Friends & Benefits

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘quake’? More of that later.

2BF5 turned 18 yesterday. And W turned 21 on Saturday the 2nd. Welcome to (the much vaunted but really quite ordinary) world of adults, 2BF5; don’t worry if the difference is the same. W, now you can drink legally in even more jurisdictions in the world. Bliss. And the world ages yet again πŸ™‚ Those two are some of the best friends a girl could ask for. But this post is (surprise! Surprise!) not about them. It’s about what happens when one girl lands a job that involves computers and cigarettes. And the stories that grow from that occurrence. Not necessarily in that order.

@ partners with various entities that support it in one way or another. On Wednesday of last week, I benefited from one of those arrangements. I got to attend an exclusive event that commemorated the awarding of $1million to a Kenyan tech firm for a mobile phone application (read the story here & learn more about the app here). It drew quite an interesting lot. Journalists, techies, dignitaries (yes, I said dignitaries. Like senior government officials & such) and the crowd that keeps Nairobi interesting (sometimes called bloggers) as well as twitterati (don’t I just love such words. In a few years, Oxford University Press shall publish it in an edition of its much-beloved Advanced Learners’ Dictionary. Poor learners.)… I was, quite honestly, just a lackey (with the quaint little title that is ‘usher’) but I earned ca$h moneΒ₯ and met all sorts of interesting people.

Speaking of interesting people, I joined a UN agency committee that seeks to improve the lot of youth in Kenya and influence national youth policy in the country. Our first meeting was on the same day as the aforementioned job. It proved to be quite a busy day. Now I know how those jet setters who work myriad jobs do it. Sheer planning and determination. I feel blessed. All these opportunities that have been made available to me are cause for celebration. Joy. Rumination.

I would never have got the job (and money) were it not for Lionel (who I spoke of in my last post) and a drinking event that occurred that involved him, our overall boss at our @ chapter and our workmate, a certain MarkTM (that’s tracking manager, not trademark, thanks for asking). He jocularly asked me if I wanted a paying job and next thing we all know, your woman is at an event that rocked. So thanks, Lionel; with friends like you πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ That drinking party resulted in my drinking KK(Kenya King), a Kenyan spirit with 39.5% alcohol content. This being me, the 14% (woohoo!!) wine drinker., it was an experience like no other. A sweetness in my mouth, burning sensation in my throat, and warmth all over my body. But I liked the taste, that I shall not deny. Once I stopped taking it neat and threw in some soda called Krest Bitter Lemon, I was on a roll.

KK made me hyper-active. X, Mo, Marie, and yes, you, Magaribina; stop raising your eyebrows. I am not hyperactive. I went back to my room and did a ton of laundry till 2am. You read right, 2am. Couldn’t sleep. Oh, well, it’s better than being stupid and drunk. So, I guess every so often it’s good to go out of my comfort zone and experience what happens on the other side.

I’m a geek, it seems. That’s the reason I use, and like, Linux. And is that fact, I was asked, a mark of class? I was quite amazed by that question. Class, you say? I think not. I miss my friend L (aka Best Friend). She was around for the summer and we had a sleepover and weekend-over while she was around. It was great seeing her again after so long. Either Canadians have no accent or she didn’t pick one up. I was so happy to hear her voice when she called me the day after she arrived. It was a great summer for me. And she likes Linux, too. My friend Z, whose family so kindly opened its door and heart to me, was also in Kenya. I didn’t get to see her but I spoke to her; too. Did I say earlier that I am blessed? I shall say it again here. These girls remind me of the power of love and friendship. Continents away from me and yet we know that if we pick the phone, the other shall be on the other end ready to speak. Now that is love.

I joined a Bible Study (BS) group last month. I went for the first few meetings with X. I’ve missed only one meeting so far. Which meeting I missed because E & X took me to the students’ clinic as I threw up and had a migraine. The GP thought I was pregnant (only the second time that has happened in less than one month), as had another GP when she saw me knitting. Yes, knitting; how folksy. I’ve tried to get X to let me ask his mum to tutor me but I sense some reticence & being as my BS leader warned me against having relations that were too warm with the mother of my boyfriend, I shall probably never receive any lessons from XM. Oh well, the best laid plans of mice and men often come to nought (read Robert Burns’ poem here). The way that came out, my BS sounds like a cult (my leader said not to….) but we are just a motley collection of sinners. Some redeemed and some, such as yours truly, just doing what they can to be on the right side.

The job mentioned above. Myself, the Queen (so named by J because of the stunts he pulls) & a guy whose @ name is Member (who, I have realised, can do quite a good job of excluding one from @ activities and creating a members-only feeling) & D. We all, excluding Member, stood together after the job and smoked D’s cigarettes. What bliss; to be able to partake of cancer sticks among friends. The Queen & I had a chance to speak as the event wound down. He is a most interesting character….and a friend’s friend. Which is always a compliment. And the rest; I got to see new sides to them. Interesting, likeable sides. If @ continues like this-friendship, opportunities and,yes, money-I’ll enjoy the ride. Opportunities, I said. Because of another ushering job, I got to attend an amazing event (granted, I had planned on attending either way<<<‘granted’ is such an X word πŸ™‚ There goes Miss Girlfriend) where I got to learn all sorts of intriguing things that will help me influence my family and community.

