful not to fcuk around. But he’s my pal, so you’ll be ok”

Alfred had also told me that said drug dealer was a good pool player, and I could see that there was some pretty good competition at his table, which is where Alfred decided to place his challenge. I preferred to sit at the counter with my beer while I acclimatized myself with the surroundings. Big assed girls shaking booty all over the place…if you’ve ever seen a Kwaito music video on TV then you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s said that dancing is the vertical expression of horizontal intentions. With kwaito dances though, there’s really nothing much left to the imagination. The girls don’t merely suggest it, they’ve already arrived at the point!

A while later, Alfred placed a challenge on my behalf, and when it was my turn to play, it would be against one of drug dealer’s pals. He wasn’t that good a player, so I thrashed him quickly and called upon the next challenger, who I dispatched to his seat in similar fashion. (I used to be good back in the day) Then drug dealer came up to the table. Alfred pulled me aside and whispered in my ear,

wacha kuwa mjuaji wewe! This guy walks around with a piece, so it would be a good idea to let him win a few games. Coz now that he’s got booze in his system…hatutaki shida, sawa?”

So that’s how I got beaten, and ended up back at my bar stool. The good thing is that during the games, Alfred and I had managed to strike a friendly rapport with the guys, drinks were bought to and fro, and we played some good pool. I even gained the courage to beat drug dealer a few times. But I let him win more games.

Several beers later, I had to relieve myself so I headed down the long, dimly lit corridor to the gents. The urinals were congested so I waited to use one of the closed toilets. Guys don’t normally shut the door when taking a leak, so I simply unzipped and did the needful.

Suddenly I felt some warm breath at the back of my neck, followed by someone gently rubbing his unmentionables against my hindquarters. WTF?! At that moment I experienced what I call A.S.S. (Automatic Sphincter Shutdown) coz my diabz clenched so tightly that even my pee stopped flowing. I elbowed the culprit hard, then turned around and kicked him as hard as I could, in the family jewels. He fell back clutching said jewels and writhing in agony. That’s when I noticed that it was one of the drug dealer’s men who I’d played against earlier.

FUCK!!!!!!! Ni kama kurusha mawe kwa police station!

I zipped up as I ran down the corridor back into the pool arcade, grabbed Alfred by the arm and sped out of the bar. Luckily there was a cab just outside, so we hopped in and I ordered the driver to step on it, all the while looking back to see if anyone was in hot pursuit.

“What the fcuk is going on?” asked Alfred. I summarized the events that went down in the gents.

“What?! Haahahahahaha! Are you serious? Ok, it’s my fault, I should have told you that he’s gay. I thought you’d noticed!”

How now? I was busy shooting pool and checking out girls asses!

The Aftermath

That wasn’t the last time I’ve been hit on (ok, at least by force!) by gay dudes. It has happened a few times since I returned to Nairobi. I was once at this club in Westi that’s frequented by gay guys, and one mzungu felt it appropriate to flatter me by flashing his artillery in the gents. Aiiiii ssssssually?? I’ve got my own!

Don’t get me wrong here, I have nothing against gay men. Really. The few that I’ve hang out with in Nairobi (I didn’t know that beforehand) were quite lively, they have very interesting perspectives on life. They tend to be very creative too for some reason. While I was homeless in SA during my last couple of weeks there, I used to hang out with my host and her lesbian friends who were very interesting characters. Right now I have several gay and lesbian friends, and one or two confused ones.

The gay fellows I can’t tolerate are the really flamboyant ones, those who wear their sexuality on their sleeves and let it dictate every facet of their lives. One’s sexuality is only one part of one’s personality, just as heterosexuals don’t wear their sexuality on their sleeves. I get very irritated by those types. There’s one in my uni who pisses me off so much! Sometimes he wears make up, paints his toes and walks around in high heels and miniskirts (I know this coz he was my brother’s housemate for a very brief period). Another reason why I avoid this type is because Kenyans are still very homophobic and interestingly, one is always bound to be found guilty by association.

But please guys, quit hitting on me. I’m straight dammit! Women rock! (Dramatics and all)

What’s on my Playlist?

Space Cowboy – Jamiroquai

I may have mentioned before that I’m a pretty easygoing chap, I get along with people from all walks of life quite effortlessly. (Well, except feminists. They’re just stupid) And some of those people include those who most people tend to either ignore or not pay much attention to. Watchies and househelps. The people who we pay peanuts and expect to sacrifice their lives to keep our homes and property safe, guard family secrets, and do all sorts of things that fall out of their (unspecified) job descriptions.

It pays that most watchies tend to be from where I’m from, so getting along with them is rather easy. They never ask for much, just that once in a while you slip them a small note for them to enjoy a mug of their favourite brew over the weekend.

Purchased loyalty, I call it. Once you’ve bought someone’s loyalty, it becomes very easy to get them to do favours for you. They know which side their bread is buttered. And trust me, every once in a while, you’ll need favours that only a watchie or a mboch can provide (get your minds out of the gutter pris!)

In high school, I was friends with most of the cooks, and they used to swing me extra slices for breakfast, or a serving of the “special diet” that was given to students who had special dietary requirements. After high school, I was friends with the watchie who would help me skive the parents car without uttering a word. At most of my pals digz, I made friends with the watchies/mboch so they would cover for us whenever we’d get into mischief.

