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Monday, August 19, 2019

Mathree Route : He only had a single pick up line

"You must have had a long day at work."
He says to me
and I say 'I am from a meeting.'
He says, " It must be a meeting that brought you lots of money."

I want to ask him how he has come to such a conclusion but
I don't want to talk.
The matatu is playing rubbish music at an extraordinary volume
I am tired and pms just kicked in  I'm grumpy and I don't feel like shouting at 9.00pm.

But he is one of those tall, dark, glass wearing, 30 somethings you see in town who actually look good in a suit. From the seaside of course . God help the girl.
His breath is fresh too so I don't want to be the typical natural hair Nairobian girl snob with a chip on her shoulder because her Mikalla order just arrived and she can't wait to get home to try it.

I had seen him check me out when we were getting into the matatu and I expected him to be seated next to me before I could find my seat belt.

And here he is now with a single pick up line.

I can guess what he's gonna say. He will probably ask me if I am going to Umoja 1 or Innercore, he will brag about his long day at work and how he doesn't know what he will eat when he gets home. He will ask me if I live alone and if I have eaten already. And when I tell him I'm getting off at Market he will tell me he is getting off at Peacock but he can walk me home. Then he will take my number . I will give him my Telkom line so he doesn't start sending me 11mb video clips on whatsapp.

After one week he will get frustrated because I have only  replied to one of his texts and then he will move on with his life.

"I am from a Christian meeting, I am a Witness."
I say and wait to see his reaction
He will probably say oh, me too I am a Christian. Then he will say he has relatives who are of the Seventh Day church.
' So you witness about Jesus?'
He says, looking straight ahead.
I don't get what he's saying so here we are now with our heads together.
Him shouting 'what I think is  ''Jesus'
And me going 'huh?'
We give up after a few try's.

We sit side by side, he wants to ask me things.

I look at him and spell out '
'What is your job?'
He tells me he is a lawyer with a glint in his eye, I can see it. Or maybe it's the Lighting in the bus caught up in his glasses.
I ask 'what kind of a lawyer?
A criminal lawyer or Business lawyer.'
He looks at me Like I am quite an idiot who should be taking evening classes on general knowledge instead of going for those meetings that don't produce a lot of money.

' Yes I am an advocate.'
"So you go to court?" I ask in my most idiotic voice. I don't mean to be idiotic, it's just when someone says they are an advocate I am not sure if we can really have a conversation anymore.

He says
Then he looks straight ahead but   I can see his eyes. Peripheral vision.
Man! Then the giggles come. They start deep in my stomach and start to shake me .
I want to ask him a serious question like, 'so do you watch Suits?'
And then tell him how great the ties in episode 5 looked.
If he is an older  audience I have my back up conversation starter pack. I can tell him how awesome it was when Ally, in Ally Macbeal wore mixed patterns that looked like Kitenge.
He'll probably ask how come I was allowed to watch Ally Macbeal at that age.
I don't ask him about Suits. We just sit.
He with his peripherals, me wth my giggles.
I want to ask him if he has a card or something in case I commit a crime and need an advocate.

I am among the last to get out. When I ask him to excuse me he walks to the door ahead of me, then he changes his mind and sits on one of the chairs close to the door. I get off and hope that one day he will learn to have more than one pick up line.
In case he meets a girl who is more obliging.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Self care and my steps to living mindfully: How pride and independence affects your thankfulness.


I have always been an independent woman. I take care of my bills, I take charge of situations and most times I really do have enough to not need extras from other people.
I grew up having more than most kids my age had and often, my grandma would be giving away clothes I was barely out of to neighbours for their children.

When I got into college, the universe shifted a little. Here I was thousands of miles away from home trying to figure out new currency. I was in class with kids whose parents served  in the government or in the military. The rest belonged to a ruling class in Western African countries and had real titles like Prince.
They drove Audis, Jeeps and other big cars. I rode in the free bus provided by the state I lived in. Sometimes I got home late when the bus driver, seeing only Africans at the bus stop sped off without stopping.

At times I shared a cab with the Iranian man and the girl from Kuwait in my Broadcasting unit who lived downstairs.

My housemate was this sweet thing that was studying design and she made the house quite comfortable. We had rugs and cushions and differently colored walls.
In my second semester, I still had not bought any new clothes. I was still wearing my khakis and gray Tops and brown coconut husk bangle to class.

One evening she handed me a shopping bag with new shorts, a new huge top and a new handbag.
That was the new style.
I would have looked quite hot in the outfit.
Within the week she gave me a maroon dress.
My deskie in Communication unit teased me and said I must have a boyfriend else why did I so suddenly start wearing dresses to class?

The following week my housemate invited me for dinner at the boathouse. I said yes then said no thanks when she said- my treat.


I didn't want to be given all the time.
It was making me feel small.
And beggarish
So I told her 'don't give me things anymore since I have nothing to give you.'

Yeah. I said that.