I might get to be a witness at the officiating of my friend’s union sometime next month. I say might because it’s an Islamic ceremony and I might be disqualified by my non-Muslimness. I’m excited for her. It takes guts for someone to make that sort of commitment. And the fact that she’s chosen to make it is a source of hope for me. It is possible to be happy in a marriage even if you are a member of our jaded generation. And I say jaded under advisement. We have seen the marriages of our parents and loved ones descend into chaos or be revealed to be shams and yet we take that risk ourselves. My brother was delighted to hear the news (being as Miss Lady is his big sister’s big sister) and, during our last conversation; asked after her and how the wedding preparations were going.

My brother. He is part of the reason I disappeared from the blogosphere. He had a stack of drama at school. And being like a child of mine, it threw me off-balance. He was out of school for a month during which I spoke to all sorts of people in an effort to reinstate him in school. Do these things only happen in Kenya or are they the scourge of developing countries? A month out of school because of a few teachers’ vendetta against one’s parent is enough to demoralise even the strongest child. But my brother is not just strong. He is the child of my parents. And my father and mother have not surmounted all those odds for their child to be beaten down by injustice. He still maintains his enthusiasm for education (thankfully, he’s known education and school to be divorced for a while) and now that he is back in school, he looks forward to high school with renewed dedication. Alliance High School; here comes The Shaboozle’s brother, T.

My brother. A delightful child who once drew X aside to advise him to treat me well, with respect, and not to cheat on me. T at 9. Indeed. I reminded X of that the other day. That infidelity would mean the end of whatever we have at the time at which it happened. He said, later, that my statement sounded like a dare. To cheat, to leave, to whatever. Honestly. I thought it was just a statement of fact. And after Tuesday of this week, I think it’s stretching it a bit to not want me to make such a statement. Tuesday, when I went to this opening where my friend J was showing one of her pieces. Before I lose focus, please go see it if you can. Tuesday, when X stood me up. Tuesday, when I [stupidly] called him to fish out an apology (sometimes I behave like an abused woman). Tuesday when he told me a story where all he kept doing was digging his own grave. He & my friend had taken over his cousin’s Facebook status update. This is a common happening, something I have done in the past myself. Then they had proceeded to talk of something he owed her with him explaining to his cousin (remember him?) that he knew her through ‘a friend’ (that would be yours truly). Ahem. I was explaining to 2BF5 today what really irritated me about that incident. In the conversation where he gives me an apology that the Swahili would describe as ‘shingo upande’ (literally; from the side of the neck to mean done grudgingly), he describes how he charms a girl in a public forum in which I am referred to as a ‘friend’. I have seen, in my life, the way a cheating spouse usually doesn’t lie from day 1. He may tell you all the story but as the story grows elements are removed to protect one or whatever notion crosses his mind. He has it in him to perpetuate a conversation with the friend of his ‘friend’ in a public forum where he sometimes does not deign to speak to the said ‘friend’. He repeats this story to me after telling me the reason why he didn’t even think to call me to cancel was because he had been derailed by his @ team. Well, thanks for making me see how the land lies; Mr Man. As I have said before; part of the reason I’m in college is because I’m smart. I get it.

I was bought a wonderful book by 2BF5 called ‘Notes from an Exhibition‘ last week. Hence the question at the beginning of this post. The story revolves around the loves, lives and losses of a group of people who are all influenced by a woman who dies at the beginning of the book who has bipolar disorder. It hit really close to home because my maternal grandmother was put in a mental institution several times in her lifetime before her death when I was 6. Like the central character in the book, she was quite a character. And strong. I laughed and cried in equal measure as I read that book. Never before has the content of a book spoken my truth so clearly. And it showed what I have always believed-that the human experience is universal. The differences are just those of location, names, race. But fundamentally, we are all the same. And I want to thank X for giving me the courage to say the words I have just said. In this post, he speaks his truth and in this one I speak mine. A lady in the book expresses her fear of pregnancy because her child may be mentally unstable. But the lady’s death gives her courage. Pregnancy, childbirth, rearing a human being; these are acts of courage. And the book also affirmed my admiration for my grandparents. My grandmother for living with a disease that has none of the glamour of most chronic diseases and raising well-balanced children who are adults anyone would be proud of and my grandfather for being a great dad and having the courage to live with her and stick by her side.

The book spurred me to attend a meeting of The Religious Society of Friends. Sometimes called Quakers. A group of people who, in the book, were calm and loving and welcoming. Sitting together in silence, contemplating God. No creeds, no chants, no hard and fast rules. I spoke to 2BF5 about the group and we ended up going for the meeting together this last Sunday, bless his multicoloured socks. Both our mothers were quite flummoxed by our choice of experimental religious group. His, especially. In Kenya, each church assumes a tribal profile, and that of Quakers in Kenya is a Luhya one. My mother, married to a Luhya, was quite aware of the Friends Church. Awareness doesn’t mean she took the decision to attend lightly; I have been known to have attended a church that, it later emerged, was a cult. 2BF5’s mother, on the other hand, was concerned but her concerns were similar to my mother’s: What draws you there? And our answers were similar: This group seems to have what we, as young people, so greatly desire. At this point, I want to thank my friend L for helping me know meeting times so 2BF5 & I could attend and 2BF5 for coming along with me. X was not impressed by 2BF5’s presence; saying he’d go with me to the next meeting. This is to be seen. Though in this one instance, I can’t be said to be choosing 2BF5 over X who has always declared his allegiance to his preferred church…