Just after high school, I’d skive the car on weekends to hanye, and naturally I’d have to pick up a few friends. Bribing the watchie was essential to the escape plan. I remember helping my pal skive digz several times. I’d drive to her digz and text her when I was entering the estate. She’d tiptoe out of the digz in her pyjamas so that no one would suspect a thing if she was spotted going outside. Then I’d bribe the watchie and he’d quietly open the gate and let her out, on condition that I dropped her back before his shift ended. She’d then take off the robe and reveal a stunning outfit in readiness for the night’s mwenjoyos! Before 6am the next morning, I’d drop her drunk ass home, where she’d change into her pyjamas once more and deposit her outfit with the watchie who would make sure it finds its way to the laundry, then she’d sneak into the house.

Househelps on the other hand, unless you get one of those brainless ones from the village, are very easy to get along with. And they were important back then coz if I had a girl over at my place, or if I was at a girl’s house, the househelp would have to alert us in good time if the parents were to check in unexpectedly so that I could make my escape. The number of close shaves I had, thanks to the househelp…!

About three years ago, my girlfriend and I were caught in a compromising position in the back seat of my car, in a very dark area. Well, we were in the back seat, all dressed up, having a post-shag cigarette, But one doesn’t need to have a degree in molecular biology to figure out why we were there in the first place. The cops harassed us for a while, threatening to arrest us and have us arraigned in court first thing on Monday morning for public indecency. Unfortunately I didn’t have any money left to shut them up, and neither did she. One of them confiscated my car keys and my drivers licence. Upon opening it, he burst into laughter. “Wewe ndio brother wa Mishale?

“Eh…”

(not knowing whether it’d be a good thing or a bad thing coz my older bro is quite the crook)

“…ndio.”

“Si ungesema pwana! Huyo ni beste yangu tena sana! Huwa tunakunywa na yeye hapo police canteen! Kiplagat, wachana na huyu, ni friend yetu pwana! Sasa wewe Mishale mdogo fanya hivi, leo tutakuachilia lakini kesho tuko off duty kuanzia 5pm. Make sure upitie hapo canteen utununulie moja mbili alafu tutasahau hio story, sawa?”

I’ve never been so relieved in my life. See, girlfriend’s old man is…a beast! He’d have had my liver for lunch had that story gotten to him. So you can bet your ass I was at the police canteen at 5pm sharp the next day, armed with adequate cash in 200 bob notes and bought rounds for them cops, and we had a good laugh recounting the events of the previous night. We’ve remained good friends till today, our friendship cemented by occasional drinks at the usual watering hole. You need to have a few cops in your phone book, you never know when you’ll need them to come sort you out, and those two have, severally.

Normally I don’t bother with bouncers at clubs coz most of them tend to be quite daft to be honest. But some are really great guys. Take Izzo or Bena at Crooked Qs. The number of times they’ve saved my diabs from a fight or three, or organized for someone to look after my car, or allowed me to get in a pal who didn’t have the required age on their ID card.

The advantage of purchased loyalty is that as long as you keep your end of the deal (financial incentive) then they’ll keep theirs. And they tend to be extremely loyal.

The problem with purchased loyalty is that sometimes the receiving party tends to fleece you. Many are the times that watchies have asked me to contribute towards hospital/funeral expenses for their relatives. They produce well-worn A4 sized contribution forms and proceed to plead with you to contribute handsomely towards meeting the expenses. Currently, my bodaboda guy is on my diabz coz I “promised” him 500 bob last week towards his wife’s cousin’s hospital expenses. I’m a broke ass college student bana!

Failure to be nice to your watchie can result in the following scenario that I heard about a few years ago.

This guy (let’s call him Alphonce) was fond of sneaking out in his father’s car on weekends. The escape plan involved sneaking his two pals into the compound late at night, where they’d push his father’s car out of the garage, out of the compound and they’d only start it when they were a considerable distance away from the house. Obviously the watchie would have to be part of the plan, otherwise it’d never work.

But Alphonce was always rude to the watchie and never gave him kitu kidogo for his cooperation, yet he (the watchie) put his job on the line to help Alphonce skive the moti. So this one time, his pals came over, the watchie opened the gate as usual. They pushed the car out of the garage and turned it onto the driveway and pushed it towards the gate like they usually did. When they got there, they whispered an order to the watchie to open the gate, but he stood there, arms crossed, and didn’t budge. Dude comes out of the car, pulls out a couple of 50 bob notes and flings them at the watchie and again orders him to open the gate, and again he refuses. The two became very pissed off, and they began to negotiate with the still-silent watchie.

After a very frustrating few minutes where the boys were reduced to begging, the watchie removed his head scarf and cap to reveal…BABA ALPHONCE!!

The three boys quietly pushed the car back into the garage, the two accomplices left and Alphonce received a proper hiding from his old man.

Be good to your watchie/househelp/shamba boy/tea girl/receptionist this week.

Photo of the day

stairsfail

If I said that you’re fucked, that’s actually be a compliment, coz this is waaaaay beyond fucked!!

What’s on my Playlist?

Can I come for tea – Aaron Rimbui