There are moments we all savour in life. Like when you are in the house all alone, walking around in boxers humming to your favourite old school rap. The better, if you are boiling some Matoke to be mixed with well-spiced, left over beef. A slight hangover helps to make the moment really merry. Next you want to watch some cracker or finish up that Nelson DeMille novel.
We all have those moments. We can’t real capture what is it about them only that they make us incredibly happy…Here are my ten best moments, anytime I am in Nairobi…
10. Going for a short/long call in 5-star Hotel (Hilton in particular)
The fun is in the salute the security guards will give you thinking that you are a professional or a business man. They salute you as you walk in, and you casually or arrogantly nod back depending on the pressure from the call. If it is one of those unrelenting calls that you have to attend immediately, you walk in like you are really late for an appointment.
You go to their loos, they are invariably sparkling clean with running water. You can trust the toilet seat. You don’t have to horse-ride ( if you are a man) or wipe it with a tissue paper(if you are a woman). You do your thang comfortably, while surfing your phone. You finish, you wash your hands, wipe yourself clean and dry and walk out and salute back to them and you walk into the streets of Nairobi having answered some of the most important calls in life.
The reason this works for me is that these security guards are so brainwashed and insist on treating Whites better and every young black man as a suspect. We can’t really blame them, given that they don’t know better. They are not exposed enough to know that we are all human beings. But being saluted as you go to take a dump is a nice tradeoff for all the humiliation they subject to us. PERFECT.
9. In matatu/jav home and music is your damn playlist
OK, for guys from Eastlands, we will call our means of public transport Matatu. For those from the other side of Uhuru Highway, stick to call them Jav. (SIDENOTE: SCREW THEM).
At my age ordinarily, music in a Jav, er, Matatu is a nuisance that reminds me why I need to afford me a car soon, but every once in a while, you get to a matatu and you stumble upon really vintage music. Old school R&B works for me, or old school rap. Or those classic reggae songs by I-Jah-Man Levi, GI, IV, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and the likes. Or some Rhumba. You take a nostalgic trip and you don’t mind the traffic at all, especially if you are not in any specific hurry. The downside for this, is that, when you are just about to alight is when TuPac and K-CI & JOJO’s ‘How do you want it?’ comes on. You want to stick back and enjoy it, but you have to alight.
There is something amazing when you hear your favourite song from elsewhere other than your system. Your neighbour’s crib, though they have the annoying habit of tuning to another station as soon as you pose to listen to it. In a matatu or a club. Occasionally you stumble upon a song you last heard in 1998 on KBC’s English service travelling somewhere in Kericho County, and memories flood back. And it is the particular memories that come back. Like the smell of the lady who sat next to you. Back then they used Lady Gay. Or the colour of her thighs. Light-skin thighs are more memorable (clue to to the woman who friendzoned me).
8. Stumbling upon a good blog, article online and wondering why you never discovered it or the author earlier
For a creative like me, stumbling upon something good is always welcome relief from the same things that I feed myself every day. So it is always great, getting a good blog to bear me through the traffic, in the morning, in the evening.
7. Having a meal at Kosewe-Ranalo
Even though, their prices seem to be going up exponentially, they have maintained quality uncommon for restaurants in their caliber. Their Ugali is of the best standards, gauged on the Luhyia-Kisii-Luo meter. Their fish’s size has been going down (I think they no longer get them from Lake Victoria). But they have not compromised on the quality. By doing so, over the last five years, they have had me as a customer twice every month. The better if you in good company, preferably male. It is men who appreciate the value of a good meal. Women have this annoying habit of leaving their entire fish there. Really disgusting. If they knew the amount of time and money invested towards getting that fish to the table.
6. Striking a clean deal, and earning untaxed money
My homie Plato recently spotted a Ksh 20,000 deficit in his paycheck. The first one in his life and he fully understood how evil the government can be. He had never understood that the government never consults you when they rob you. It took firefighters to calm him down. Boy, was he furious?
Anyway, there is that moment you offer some consultancy services and you get a clean cheque of Ksh 47, 500 or when you broker something and that kickback lands by MPESA. Clean Sh 70, 000. The beauty of it is when you buy that thing that you have fancied many a time, but never had the money. The plasma TV, your dream smartphone…name it. Ultimately, it is enjoying using the phone or whatever you buy that counts.
5. Helping a needy friend or relative in time
As an African adult, well-doing, you constantly receive a call from your sibling, parents or even a less fortunate friend.
“(in a humble tone), Hey, unaeza nisaidia 3K nifixie samo Fulani hapa please?”
Not that I am gloating or I pray that some people be unfortunate so that I can be helpful. Never. The truth is that when someone humbles him or herself until they request money from you, it is only heartwarming when you help them in time.You feel uplifted. That is the most African thing that I like. Our generosity. It never dies away. I have equally been helped and the feeling that there someone out there who really cares is a good one.
4. That first sip of a beer (preferably Tusker)
Anyone who takes Tusker, knows that orgasmic, crispy taste of the first sip. Especially if it is a particularly hot day, and you have just a healthy and hearty meal that you want to wash down. That sip is indescribable, it is the closest I know to an orgasm. We can call it a BEERGASM. AH-see what I have just done.
In Unrelated News, I am quitting beer.
3. Having beer with groundnuts watching Arsenal play in a local
The beauty of Eastlands is that they let Hawkers into joints. Now when you take Ksh 50 and you buy nuts for yourself and cold beer as Arsenal plays is electric. It reminds you of your manhood and why you should respect the institution of manhood. This is the most masculine act you can do in Nairobi.
The chewed groundnut paste in the mouth combined with slightly warm Tusker is a good thing. Try it. Thank me late.
2. Enjoying good music from finely tuned speakers, reading your favourite magazine/book/novel
Sometimes chilling in the house, your playlist in shuffle mode is the best thing that can happen to you. The order of the songs surprises you and you admire the beauty of life.
1. Going to Church
Nothing beats this. If especially you get there in time and the pastor comes to the pulpit to preach and actually has something to say. The better if there are choirs singing nicely. I especially like when children sing. Their innocent voices, always touch me. I can listen to them all day.
There are many, but those are the my simple moments that constantly remind me why life is good, amidst all the fears and uncertainties.