I was attacked last week but one. The only people I have told bar you are X, 2BF5, E & my Twin. E was the first I told as I went to her room after the occurrence to regroup. The Twin was not impressed by the fact that I didn’t tell her till the next day (religion and varied interests have pulled us apart, you can’t blame me…) The man was walking towards me one minute and the next thing I knew, there I was, on the ground with your woman being muzzled. Wrong move, buster…. I screamed my heart out. I had these thoughts running through my mind during that time: >I am being attacked >>I shall be raped by this man. These thoughts coalesced into >This man attacking me shall rape me<. Which made me scream so loudly that the cars that were on the road next to the scene (this was a major junction, close to midnight) stopped and my assailant fled. A man opened his door, asked if I had been robbed (no), hurt (no, again) and advised me to run home. Which admonition I obeyed readily. I have never been so afraid of the sight of a man that when one asked me if I had been the one screaming, I couldn’t get the voice to say; yes. I have become fearless; but maybe I need to be afraid. Had I not been fearless, I would not have been in that situation. Isn’t this what always happens? The victim blaming herself? I did not ask for it; I am stronger than the coward who tried to scare me into fearfulness.

X lost his grandfather less than a month ago. He spoke of his sorrow and his loss. And wrote about it (read his reaction here) and showed me new sides of himself. Such as the fact that he thinks of loss as a private thing. That he acknowledged my attempts to be there for him, stand by him at the funeral but politely declined. The fact that he wants to speak and yet your woman is always talking, talking, talking. If I just, well, shut up; he’d say his truth. The fact that he takes his role as the strong man seriously. That family really does mean a lot to him (this is nothing new but he reaffirmed his devotion to family); his love for his mother. What his grandfather meant to him and how men mourn. Differently from women; privately. That I count for something. Yes, I know what I said up there. But the fact that he spoke of his loss said something about how he feels for me. I remember how I pushed him away when my uncle passed away earlier this year. And yet the one person I wanted to hug me, to touch me, to tell me we would all survive….was him. I looked at my parents and how my father comforted my mother and I thought to myself, β€œI wish I had that.” And yet I did-he had offered to be there for me and I had said no. Because that is how I mourn; almost like self-flagellation. And so seeing him reach out to me said he loved and trusted me enough to believe I would be there for him. I care about him, I admit. And while, as I said, I may sometimes act like an abused woman; I have seen sides to this man that remind me why I stay with him…

Benefits: my assailant thought I was male. This happens to me a lot. I don’t wear gender-defining clothes and don’t have a very shall we say, female body. So I, in a sense, disarmed him when I started screaming like a girl (ha!) when he attacked me. It’s always been unnerving to be thought of as a boy. But because he was confused, I took advantage of the situation to defend myself. I don’t want to think about what would have happened to me if I had been visibly female. Rape? Death? I don’t want to fear walking the streets, being alive. I want to not have to think of my womanhood all the time; factoring it into every decision I make. I want to think of myself first and foremost as a person and secondly as a female person. Why, I wonder, did I think of rape so fast? Maybe all those messages I have received growing up (never from my parents) about how my husband will ‘wonder where my virginity went’ on our nuptial night have gone to my head. My hymen has risen so high in my list of important things that it has acquired a life all of its own and floated to a place where it has lodged itself in the part of my brain that reacts to danger.

Benefits: the strength of women. E was there to listen to me as I told the story of my attack and as I reacted to the book by going to a Quaker meeting. My twin was glad to allow me to join her BS to be able to claim a fellowship of friends and like-minded people. L aka Best Friend allowed me to see parts of my country I had never seen and to meet her sister. I am blessed. L going the extra mile to let 2BF5 & I know when the Quaker meetings were. My aunt L who has been there for me. And especially my mum who taught me the virtue of drawing from the strength of women; a lesson so well learnt from her mother. I am a stronger person for all the women whose presence has been felt in my life.

For all these and much more, may I always be grateful πŸ™‚ <<Such a Rotaract thing to say (I got inducted last week, yay!) but so true, too.

A few of my favorite things

I got this cover of the original song from ‘Sound of Music’ and I couldn’t resist πŸ™‚

So here’s a list (for when I forget πŸ™‚ )

