Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Old Dog New Tricks, aa


There’s the cartoon on facebook  that illustrates the types of friends, I think I have all the types sketched; crazy ones, cool ones, young ones, big ones,  ambitious ones, sad ones…
I had a funny meeting with one of my friends; we’ll call him the ambitious one who goes by the book. He studied, got a university education with honors, got a house, furnished it with everything new, maintains a good job and a good shave, has friends and keeps up with the times, is responsible. E.T.C

So I guess he had told his friends that his buddy returned from Malaysia, come let us see and hear progress. When I went over, I totally could see the look of disappointment. Google Malaysia  fashion. Yes, that is probably  what they expected, but  here I was in the midst of them with some stripped hippie cardigan , a gypsy skirt and canvas lace ups.

They gave me a look over and they said to themselves, ai, this one has never seen the inside of a train leave alone a plane.
 Next I had to answer the usual questions: So we hear  that Malaysia is way ahead of us
Me: In what way.
Them: In all ways, I mean technologically, you cannot compare Kenya with    majuu(overseas)
Me:It depends on which angle you look at it, like how many local T.V stations  do we have?
Them: Aaa, not  that way, T.V is nothing, infrastructure is what matters.
Me:  Good infrastructure should reduce the cost of living should it not?
Them: But think of the employment rate, in Malaysia 70 % of the locals can find employment. Do you know  what percentage it is here?
Me: A a.
Them: It’s 20%, the rest of us are Jua Kali(Self employed)
Me: Hm, Jua Kali would  mean more freedom right?
Them: Yes there’s freedom but it’s good  when a government can provide employment to its citizens.
Me; Yes I guess. By the way, you know in Malaysia to go to town you pass like three tolls equivalent to about 60bob(60Kenya shillings), and you get taxed in restaurants for coffee and stuff.
Them: Reeeally?
They were justified, I didn’t have an idea what I’m talking about.

I excused myself to leave coz I needed to meet up with another friend who wanted to discuss APA referencing (I had thought I was done with referencing), apparently someone told her I was okay with it so she wanted to talk it over, but she ended up giving me contacts who need some work done, so it was more to my benefit.

After doing several interviews  last week, I realized  that  “papers” which are made to seem very important are not really  that important. I was being interviewed and the interviews didn’t even look at my papers and was ready to mention me to someone. So before I left I asked,  what  do you think of my Singapore story? They asked, which one? So I took out my documents to show and turns out it caught their attention. Have I seen this story before?
I wrote it last night for this interview.
O, okay.
They took my papers but all I was thinking is I need to get back to my rabbits, this is rubbish.
So today I’m editing my novel to send it to another publisher I hear is doing well. I’ll send it and hear what they say as well as one of my children’s  stories.

My friends, the professional lot were not finished with me, they wanted to know exactly what I’m I doing.  Of course there’s something I’m doing I said. They were not convinced and between them, they have been having this idea  that I got pregnant  that’s why I haven’t contacted them, to hide the bump, otherwise what would  I be doing out of Nairobi. Nairobi makes me physically sick, I’ve been here  two days and I have a fever, I said.
Wewe Cecilia una mambo, hujachange(  to mean; Cecilia, you haven’t changed, we still don’t understand you)

But I’m glad I have all these different friends, like tomorrow I’m looking forward to my friends who just celebrate my being me and wouldn’t want to change a single strand of wayward eyebrow.



Sunday, November 21, 2010

sometimes I admire men

He Stood out from his peers, not only because he wore an orange sweater while the rest wore green, but his stance, the way he’d walk, the way he firmly looked at you and said a greeting. When I finally beat the morning sleep and managed to obey the alarm, mama(my uncle) said thank you very much,  and put  me in charge of the morning milk delivery. He wakes up at five to milk the cows, and I wake up at a quarter to six, dress in heavy gear, spread a layer of baby oil on my face to protect myself from the biting cold , park a book and my camera, sometimes my phone in a bag and get out before he calls out.

With 9 litres on each side I get out and join the rest of the farmers at the center to wait for the society’s lorry which comes anytime between 6  and 9a.m.

The boy mentioned earlier would  bring his family’s milk and depending on the time the lorry comes, he’d wait until six thirty , take the container home then get his bag and go to school. I asked about him and was told- you see that boy, during the dry season last year he would carry two (12) litre containers of water from the river to water kales, which paid his school fees. He wears a confident smile about him, one that says he’s sure of himself. One eveing he brought a letter home for my grandmother, I asked him to stay for a cup of tea.

 Most boys his age will just sit and quickly  drink the tea feeling awkward but he sat and gave me his opinion about a hundred things. Like he said to me: Imagine someone who has been on the same job for 20 years, he gets retrenched and has to look for work since  he has no skill, just experience, where would he find a job.? Let me tell you,  this world needs a sharp person.” I really liked  that, I estimate he is about 14 but he has an opinion.
Like my 5 year old cousin, who I sometimes don’t want to see but a week far from him and I start to miss him. One day I brought him a bar of chocolate then asked for a taste. He said to me- when you brought this for me all the way from town, it shows you had already had enough- how do you answer to that?

He has a messed up bicycle but that doesn’t stop him from riding it. He tired  it up with some ropes and now charges the neighbour’s kids to ride. The other day he told me he’s tired of  being asked to light kerosene lamps every evening, he wants to  press switches, and he got on to work with some torch batteries and a torch bulb.






Efficiency, why we must learn to be.

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