As I flash you.

I blame it all on poor timing.

I left the house three hours prior to my LO’s appointment factoring in traffic, Nairobi’s erratic weather patterns, and the possibility of running into those dastardly politicians taking up both lanes as they profess lies and make ugly any wall they come across with their unnecessary posters. I get to the doc’s, do the usual checkup (LO has gained weight, yay me!), then the dreaded jabs are given and she screams like I never knew possible.

I figure we have made really good time, so a trip to the supermarket would not be a bad idea. 15 minutes later, we are at Galleria with Nakumatt in sight. I don’t know why, but I strangely looked forward to shopping, even if it’s just for that one soda which I am dying for given my daily dose of caffeine had not been met. I make a bee line for the refreshments aisle, and then I hear it. The slight whimper which signifies that a cry will be next if attention is not given. I rock her slightly, and tell her to go back to sleep, I need only a soda, and maybe those eat-sum-mo cookies then we will be out.

Who was I kidding.

LO got cross as a bear and did not care for my attempts at soothing her. She started screaming, my nerves started grating. I decided to walk as fast as possible towards the drinks section and be out of there before everything went south.  I had forgotten that not only was I out of shape, but also .1 of a ton. My attempts at a brisk walk were met by my back aching and my legs slowing down to a crawl, the furthest distance I had covered in months was between my living room and the bedroom, and Nakumatt was not the size of a servants quarter. LO meanwhile had switched it up, and was putting on a grand show for anyone with ears.  It was time to feed and she was not going to stop.

I asked a lady in blue where the nursing room was, she looked at me with confusion written all over her face and declared that she was new and did not know where that product was. She referred me to a Nakumatt employee for assistance. Nkt! By now, I had buckets of sweat pouring down my face, and my arms were shaking from the weight of my LO. I spotted a high chair with a table, and figured my feet could use a break.  I must have looked like a monster with all the sweat and makeup running down my neck to an already soaked blouse, huffing and puffing and being screamed at by a baby with nothing to wet my parched lips. I was at wits end. I CAREFULLY placed LO on the table and struggled to lift myself on to the chair designed for models with endless legs. I caught sight of the time and realized I had not fed LO in over two hours, no wonder she was upset. I immediately went into autopilot and followed my Tuzo routine.

I grabbed my boobs, but could not remember which one fed last. So I cupped both and “weighed” them to feel which one was heavier. The left one was a clear winner, so I lifted my blouse, unhooked the cup, positioned the boob and placed LO who immediately stopped crying, much to everyone’s relief.

That was when I noticed her.

The lady whose chair I was sitting on had been watching me in shock the whole time. I had taken over her space and she now did not have anywhere to place her Sleek merchandise which she was holding on to for dear life. I gave her a blank look and she stared back, when she pointed at me and lowered her gaze to where I guessed was my chest area. I looked down and saw it, like everyone else on that aisle.

My boobage was all out.

In my haste, I had thrown up my blouse and forgotten to arrange it after deciding lefty was the winner. So now I had one boob feeding, and the other just sitting there, waving at guys and mouthing “call me” to extra fine men who passed by. I gingerly pulled down my blouse, asked about the eyebrow pencil number 123 given mine was almost out. The girl could not find her tongue.

Thankfully, LO was done feeding, I re-cupped my now empty boob, said goodbye and climbed down.  Half way to the exit, I realized I had left my handbag behind. I hurried back only to find the same girl standing in front of the chair, right beside my handbag. I picked up my bag and followed her gawk.

I was looking at an imprint of my mammoth butt and back.

I had under estimated the amount of heat and sweat I was emitting. That a butt print was still there 5 mins after exit could not possibly be a good thing. I left without a word. I will be covering up the next time I am in public…to save face.

cover up

Image Credits

Header Credits.

 

 

 

 

Image credits.

Alego Clear and other luxuries

From 0 to 100 in 10 mins

Until very recently, I thought I had pretty much experienced everything  when it came it alcohol and anything that resulted from its consumption. I could not have been more wrong! It’s as if I have been living in a soft cushiony bubble, drinking only mineral water that has passed through the hands of a virgin Mermaid based at the foot of mount Kilimanjaro. Until now, anything that I have consumed and sometimes abused has been a colossal waste of time, money and hours of my life. It has been child’s play compared to this drink, which I am still reaching for words to describe. Let me explain.

I recently visited Dala, with all the intention of experiencing how “Andû a mukira” live. Perhaps I should have taken a chill pill or two as I declared I want to the full Luo experience during my stay because what I got… I am still recovering from.  The heat is like a long preview of Hell, Hell during Summer. There is just no escaping it, it doesn’t matter. It’s cooler if you to lie under a shady tree than to be in your house, even with the AC on. But sleep with one eye open, because Monitoring lizards and Omieris’ cousins will make a meal of you. It really is a difficult position to be in, where less is more but you can’t because you suffer from good upbringing.

My trip to Luanda Market was nothing short of exciting. I have never experienced anything like it, I also realized some rules do not apply here. For example, the number of people who openly smoked Weed like it was a pack of Menthols was shocking! Worse yet, they were mostly women, and they were louder than a banshee. I asked why this was necessary and was aptly informed that weed here is like beans in Central. Orientation with the said weed (yes, I see the irony, weed is a weed) starts before birth, because mothers drink it in their porridge, and it is used to treat common ailments such as tooth aches, head aches, tummy aches, any ache really. Also, the glazed over eyes staring at you are not sleep deprivation or deeply seated boredom, they are simply in deep meditation, and please do not bother them with negotiating because you cannot reach their depth of consciousness. Just pay and go away, thank you.