  1. Music: Well, who doesn’t? There’s always that song that captures your mood, lifts your spirit, expresses what you can’t put into words…ah, music
  2. Silly stuff…: Wouldn’t measure up to randomness if all I did was the serious stuff, now would I? Would I??? *wearing maniacal ‘ANSWER ME!’ look* I thought not!
  3. Punctuality: Am I the only one who doesn’t enjoy waiting? It really gets my goat [I love that expression]
  4. Affirmation: Anyone who’s been tuning in for episodes might have noticed this but there, I said it. I think we all like that someone to (sort of) vindicate us [I used to love that word when I was 16…I wonder why…]
  5. Hugs: I’m a sucker for those…as is one Mo…who I have not heard from for yonks. He’s great with hugs…him & X (most times, sometimes they feel cursory-I *do not* like cursory hugs) & 2BF5 & Jay (his are really awesome, they involve spinning me round and round-usually in malls…fun times)
  6. Communication: I talked about this in my last post. How I’ll stop nagging X about that topic but I’ll state it here for the record: I try to communicate with people but a reticence on your part really won’t earn you any favours. It turns out being in a relationship with the non-communicator makes me tetchy. Enough said. I find that it’s so easy you simply have no reason not to (other than you don’t want to, pure and simple in which case I get a hint!) reply to e-mail, texts, messages…pick the phone (Quite passive, you see) but what I really cherish is the active communicator. The one who sends the e-mail/text/message…the one who calls. One of the many reasons why I love 2BF5…
  7. The world & all in it: I really love this planet. It’s so tiny and yet so large in terms of the diversity you find in it. Aah, I love you Mother Earth & I love you World πŸ™‚
  8. A person who gets along with my friends: As you might have gathered, my friends are pretty all-sorts (Understatement of the Century) so I quite like folks who can get along with most of my friends. I can assure you, ALL is pushing it quite a tad…
  9. Kisses: I love me a good smooch, I do. Those ones that take you away…especially in my dreams where I’ve had lots of those as opposed to real life where I’m saving all my love [cue Whitney Houston pre-drugs singing ‘Saving All My Love’] (and my kisses, too, apparently) for The One [capitalisation is of utmost importance-this is not an issue one can toy with :D]. I think all the Latin men I have watched have raised the bar-I better not be disappointed πŸ™‚ Couldn’t help throwing in this video for entertainment’s sake:
  10. Touch: I speak a language called Touch. What it means is that if you want to communicate how you feel about me, touching me is a good option. Also, I only touch people I like. If I have had physical contact with you, be assured, I like you. Though of course anyone who thinks of a hug as touch had latched on this πŸ™‚
  11. Honesty: No matter how bad the truth is, Just Say It! It’ll be that much worse when I discover it. It really grinds my gears when I practically have to drag information out of someone. Really, if you’d told me we’d have moved that much faster…
  12. Transparency: No, not TI, that body those of us in some parts of Africa associate with damning corruption reports but rather saying it as it is. Obfuscation is so irritating… Yes, I can hear you saying I said honesty above but how else was I going to throw in ‘obfuscation’? πŸ˜€
  13. A good listener: Who doesn’t love a good listener? Also the person who doesn’t tune out (yes, it’s you I’m talking to, you know yourself..) They’re so hard to find…but also so valuable once you do…
  14. Compliments: Just not about my hair…J/K I loooove compliments so I give them quite freely. I know more than one girl who has been left wondering about my orientation but I love compliments so if you see me, you know what to do πŸ™‚
  15. A love of family: My family means a lot to me so institutions, people, who respect family count for a lot to me…Viva la familia!
  16. Food: I love food, really I do. I plan meals in advance, I walk halfway across town for food offers, I explore a new culture through its food. I wouldn’t go as far as calling myself a gourmand like one Mo has, but hey πŸ™‚

Part of the reason I wrote this is because I lost my uncle yesterday and I thought about how loss occurs so easily and how forgetting is something that we are all susceptible to. My next post will be listless [no, not in the ‘she looked listless’ sense :D] but this is for memories’ sake.

Also, this blog sometimes veers into ‘Love Jude‘ territory-that being the title of a book where the blogger/diarist is obsessed with her boyfriend Oren & every post is about him. I saw that in myself when I re-read it the other day. Hilarious though it is, I spend a lot of time talking about X and maybe, as a book called ‘Sex & Sensibility’ by some Christian bloke called Steve Ayers suggests, my other relationships suffer as a result.

Situation shall be rectified.

πŸ™‚

To round it all off, here’s Makmende, the Kenyan phenomenon spun by an experimental Kenyan group (too funny, *they* describe themselves as such), JustΒ  A Band, that has supposedly gone viral. Enjoy & I’ll catch you later πŸ™‚

Nishike pole pole mimi ni bibi ya wenyewe

Which loosely translates to: Hold me slowly, I am the wife of others

I turned 21 on Saturday, 30th January.

I had an interesting day….Or rather, an interesting 3 days πŸ™‚

January 29th: I begged a phone off my friend E, saw a Facebook post by my friend that’s usually referred to as SSS (Sole Soul Sister) and called her. Yes, I would have wine and chocolate with her (yes, my non-drinking self would have wine and chocolate, stop staring πŸ™‚ ) and yes, she could sleep in my room as part of that ritual called ‘The Sleepover’. Signpost in my head: This Way To Fun Times. I met her and her friend Charles, an amiable guy, after her boyfriend of 2 years (time is important, just keep reading) left her in my care. We went to the food court at the mall we were at, I told them a funny X-related story, and we bought wine after unsuccessfully trying to buy soda. Translation: We left the soda in the trolley for so long, the guys at the supermarket (wisely) decided we didn’t want it πŸ˜€ We met Jay & Co, went back to the supermarket….and the 2 of us ended up in my room πŸ˜‰ he he he

