Read that in reverse.
My landlord and his family have pretty much adopted us as part of the family. So much so that our mzungu tenant assumed I was his juniour wife and bought me a going-away present – a pretty blue khanga. I’m almost offended at the wife part – and I should probably correct her, but it’s a really pretty khanga, and she’s leaving anyway so…
The adoption is palpable though. So much that I get wary of coming home too late [from work!] coz he gets upset. And I’m starting to feel those stares he gives me when I’m dropped home in yet another fly car.
Let me explain. For somebody who never goes out, I have this strange habit of being dropped home at strange hours in stranger cars. Usually, it’s my cousin’s white saloon [toyota primer or sth] with the green plates that just spell money.
That was fine, until the day we had an impromptu slumber party at the said cousin, and when we got home at 9 a.m. in the same clothes, princess blabbed that we had gone to visit Baba Nanii “because his wife is in Nairobi.” Oops! Mind you that was the first time we had slept out, so there was no avoiding ‘the look’.
Recently, the cousin changed his car to a silver rav 4 that is just beautiful, and is fondly referred to as shangingi. Now girls that drive with men in shangingis are…not smiled upon.
Then a few days ago, it was my other cousin, who dropped us in a brown Nissan minivan, complete with the doll-like puppy sticking its head out of the window. And no, I don’t score any points for always having princess with me in these assorted rides. And it doesn’t help that all their windows are tinted.
A few nights ago, it was the blue rav 4 from the office. Which nobody believes is from the office, because the office is five minutes away, so why drive? And the said office car drove me and princess away at 5 p.m. and brought us back well after 9. Office my foot!
Then of course there’s the seven-a-side with the computer logo on it. That one was at my cousin’s birthday party, and dropped us on his way home – at about midnight in a Saturday. Oh dear.
And the white cruiser and the maroon rav and the canter that drop me on ‘work-related errands’ in the middle of the day. Errands which include transportuing matresses and cushions – the receptionist’s husband runs a furniture business.
Oh, and the best part. All those cars that hoot at me as I walk past, and lower their windows and hold animated conversations with me, which always include loud questions like ‘…and you live with who?’
Office mates all. But try telling the landlord that those ten-plus men all work with me. But they do! They’re called marketters. And drivers. And a few managers. The women in our office don’t really drive.
So when I was walking past and heard someone ask ‘huyo ana bwana?’ [is she married], I could almost hear the mental count of my 4 wheeled suitors. But do I say?
Now, the turks and the maths. I met this accountant who doesn’t speak English or Swahili. And his computer got it into it’s head [or processor] that I owe it [and the Turk] money. My maths isn’t very good, and computers never lie, so no matter how hard I gestured, how much I tapped the pencil and how clearly I added up my bills, he just kept saying ‘One million. You pay one million.’ The figure I had in mind was closer to 200 [thousand Tsh]
I tried again, giving him dates and receipt numbers and the like, and then he nodded and smiled and said ‘Oooooh, understand. You pay 2 million.’ Good grief!!
It took about three separate taxis, a polite receptionist, a well kept receipt book [thank heavens for detailmania!] and a tetrapak of mango juice before the Turk realised that I actually owed him ten [thousand. which is like 500 bob kenyan, or ten bucks]. By the time I left, I was grinning and the poor man was confused, amazed, and utterly overwhelmed. How I wish he would look at me like that. Sigh.
On a more serious note, I did something really scary today. I’ve done it before, but today I was so terrified that the nurse had to grip my finger to keep it still. It’s so much easier to take a test when you know what the answer is, and this is the first time when I did it without leakage.
Ignorance is bliss, but knowledge is power. You can’t fix something if you don’t know it’s broken. So hebu tingisha kichwa uone kama kuna kitu ndani. Hear anything? Exactly.
[*M* darling, I will kill that if I transalte it, but I ‘ll explain it in private ;)]
Know your status. The hive isn’t a death sentence, it’s just a confirmed appointment with the after-life. We all have to go sometime, somehow. Knowing your status just is just a receipt for your ticket. And once you have that, you can pack appropriate clothing and plan to enjoy your trip.
Stay safe, stay faithful, and if you can’t chill, belt up. Have a safe weekend all.