I’m wondering where to start this story. I could start with the flooded boat house … or the TZ stalkers, or the graduation … or the pointless keys…

Let’s start here. I’m doing some extra shifts at work. Which means I’m never home before nine. And that’s saying a lot, since I live five minutes from my office. People in Plot 8 usually hit the sheets early, unless there’s a soap on. Which means I get home to pitch dark flooded floors, and have to find some way to let myself in.

Now, tanzanian men have the strangest wooing habits on the planet. Not that I know much about wooing habits, since I generally do the wooing myself, and have no idea what it feels like to be katiwad. The TZ template is to pick a random suitable female and declare undying love to her, five minutes before she meets your parents.

It doesn’t matter that you’ve just met this girl, or that you don’t know her name. That can be sorted later. It’s happened to me a few times, and it must work on TZ girls or the guys wouldn’t do it so often…and also, the response to my refusal is always ‘We Mkenya, sio?

The second approach is to pick a random phone number, dial it, and whisper sweet nothings to whomever answers the phone. The more they hang up, the more often you call. I’ve had lots of phone stalkers, and the nothings can be pretty sweet, but I must say, it’s gets pretty old pretty fast.

I have called them names, ignored their calls, threatened police, and even asked my workmates to pose as irate husbands, but bilaz. The stalkers just keep calling back. And when you mark their number, they call from a different one.

Now the logical solution is to stop picking unknown numbers. But since my DNA includes genes for lost phones and ‘private calls’, I can’t quite do that. My relatives regularly hide their caller IDs, switch lines every three days, and you never know if that unfamiliar number is a dream job offer – it’s happened more than once.

So, what do phone stalkers have to do with anything? Well, Nelly, my governess, has a whole series of them. So when it hits 8 pm, she puts off her phone. Stalkers like to call after hours, coz that’s when we have longa longa and all those other ‘free call’ offers.

Now. My landlord, Babu, has a short temper and rebellious teens. So if he asks you to get home early one too many times, he just locks you out.

And last night, he did just that. I got home at 9.30 to see the said teens hovering in the neighbourhood, cold, soaked and hungry. And when I got to the gate, well, it was locked. From the inside. This is fine, I have a key, I can let myself in. BUT, when it’s locked from the inside, it needs to be opened from the inside.

It’s 9.30. I’m so tired that I look drunk, and I can’t get inside my house. So I called Nelly to open up. ‘Samahani, mteja wa nambari uliyopiga hapatikani kwa sasa.’ Her phone was off. Great. I stood there weighing my options. I could go back to the office, but it was locked. I could scale the wall – nah uh, he just raised it some inches. I could call the neighbours…hehehe, I don’t fraternize, so I don’t have their phone numbers. Plus it’s saturday night, they’re probably out. Just one option left.

Twelve rings later, the phone is answered. Sounds mad..and very sleepy. Not a good sign.


“Samahani, nimeshindwa kuingia.”

“Huna funguo?”

“Ninayo, lakini imefungwa kwa kitasa.”

“Sasa unataka nifanyeje?’

“Uko ndani ama nje?”

“Kwani wewe uko wapi?”

“Niko hapa nje, ndio nimetoka ofisini…samahani kwa usumbufu.”

[Eh, *M*, basically apologizing profusely for waking him, and explaining that I just got home from WORK and I can’t get in coz it’s locked from the inside. Then he asks me what the F {it was in his tone} I expect him to do about it]

The phone is hung up with a grunt, and a few minutes later, my grumpy landlord sends a kid to let me in. He doesn’t say a word – he’s still in semisleep – so he just zombies back to his side of the house. I am so not looking forward to morning.

PS : The graduation was da bomb! It was a beautiful ceremony : lights, gowns, cake, and Princess was starring in five different items including a Turkish song and some comedy sketch that I could make no sense of.

There were some kids who kept hogging the stage, but I think they’re staff children so nobody bugged them and they were, what, two years old? I felt sorry for the eight year old big sis who had to keep dragging them off kicking and screaming while the mother hid her face in embarrassment.

There were some pretty cool slide shows that made me glad I cough up that ridiculous fee, and Princess was in all the shots. Seems they agree that she has a great camera face; it’s not just a mum thing after all. šŸ˜‰

I could share the more embarrassing details, but then she’d have to kill me. Photos…we-ell, let’s just say I got through two films, and most shots have my thumb in centreframe, but I can be bribed with chocolate by the few, mnajijua.

Oh, we got so soaked trying to get to the hall that Princess’ fashion show outfit was ruined and she had to wear a pinker dress. That worked out great though, coz instead of modelling, she ended up being MC !! How cool is that!! She looked sooo cute with her … I shall say no more on-blog, I love my windpipe. šŸ˜‰

Oh, and I was so proud of this English Medium school, and of the sound education my girl is getting, especially when she did a brilliant [unintelligible] improv stand-up, and when the boy made a speech. What. I’m a mother. And he’s the only kid in her class that’s taller than her – she’s pretty tall. And he’s not Turkish. And he’s a good dancer. And he’s athletic [they did a lovely dance-aerobic session with pompoms and cartwheels] All good signs.

The kids’ English was brilliant until it got to the fashion show and the kids started with ‘I am Ilham, I am wear long dress. I am Shamim. I am wear jeans’ and I wanted to crawl under my seat! Fortunately the MC did not have to ‘I am wear’ anything, since she …okay, I’m not allowed to say that one either, but it was goooooooood !

Oh, it turns out that Tiger, he of Asian descent and beautiful hair, is not called Tiger at all, but rather Taiga. Who’d ‘a thunk!

And speaking of [mis]pronunciation, a while back, Leo and Marcus had a field day playing a soundbite of Kalonzo pronouncing the word ‘caricature’ as /karikachua/. I had to dictionary that word today, and guess how it’s meant to be pronounced ! It looks like Kalonzo’s English is better than we thought, and that me, Marcus, Leo, and a whole bunch of other people need to rethink our grasp of the English language…

In other news, I’m thinking of treating myself to a Nokia 2630 so I can take phoneshots and videos. I’ll go to a real dealer this time and get one that has hands that actually hold. And that comes in a box. It’s just over 5K and is reaaaally pretty. Pros and cons anyone?

10 thoughts on “Locked out !!

  1. I wouldn’t advice you to get that phone. It’s not big on its features. The internet connection sucks, has no edge or 3G for that matter. Has no card slot hence memory is not expandable. Plus its camera is whack!

    you’ve actually talked me out of it. cheap is always expensive anyway šŸ™‚ i’ll wait for a prettier [and probably costlier one]. muchos gracias!

  2. About the stalkers over the phone- just speak in fluent English and use VERY BIG words- you will never be disturbed again.

    hehehe, noted

  3. thoz TZ wooing characters… me thinks they can work hia in Kenya, ofcos the girl wil feel embarrassed and at some point be willing to give in for you to stop!

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