It was interesting… Around her I am not reticent…at all. I didn’t need the tongue-loosening powers of wine to get me talking. About how down I had been in the 1.5 years we had been apart. About X. I’ve known her for the last 7 years and in a sense she is me…I can trust her. That, for me, counts for a lot. And she let me speak about how the absence of [intense] physical displays of affection in my relationship with X had got me confused, should we say bewildered. That >6 months into it, all we had done is hold hands…And here was a person saying that which I had wanted so badly to hear: Let it be…don’t rush it and look back and think to yourself: This, not that, is the right moment [though I momentarily forgot her advice the next day]. Everyone around me, minus my twin, has created the impression that the absence of a make-out session up to this point signals the presence of a malfunction in my sentiments for this boy, a quirk on his part….[not that my virginity pledge doesn’t complicate issues]… I was happy to know she has been happy. Because as the person I could always trust to pull me out of the doldrums, I wanted; need, actually; her happy. And she is. I’m not playing catch-up again πŸ™‚

January 30th: I woke up on the morning of the birthday to the presence of SSS, A gift I have not received since she transferred schools when she was 16 & I 15. It was a better gift than any I could have asked for. Having X call me to meet him close to my hall of residence [“Meet me Halfway”]

and meeting him… E and SSS had met the day before [during the time at the mall] so when E came, they had time to bond after SSS had had time to speak to X. X & I were left in my room, I snoozed, E & SSS waited for almost an hour and IT happened.

IT: My roommate’s best friend walking in on me sleeping with X lying next to me. We looked so chaste; almost like 6 year old cousins having their Sunday nap on the same bed. My 4 year old cousin & I have had scenes like that, my 9 year old brother…no biggie. I had my eyes closed [not least because I was asleep], he didn’t…no cause for her reaction. Effusive apologies, almost like she had found us doing SOMETHING [your mind is now allowed to wander…] and the humour of the situation not being lost πŸ™‚Β  SSS & E called me post-bonding and I went off to the city (all of 10 minutes away) to get drinks for my party-let as well as meet Marie & our mutual friend I.

Marie, X, I & I all headed to the Nairobi National Museum [a great place to have any sort of event…] where J, her boyfriend K [no jokes], her friend S, and our friend B were waiting for us…Getting high on soda is a plan; as X and my previous run-ins with Coca Cola products have shown.Β  We drank litres of the stuff, played random games, got to know each other, talked, made fun of each other & made up for lost (friendship) time. I was told, by J, how after a series of arguments she had urged K to ‘court her’ a romantic notion that included chasing her like the past months hadn’t happened. X & I clocked 7 months on my birthday and J was tired 2 months into her relationship & SSS had logged 2 years in one relationship. Time is so fleeting and yet we attach so much to it…

We all walked (I joke not, past 1800) to the city centre-ish with Marie & I walking in front of us. J asked me for more than a year if X and I were going out and the answer never changed: No. But our body language, mirrored so clearly in my friends’, said it all. We liked each other….a lot πŸ˜‰ J had asked me what the deal was but being as I had asked the girl half and it had said pretty much nothing,Β  I wasn’t pushing it. Oh, but after we had walked into the city & were about to order dinner, they decided to leave. There’s never been a moment, surrounded by friends, as awkward as J asking them if they were dating…and them saying yes….*cue jaw drop*

How now? when I had tried subtly? But being as the guys (X & I) had hit it off at an earlier meeting, I got to pry [If J can, why can’t I…J/K] and asked the question that had such heat in myΒ  brainΒ  I could almost feel its searing effect: When did this happen? Or was I always blind (Yes)? X & I walked them to the corner, dinner was had & we went to a club. This after Jay, happily gay, had come over and had conversation & strangeness with J & K (who X & I have beaten at the awesomeness that is ‘vogueing’, thank you very much) being all over each other. Jay was hard-pressed to understand how our straight selves were going to go to a club that attracts the gay crowd sans him… But go we did.

Post K having a talk with me about ‘taking care of J’ before he left, we went to the club. On our way there it was revealed that one of X’s friends [a member of AIESEC, the organisation that he is-I did not stutter] tended bar there. Before I forget, X became President of his AIESEC chapter (coincidentally, the code for the organisation within the organisation is the letter X) and I almost died-of pride. Seriously…Which some people would say is a good thing πŸ™‚ She was so happy to meet me, his friend, saying that it felt good to finally meet me post-X’s conversations about me. And she was pleasantly surprised to realised he has friends outside AIESEC [remember, earlier, I did not stutter?] and we had an interesting time that included me getting a call from my mum & jokily telling her I was out with X getting drunk (“take care of yourself”) [that was the night before :D]. This didn’t last long as the crowd sought by J & B was elsewhere & so J’s friend K, her boyfriend J & the rest of us left.

X left us at the entrance of the 2nd club [we would later sing ‘Another one bites the dust” when Kate’s J left]Β  and we went and had unbelievable fun. Which included guys hitting on K after her boyfriend left & not single B. Which was an improvement on the joke that was the last time we had gone out together when, with my relationship with X now declared to J, she had repeatedly fended off the men that tried hitting on me by insisting that I had a boyfriend [though stated as, “Yeye ana bwana”-she has a husband :D]. We left that club because of J’s insistence.