It was quite offensive to her. She was Arab you see, and Arabs, at least the ones I know believe in sharing and distributing and what you have is mine and what I have is yours sort of set up.

I still didn't learn.
And even when things have been tough other the years I never learned how to accept things from people. Because - sasa atanionaje-

When you don't ask, people assume you are fine.
When you say no thanks I'm ok people stop trying.

When you feel you are in a superior position, the benefactor, mfadhili and the source of all good things, you get to a point of intense independence that no one can pull you out from. Independence breeds pride.

'I don't need anything from anybody.
I have everything I need.
People thank me, for my gifts.'

But you really miss out on a crucial human element of interaction.
You never learn to say thank you.
You never lack anything so intensely that the moment you get it you really would like to do a dance around the house.
Or really give the person that 'sorted' you a good firm handshake full of thanks.

Your relationships don't run deep.
And you start to develop :


You feel like the world owes you.
Your parents owe you.
Your siblings owe you.
Your boss owes you.
Your neighbours owe you.

If they do not bow and curtsy whenever you pass along then they have personally attacked you.

We of course don't bow anymore but there are other ways.

How important is your opinion?
How readily do you force it down others throats?
How do you feel about those that dismiss your opinion to only buy Whiskas for their cats?

Lack of exposure

When you are independent, possessing high opinions and possibly unaware that you fit the description of a proud person, it's very likely you live in a bubble.

You have no idea that if you came home one night and realised you don't have matches in the house you can simply knock on your neighbours' door and ask for three matchsticks and it would not make you a beggar.
So you go to bed hungry or call an Uber to take you to the mall for matches.

I have missed on many opportunities to show gratitude when I was too quick to say 'no thank you I'm fine.'


How do you maintain friendships without any of you taking advantage of the other?
I at one time had the faulty idea that friendship was better maintained by only meeting up when both of you were in their best mood, dressed up in your best dresses, with purple lipstick.

But I have learned that true friendship also thrives on gratitude. And gratitude, in turn, grows out of periods of needing each other.
You know when it's date 17 when you would rather not have visitors because you only now have that brown chapati flour and two garlic blurbs in your vegetable shelf but your friend appears in your house with a bag of soko ugali and a bunch of edible greens?

Or when you have been biting your nails because you said something stupid to your friend and you are not sure if you will be forgiven and you are too old to start making new friends so you just sit there calling yourself all sorts of names Coz you blew it.

Then your friend sends you a whatsapp meme and asks you if you want to work together on Thursday and you realise you are forgiven?

That kind of gratitude.

Coz yes you needed that maize meal and yes you admit you said something stupid but you are willing to never be stupid again. Because you treasure this friendship.

You don't learn gratitude in theory. It is not from perfunctory thank you phrases in high pitched voice.

You learn gratitude when you learn to cohabit with other living beings.
Because you will need something from someone one time.
And if you are this independent human being with a backup plan for everything, kwisha wewe.
Kwisha Mimi too because I am only learning this now.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Profile: The Constantly Constant Maureen K

This is Maureen K.
Maureen is constant.

If you decided to go to America to find a job and then your visa expired and you lived incognito for 23 years somewhere in Los Angels and then you somehow managed to find false papers to come back for a short visit to your relatives, you would still find her the same. But you, you would look out of place in your American clothes because this is Kenya and we keep up with the Kardashians.

 I think 23 years is enough for you to be rubbed off the family records.. ? And they start talking to you as when nanii  was alive.

Maureen, when she walks, she seems to be receiving interpretations to prophesies or revelations to things that will happen in the future so she has this smile that says, yes I'm listening mortal man but..
'I have food you do not know of'

I would like to say we are friends but I am not yet there. To be Maureen's friend you have to have reached a certain level of Zen, where all the elements: earth, sky and water are in balance.
I think it's called poise.
Her friends have poise
She has two friends. Dennis and Mambo. The rest of us are aspiring to be her friends.
She has two skirts, a maroon scarf and one full neck sweater. And a hat

She also has two sisters and I've been thinking if I was friends with her I might be able to request one of her sisters to teach me how to dance to 90's Hiphop.
I Donno if she knows how to but she looks like she might. Like the girl from that dance movie what was it- the dance one that had a really hot black dude?

I like Maureen because she makes sign language beautiful.
You know how some people sign and you wander:
Are they in pain?
Do they have indigestion?
Are they trying to remove a tiny piece of meat between their teeth but it's refusing and they are trying to remove it while hoping you don't notice?
Do thy have an involuntary spasm going through their arms and upper body?
I am included in that description.

I admire Maureen because she has mastered the capsule dressing technique while the rest of us have three suitcases of  dresses and even after spending half an hour mix and matching we still end up looking like we were launched out of a racial street parade festival in Brazil.

I mean me.

Maureen is also a great cook. Not of big ugali and large pilaus but of Oriental sounding dishes like Quiche.