I thought fish was everything here, until I was accosted by a delicacy called Ng’wen. Mmmmh! I think the heat must have been getting the best of me because I went ahead and tasted the stuff. Ng’wen are insects, more like White flying ants that are captured and fried to produce the crunchiest yummiest yuckiest item I have ever put in my mouth. I don’t know if it’s because of the fat they carry, or the fact that they had just come up from the earth and have not been properly washed, but the taste can only be summarized as Umami. Yes, that is it, Umami. You have to taste it to believe it. 1 small cup costed 100 shillings, maybe it’s because I looked like I had just arrived from Othaya, but I felt generous and curious so I caved in. The next stall held sleek silver fish that were still wriggling and blinking. The blonde haired lady, who appeared sober enough to carry a conversation to its end greeted us with far too much enthusiasm and asked how many we will have. Well, the extent of my knowledge with fish begun and ended with their eyes. I had this far known that if the eyes were not sunken, then the fish was good. Well, slap me down with a tail feather! There appeared to be much much more to it, for example; the flexibility of the fish was of grave concern. If you managed to bend the fish and it cooperated, then you are in luck, the said fish is fresh! A stiff fish signified its residency at the stall, the stiffer it was, the longer it had stayed, the quicker you should get away from it it. Also, the amount of blood in the gills, it needed to be just red enough to show that the fish has not been out of water for too long. My “eyes”  theory was also not too far off, I usually worked with it because it did not involve touching raw fish…. Sigh!

Fruits and vegetables were so fresh you could get cured of colds just by looking at them. The water melons were wetter and sweeter, I shamelessly ate a full pineapple in one sitting because they  were not at all acidic but pleasured my mouth with their sweetness! I tell you, retirement may be in these here parts, if only for all the fresh foods and boisterous life! Nothing beats country living.

So my people and I arrived home tired to the bones and hot under the collar. Unpacking was done and fires lit, it was time to fry the fish and prep for dinner. We sat around three stoned fires on short wooden stools under a very starry sky, it appeared the universe had conspired to turn this into a festive evening. Before I knew it there was music and very stiff liquor as far as I remember. Alego Clear, as it was introduced is a local brew whose alcohol content must be over 70%. It has other less sexy names, so I will stick with Alego Clear and you can insert what you call the brew from your area here. This, I tell you is a drink for champions. It should not be drunk by persons under 80kgs, and certainly not on an empty stomach. Those who have never partaken of anything other than beer should also keep off, and do not think that you can mix this strain with anything else. Alego Clear is to be respected, served in Crystal with two ice cubes and a cigar held on your left hand. Drunk in silence if possible, and on rare occasions.

I say this out of concern for those whose initiation with The Clear ended like mine did. I was handed a glass and told that before we drink, we must share with our ancestors and all who have gone before us. Some water was poured to the ground and a hip hip hooray type of chant was said. I looked at my glass and asked to have some liquor and was told to drink what I had first. My glass was empty, so I tipped it over my mouth, like you would mouth wash to show that they had forgotten to serve me.  I was met by a surprise. There appeared to have been a liquid in it, which was bitter and tasted of the earth. Like earthy Gin. It had other layers that I did not have time to process because once it hit the back of my throat, I was left with two options; spit it out like a sissy or swallow and die later. So I swallowed, and bellowed like bull. This was followed by loud cheering, because they thought that I was one of the real sisters from Luo land, drinking Clear like I belonged. But in truth, I was having trouble believing that my head was spinning, why were my eyes out of focus?

The thing is, Alego Clear derived its name from the fact that it is so purely distilled that it looks cleaner than mineral water. You will mistake a full glass of Clear for an empty glass, because the difference is the same.  You will not discern of it, unless you’re the one who poured it. If I had not been cleaning fish, perhaps I would have been able to pick up on the smell of it. It is pungent, nothing like Dior or Johnnie, but an alien smell with earthy tones. If the smell does not get you drunk, rest assured the drink will.

So after my swallowing three fingers in one gulp, my evening was cut short (or so I think). I remember nothing. Total black out. I understand that I have some apologies to make, perhaps I will do them in writing because the tales being told are nothing I want to be associated with. I am made to understand that I have made a name for myself, Osogo Winyo may be releasing a single in my honor.  Alego Clear… not for the faint hearted.

What Happens When Your Soul is Tired?

Just when I thought I couldn’t find the words…along came this blog.

Seeking Emerald

“Life is like a piano, the white keys represent happiness and the black shows sadness. But as you go through life’s journey, remember that the black keys also make music”- Anonymous.

Lately life has been feeling like a series of black keys, and the odd white key, perhaps once  year if i’m lucky. Its all been darkness, pain, confusion and feelings of worthlessness. And just when i feel like i’m starting to emerge from it; feel the sun on my face, enjoy the taste of food again- something happens that reminds me that darkness seems to be all i will ever know.

And my soul is tired. Exhausted. DONE.

I knew I was done on Saturday afternoon, when instead of my usual going out to meet friends, making calls to see what’s happening where. I wanted to stay in. Curl up in bed until further notice. And i cried. I…

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