The one we went to had an age limit that the lady at the door imagined up at the sight of us [23 & over-who ever heard of that?] and we ended up at the club we had gone to for B’s 22nd on the night of the 8th/9th. We-J & I- (you have to believe this) fell asleep & in the end J went to her hostel (my & B’s former residence) & I put B up for the night. Thankfully, my roommate hadn’t been in on those 2 days, sparing all the parties involved the awkwardness of a shared bed…

Sunday January 31st: I woke up to lock the door after B left, lay on my bed and showered & ate in time to look calm when X came to watch Woody Allen’s ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’, the first of his films we are (were?-English is confusing…) to watch together. We were originally meant to watch ‘Sherlock Holmes’ at the theatre but a conglomeration of factors meant that we started on our list… The twin & X had an awkward moment when I left him to get VCB & she went to my room to pick her book without my informing her of his presence. But it was OK in the end…with X remarking on the film’s ‘European’ qualities…

This past weekend rocked…the CAT I had today, that I aced, couldn’t cast a shadow on it… The small moments (my uncle-who calls me his ‘niece & friend’-calling me, my friend & I planning a post-birthday lunch in lieu of her presence) the ones that made the day what it was, the time spent with X (so hard to get since I became a First Lady πŸ˜‰ )….I had a great time…

And about X & I not being physical…I couldn’t have said it better than SSS did… I want something to happen,Β  I’d like for something to happen…but I have the sense to know that rushing matters won’t make for a great ride and so while I wait [need I say ‘hopefully’?], I shall enjoy all the beauty of my life & the joy of my love πŸ™‚

PS Mo, I wish you’d been around…it would have been like the Ribena ad with the blackcurrant that can no longer contain itself…its goodness just overwhelms it… We miss you…

The year that was…

I don’t like retrospective posts…..and yet here I am….

This is more thanksgiving than anything else………Thank you God/Gaia/Mother Nature for:

(Disclaimer: Not in order of importance)

J: That life saver. She made 2009 so much more worth it…helping me get a hostel, taking me to hospital, resurrecting my love of karaoke πŸ™‚ Being a friend’s friend xx

Mo: He is such a clown!!! A great friend to have, a walking social network… He is very much the big brother I’d have crafted for myself………and so much more. And to Mo: You’re Kenyan, you can stop now πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for being awesome…..awesomeness becomes you…

B: Her and J, salala!! There should be a fine for being great friends…..those two should pay through the nose!! Thank you, you two, for being tops!

My twin: Eh, those cocoas and talks and walks &…..randomness, fun times. She gave me the courage to seek religion…and accepted me even when I was lost in so many senses….My study buddy, my confidante, I love her πŸ™‚

My ma: She and I have been through a ton of things this year; the heartbreak, the triumphs, the dreams… She helps me remember my greatness….and to reach for the stars…..I am one of them, after all

Marie: He he, I’m European too, if she insists….. That girl is a chunk of fun. Fullstop. And that all-nighter we pulled on the 1st of 2010? Well worth it πŸ™‚

My aunt L: She has been such a revelation for me this year. Where would I be without the hot meals, showers, warm bed? Let me not think about it *shudders*

My dad: We have our moments of non-bliss but 2009 was a year of discovery. I have learnt to forgive myself because I know him…

My dad’s friend H: For giving meΒ  a place to bum, have a cocoa, enjoy myself. Questioning me when I smoked…… I am grateful

My friend E: I felt so cheap, dirty, when I had a moment of stupidity with a guy I don’t like……but she pulled me out of the morass I had started making of my life. Every girl needs a friend like her; I am blessed

My twin’s friend M: If it hadn’t been for her, I’d have struggled moving through the maze that is living in school accommodation…..Β  God bless her πŸ™‚

W: Shopping buddy, fun times mate, person that embraces all of me. He was there for the ups and downs and the randomness in between….. 2010 will be fun with him around..

Mama M: She has become like a mother to me….finally I can say I have lots of family to count on

T: That boy is wise beyond his years…. I’m proud to be his sister

My friend C: Finding her after almost 3 years was an epiphany…. It’s good to find her grown, changed and yet still my friend πŸ™‚

N, my best friend: She’s been thousands of kilometres away and I’ve been lacklustre in my communication but I look forward to a good year….

P: Lawd, what was that??!!! I’m grateful that my moment of idiocy was with a person with discretion…it’s so easy, when you do something silly, to disregard the goodness in the other person. He is a good guy, and I hope he’s happy with someone.

Jay S: I found a freshman to befriend πŸ˜‰ inΒ  my second year of school… I’m grateful for all those times when he listened to me, hugged me, bugged me, dined with me……

Josh: My library buddy, my friend…..the one who made sure I always got home safe………

Inno: I know where to go if I need a place to crash…..thanks to her

Z: Without her, I’d never have experienced Lamu. I’m going to Russia v v soon to get her!!!!

L: She and I have come from far….and she always aids me to believe in myself that much more…

My roommate V: She’s quite something…

And finally…..

X: I will that this bit is short….. He has taught me something that I never thought I would learn: Grace. To be undeserving and yet receive. I have felt confused, amazed, angry…the whole gamut of emotions really….because of this one person.EvenΒ  though I’ve practically vowed not to tell him I love him (The Rules πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ ), I do. I love the way he makes conversation from little things, his taste in music, his forthrightness, his intelligence, his courage……his ability to make me happy….those letters, the .1 child….all the things the future has in store for us. He is the Dr Burke to my Cristina Yang, accepting my idiosyncrasies and myΒ  inability to appreciate the religious side of things…. I just hope no one’s ditching anyone at any altar any time soon………

I’m grateful for all these people and all those who were a blessing along the way……2010, bring it on!