So now you have met Maureen and I bet your life has improved.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

This Chic: Destination Canaan but oh wait sorry wrong turn.

I got these flowers to commemorate my 8th month of unemployment.

Pardon me, this is one of those real posts that give someone an unpleasant feeling.
I promise to write a happy one soon which you can like.

During these 8 months I have gone through the three stages of unemployment mental status.

1. Destination Canaan

This is the Greener pastures stage.
This is the stage where I was saying ,  I'm settling for nothing less than my worth.
I am gonna get full value for my experience and age and hard knocks of my former life.

'A son should earn more than his father after all.'

And why should I waste my life in a job that doesn't pay me enough to afford a tiny car to do my rounds?

And as woman of three and 10, living from paycheck to paycheck? It goes against nature.
Plus a hundred other philosophies.

'Show me the money,'
said I.
And if the money was not to my liking I turned up my nose and said it was nice meeting you but this is where our paths end.

2. The fighter stage

When I got to this stage I stuck my chest out and clenched my fists.
So you won't give me a job world?
I will show you!
Ata I don't need that job.
I am a survivor.
And so of course, I worked very hard.

Every small kibarua I got I gave it attention. I tried new things,
I remembered skills I had acquired  and was putting them into use.
When the hard earned money would slip out of my hands as soon as it came I started thinking that actually my former paycheck was not that bad even if it just took care of rent and bills.

So maybe I could take a similar job for a similar pay and in another five years I'll still need a KCB-Mpesa loan to get me to the end of the month.

(This would be a good point to cry very much)
The Pambana na Hali yako stage

So eventually you notice you have just sent out your 174th job application with an edited cover letter and updated CV.

You attend your 10th interview and three weeks later they don't call so you realise just because you did an interview doesn't mean you will get hired in 2019.

So what to do but  tupambana na hali yako the best  way you can?

Random person: Hiii!! How are you Cecilia?
Me: (with a smile like the sun itself) Heeeeey! Never been better!
Random person: How is work?
Me: Great! How is life?

Friend: Hey Ciss how are you?
Me: Not sure
Friend: I drew you a picture, see below
Me: awwww, just what I need to get through another day
Friend: I know, hang in there.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Three reasons you should put Diani beach on your bucket list

Diani Beach along the Kenyan Coast has been described as a tired traveler’s resting point.
While it boasts a clean, white sand beach and clear blue waters like many beaches around the world, it adds to its attraction by being placed in a peaceful, modern and green town. On one side, you can go clubbing in the bustling town, on the other end you can decide to watch the sunset with the sound of oncoming waves in your ears.
There are, however, three major attractions that deserve exclusive mention:
Where The Congo River meets the Sea

The Kongo river comes down from the Shimba Hills, located North East of Kenya. As the massive river makes its the way through villages and smaller towns, quiet valleys and earth’s hidden crooks, it finally comes to the mangrove forest that fences the Sea’s edges. Any silt collected from its journeys is filtered, to ensure that, only a clean, clear river meets the salty sea. It is a beauty to watch when the river comes rushing in, and on one side, the waves clapping their hands to receive the newcomer.
If you have never swum in a river, then here is a good opportunity. You can swim in the river all day without the fear of getting drowned. You will no doubt be exhilarated to feel the current rush you into the salty waters ahead. There is ample packing on the beach too next to the Kongo Mosque.
All along the beach, you will find boat services to go deep-sea diving, snorkeling or simply a tour of the seas. Grab the chance to observe creation in its natural underworld.

Variety of Resorts and Cottages
In the last few years, The Kenya Tourism industry has upped its game in the provision of safe, secure and global standards of tourism amenities. As such, the standard of accommodation you will find on Diani beach will be what you bargained for and a bag of chips. You can make a booking online for transport and accommodation. There are numerous Airbnb available as well as cottages for rent for a night, a weekend and even up to a month.
For the international traveler, you will find that the local hotels are well equipped to handle your requests as they come. To increase flexibility, you can either chose to hire a car or utilize uber services. Shorter distances can be accessed via three sitter vehicles called Tuk-Tuks.

When you hire a cottage, you have the option to cook your own food, which brings us to the next wonderful point.

Diani Beach Town Mall
As much as you are out in nature getting earthed, you may want to come out on an evening and take a stroll through the town. In its smooth, a laidback style common to coastal towns, you will be able to have a slight glimpse of local culture. If you are adventurous to try the street food, it comprises of fried fish, roasted peanuts and deep fried potatoes ( viazi karai).

At the market, you will get fresh produce Carrots, potatoes, peas, tomatoes, and onions can be had as you take in the vibrant energy that gives life to a market. The Naivas shopping Mall hosts among others, a large supermarket, an electronics shop, as well as a wine shop. Now you have your supplies, grab a tuk-tuk and go back and cook out a storm.
Why not have a barbecue by the pool if your cottage provides one?
Certainly, there is much to be had by visiting Diani beach this holiday season.