. Parties & such

So, em, I’m back [a bit obviously, ahem]

Light or heavy first?

I have become an insomniac…so here I am blogging at 2358 instead of being in bed [why do I insist on 24 hour time? Force of habit, I guess] and that has led me to all sorts of places. (Un)fortunately, not in the literal sense. Ag. I miss W 😦 That was random, that thing I just said…It’ll stay…

Today [that is to say, the day that just ended] was a wonderful day. I got one-on-one time with my great friend C & more importantly, Tusker Project Fame 3 came to an end. Of course TPF3 was much more important than seeing C; as demonstrated by the rest of this post…

I went clubbing in Kisumu [woop woop] with C & my high school classmate J. Eh, Magaribina concurs with me; Kisumu is a trip. In a literal & figurative sense for me…being as the townhouse (as if, but not quite) is in Maseno [wonderful university town], a 30 minute drive from Kisumu. Now when I say 30 minutes, I am not being faithful to the facts. Such as matatus (public transport minibuses) that cannot possibly move if they are not carrying excess passengers…it’s against Matatu Code to follow rules. Yes, visit Kenya ujionee [literally, ‘see for yourself’ as opposed to your friend seeing for you<–dogs excepted :)] the wonders that are the commuter transport system.

>>>>Stay focused, The Shaboozle!!!<<<<

Where was I? Yes, Kisumu clubbing. First, we had to eat…chicken at a particular eatery [if you saw a girl in a heavy sweater at Tammiez last Saturday; guilty] was supposed to beat that at any other. Mother dearest was most definitely not intrigued by turn of events….had expected to cook for C & J (OK, mostly C…J doesn’t jingle her bell*) but hey, gulls girls sometimes fly away from their mums in such ways πŸ™‚ To get there we had to get on a tuk tuk [should really get phone with camera, really] from a random bus stop [It was right there close to the middle of nowhere]. Several minutes later; chicken (well worth the wait), ugali & kachumbari (savoury, I think it would be called?) is served. This after C & I had gone to the bar to get drinks-this girl is always dehydrated *before I forget; T currently calls a balloon filled with water a ‘hydra’<–love that boy* & I was told I could do a random dance called ‘the jungle’ really awesomely. AwEsOmE πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Then *The Rave* Ai, Caramba. Tuk tuk, again. I walk to the rave in Nairobi being a proud citizen of a walking working country & all πŸ™‚ so it was strange having to board a means of conveyance to the rave. From, yeah, because some people are smashed and really need to be carried by, you know, a car. Some place called Grillz. Entrance charge 100KES (about US$1.30) is waaay out of the league of most university students [read: C, J & The Shaboozle], club-hopping wise. Which means once the decision is made -or made for you as in my case being as it was my first time in Kisumu post-2100- you stick to it. Oi, thanks Kisumu for allowing us to savour options…Full of aggressive men [NO means, well, no], gay men-these ones I am at peace with :), & the man who didn’t contemplate that I could possibly not want to go home with him after dancing with him, accepting a drink & having a conversation.

I found a dam near the townhouse. Bliss. I’m really earthy in the installation in nature sort of way, he he. Was led there by T (who thinks himself quite the tour guide) today…Bliss (oops! said that already) It’s pretty in the way abandoned things are…and allowed me the peace to speak to T about stuff (probably overload him…world’s best 9 year old; I β™₯ him :)..). My mum had practically kicked us out of the house (and we were headed out, would you believe!) and I had a chance to talk about a conversation I had with X yesterday. About the weirdness surrounding the long distance, the distance in and of itself… He said it had been latent; I had refused to speak about it even with my cousin F, who’s half of a long distance relationship (LDR) herself. I can’t wait for school to resume, ag. To see X again…<–Enough!!!

I’m going to throw my daughter(s) period party/ies of the sort in Vagina Monologues (the book) when they have their first. My mum was shocked albeit prepared when I had mine-very distinct memory of self calming down said mum….we’ve come from v v far, she & I. One’s first period should be celebrated, rejoiced, enjoyed, remembered with joy….and I’ll make sure she/they has/ve that. I just wanted that out. Ah, now it’s out.

Random something or other: X is a great listener. The sort that retransmits your information & makes you question yourself as you talk…my favourite sort of listener. Putting that down on my ‘What I love about X’ list. I felt a bit stranged out [is that a word? If no, it is now….I’ve gotten tired of ‘weirded out’] by the whole Kisumu debacle. I felt like I had, what do I say?, cheated on X. I felt sorta like this video:

Strange that I should have Blue October here considering X’s latest post is related to them. Eish, great minds πŸ˜€ But I think, not going home with said guy is more important than whatever signals I may have been giving him in order to end up being asked to be one half of a one night stand. I’ll say it here: The long distance is not the best thing to happen to our relationship. Young and fragile & all. But I’m growing up along with it and I like what I am becoming πŸ™‚

Talk to you soon πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

0159 STOP πŸ˜€

Fuzzy Lumpkin

You know the guy; from Power Puff Girls. He hairy; he so hairy he don’t got no skin (speaks like that, too πŸ˜€ )

I’m through with shaving, really I am. I’m going natural. OK, I’m not being honest. I’m kinda going natural. That is to say some bits will remain artificial…he he he…like my accent (as if, I’d be working for Nairobi’s Capital FM if I had one of those)……while my hair stays well away from a salon. Eh, how will I survive? It’s hard going without processed hair in the wonderful city I shall soon go back to called Nairobi…I mean, seriously, who will accept me…Neanderthal female that I shall have transformed into? The Good Lord help me (religious references are high today, what?) and keep me from salons. Amen (resounding like those televangelists who keep you glued to your TV screen, you know they do)!!! Preach, The Shaboozle, preach! Mmh, Imma testify (I’ve moved from redneck to black in one post….too much American TV, I’m going Brit…he he he).

Eh, but white people make not-shaving sound like a crime. Oh, my mother’s friends chose not to shave etc, goes one Obama (the president, not one of the girls….I said white people)… And they died. No, seriously, they did! Of being hairy…Obituary went something like this:

Obama’s Mum’s friend…loving mum, friend yada yada yada… No flowers. Please donate to the End to Anti-shaving campaign.

And there was a nice ribbon on the side as were once popular for people who passed away from AIDS. Really, people, you can survive with body hair. And let’s not even talk about J’s friend N who’s a religious waxer (hail the order of the waxed); the universe help her when her hair grows back (God forbid); her skin shall itch like you wouldn’t believe. Not that I’m speaking from experience, you see. I’m highly perceptive, and a voracious reader. That’s all my information πŸ™‚

Got a letter from X on Friday. It’s coming to a close soon, that relationship of his with The Shaboozle, I tell you. I have seen the writing on the Facebook wall. I realised his value system and mine are so different that we were going to be at war soon. He has a weapon of mass destruction distraction that he’s not using. It’s called technology. He said [in response to the message I promised to send him in this entry] that I ‘mean a lot’ to him & he won’t let his issues get in the way but updated his Facebook status to say he’s only human (hence can only do so much etc) so I was pretty pissed (I love me some alliteration) when I saw that. [Aside: his mum was unwell at the time & my mum & I agreed message was a bit un-empathetic. Apologising turned out to be a ticket for him to resume previous behaviour. They always said not to apologise, he he he]

And then he’s willing to tell me things about himself he would do well to keep to himself. Today the voices in my head were talking to each other (the voices of Me, Myself & I can get loud at times…especially when I am asleep and they contrive to masquerade as characters in my dreams…I’m on to you, Voices In My Head) and they were telling X that I wouldn’t be able to tell my our children about Justice & Fairness. In this, I think the voices in my head were watching Al Jazeera English along with me as Al Jazeera’s Riz Khan interviewed Hanan Ashrawi [get a life, you voices! or your own programmes to watch for Pete’s sake] Reason: he got his internship through his mum’s contacts (it had to be done because he’s so daft someone has to arm-twist someone else. Chief reason I’m going out with him, his IQ is soo high). And in his letter, he tells me about how his aunt enabled him to be bumped ahead on the queue when he went to his chosen hospital’s A&E (pompous new way of saying ‘Casualty’ but oh, doesn’t it sound classy…say it, you know you want to πŸ˜€ ) being as she worked there. Odd, I thought it was him I was telling that I loved England for the fact that everyone there respects the queue. Here, in Kenya, to ask someone to join & respect a queue is seen to be an act of courage. Oh, look at me, I’ve walked in Baghdad during bombings…and asked someone to respect a queue. Where is my Nobel Peace Prize, already? More importantly, when did we get children? Someone is becoming a girl…eh! Save her from herself…

I was told, quote, I have ‘hiyo maneno yote’ (translation for my readers from the non-Swahili speaking world [usidharau Swa, it’s a UN working language, eh] : all that jazz) on my blog. I wonder if the person in question had in mind: what I say or how much I say. Idea: I could ask the said person [my brother W1’s mum L].

Unrelated news: I’m going to Lamu in November. Of course the lovely people at my university will give me 3 days off school for the Lamu Cultural Festival. I have organised accomodation at one of my best friends’ (my desk-mate in Form 2 and room-mate in Form 4’s. Wonderful school I went to. Friends in every corner of the republic…and beyond…) house. Thanks, Z. She’s an awesome friend, she is πŸ™‚ And I’m set in terms of funds for the trip there & gifts for my friend’s family (whom I’ve never met…true friendship, I say) plus I’ve become a mini-expert on Lamu. Of course, I have. You don’t have to go somewhere to be an expert. Who goes to, say, Iceland…he he he [nothing against Iceland, I should visit]? It’s a joke, all you Icelanders looking at me with menacing eyes!

I am looking forward to a great week. For some reason. A good one; I think. Enjoy yours πŸ™‚

Recommended author: The New York Times’ Donald G. McNeil, Jr. Terribly witty, he is. And a wonderful, wry sense of humour. Try him πŸ™‚ [I’m not forcing issues, am I?]

I’d rather have a goat

My latest expression to mean

I don’t care!!

It all started with an invitation from my friend to attend his function in Nairobi. YAY!!! Nairobi….I thought….Till a week before when I had an Aha! moment.

I could buy 2 goats with that money…and tutor my cousin during that time. So I called my friend, apologised and didn’t go to Nairobi…

I really would rather have a goat.

Sorry A…