Lodgings

If you have ever taken a woman to a lodging for a romp, you must be cheap, shady or old. And at one point in our lives we are cheap, shady or old. Lodgings come in classes as i observed when my uncle recently led a first year university kid whose hormones were rioting to a seedy lodging along Accra Road…

Cheaper ones go for less than Ksh 1000, and mostly located in the seedier parts of town. The rooms in such establishments are invariably named after mountains, rivers or types of rice in the market. Not bad for tourism or to our culinary heritage, if you ask me. Their beddings reek of a smell from cheap soap that is normally exported to a country like Malawi, or Central African Republic. Their beddings are always in some mysterious shades of blue or green that is creepy. These beddings have cleaned a million genitals since Robert Ouko was killed.

If they have TV, it will be an Aucma. Though the TV left the manufacturer coloured in this lodgings they are always in black and white. Their toilets have those cisterns that you pull a wire upwards to flush. In Kenya that is invention and innovation at its best. The bottom of the toilet bowl is sickeningly green with algae that turn 41 this January. The shower mast looks creaky and rusty. The towel will be hard in some parts, crusty in others . It takes a special form of courage and recklessness to even wipe your feet with the towel.

There are average lodgings. Basically upgraded cheaper ones. The TV works. The toilet might be cleaner, their towel softer and bed sheets white. They mostly have first generation mosquito nets. Those white ugly things given to us by UN in the 90s to fight malaria. The ones that had a metallic ring that we clipped to the roof and tucked to the corners of the bed. Those things were ugly.

Often they go for Ksh 1000-1500 and serve some breakfast delivered from hell. Some whitish bread that you have never tested, tea that tastes like that it has been made with sheep milk and margarine that sounds like it was imported from Gambia. Keeping up with the health message they will serve half an orange that looks that it had been refrigerated in a Chinese fridge for four and half days. And of course that boiled egg or a sausage more crinkled than an old man’s penis after a cold weather. The tea is served in a flask that has seen glorious and better days. You will be woken up at around 9.30 to clear from the room.

And behind the door are rules of tenancy or occupancy that mostly warn you never to make a souvenir out of their bed-sheets, towel, soap or tissue paper. The rules are signed by ‘Order’ or ‘Management’ and always read like stupid.

And then there are classic lodgings. They go for more than Ksh 2000. They are tiled. They have superb beddings. They are spacious. They look like your bedroom( that is, if you have a decent bedroom). The bed is certainly bigger and the mattress super. The pillows are level and their beddings are mostly white. The proprietors can trust their clients, so no many legalese warnings. .

They serve good breakfast and the gentlemen or lady who attend to you are exceedingly courteous, more out of the forlorn expectation that you will tip them than professionalism. The bed is bigger. You can use their beddings comfortably, even their towel ( to wipe your feet) and you can breathe fresh air and the TV always works right, though your channels might be limited to some 24-hour Christian channel or Nat-Geo. There is a bedside table for your phone and wallet and hooks to hang your clothes so that they don’t crease. These small things are what justify the price.

We sleep use lodgings for two reasons: when travelling or when shagging a woman you don’t value. May be you do, who am I to judge.

Lodgings and condoms are a constant reminder that human beings are driven by their sexual impulses. Any time human sexuality has been curtailed by disease or unwanted pregnancies or biological malfunction of body parts or psychological shortcomings, we have invented things to get us going. Condoms, morning after pills, Viagra, penile enlargements programmes, virginal oils, name it.

And lodgings were basically invented to tap into our sexual urges that strike anytime. In the absence of green-lodges (that is the bush for kids born after 1990), lodgings come in handy. Can you imagine as teenagers or young adults in the late 80s and 90s, we discovered sex in the bushes, mostly at twilight.

Personally I have hardly used a lodging. When I lived in Juba, the only form of housing was the numerous lodgings. I packed in a room that went for 50SSP(about Sh 1000) daily. They were owned by an Eritrean.

Juba is a scorching city. The temperatures can go as high as 45 degrees. You wake up and start with two litres of water. You sweat while taking a shower. In spite of these, I used to see guys coming with women for an afternoon romp. I mean, we know being horny drives men and women to quell the pelvic thirst whenever, wherever.But sex in a hot day, or afternoon is reminder that we are animals that are only tamed by societal rules. I did move to a better lodging that went for 150 SSP(Ksh 3000) and it was slightly better. No shady men and shade commercial sex workers having sex at 1.40 pm, with the sun blazing down. What can be more disgusitng?

Anyway, the only other time I have ever stayed in a lodging was when I was in Kisii Town with my campus buddy Bon-I. We were in the company of two fine ladies. By the way two best friends. So picture, two best male friends and two best female friends booked into an hotel, having dinner and alcohol being chilled and it is a Friday. Bon-I was making some headway with his catch, while I was having trouble explaining why I am so mean on women, if I am gay, if I am dating etc etc. Bon-I had one Freudian slip of the tongue and things went downhill for your boy. I had too many Guinnesses and I was intoxicated. We slept together but I couldn’t broach up the subject.

What was I thinking? In the morning I woke up with a 100,000 kilowatts hangover. I Threw up all the undigested food and liquor after I tried licking a pineapple at the breakfast table. That day I drunk 12 bottles of 500ml Dasani water and contemplated quitting alcohol, but I was advised to change to a friendlier beer. Hence my love with Tusker begun. Long story.

Back lodgings. I hate lodgings. They connote humanity’s unbridled and untamed sexual desire. One fine lady I had dated ever declared that she will never ever sleep in a lodging, much less get laid in one. There is Hilton. I haven’t seen her in a while. May be now that she is older, she can appreciate the utilitarian significance of lodgings.

All women with a touch of class cannot be taken to a lodging along Tom Mboya, Accra Road or the notorious Luthuli Avenue. You won’t believe the number of lodgings in Nairobi’s CBD or the sex business in Nairobi. Every minute from 9 in the morning nonstop to the following day, men and women, married or unmarried are getting some in such lodgings. It doesn’t matter whether they are dingy, seedy or cheesy.

The generation that uses lodgings is significantly older. Mostly married guys who would like some anonymity. Maybe one day you might bump into your wife with a tall, menacing man who looks like he didn’t spare anything for you as you are walking up with that college student from Shikokoti in Vihiga.

Smarter guys will find other ways than a lodging. A lodging belies a certain level of desperation. Ultra-red. Those who throng to lodgings means that they cannot restrain themselves. They are controlled by their flesh than their mind. Any woman who has ever been shagged in a lodging should know that she is cheap. A man who truly cherishes a woman will respect her to take to a decent hotel.

However may be it is mutual. But if a man wants it so much, he must pay for a better place. A woman needs a reason to have sex and man needs a place. The place better be good. But know this 30% of the buggers walking those streets after Moi Avenue are up to good.

One of these days I will go and stand outside those hotels with names like Paradise or Glory along Ronald Ngala and watch guys coming from inside. You can always know who is from having some. Those who strive to be natural…

Speech for UoN class of 2013

Speech for the graduating classes of 2013
“It is a cold, wild world waiting for you”
By Silas Nyanchwani

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2013. I don’t know between your lecturer and aunt Google, who should take the credit, but I will let that pass.

I know you all wish we could skip to the part where we call your names; you throw your caps up, take pictures and go for the party. You will need that party, it is probably the last you will have for a long time. So I will cut to the chase and tell you what those professors and others on the dais earning undeserved honorary degrees will not tell you.

First, I do understand the certain and expectant attitude of those who have been in blue-chip courses; the medics, lawyers, engineers, planners and architects. I can feel the insecurity around those in business, economics and their unrealistic expectations in the job market. I can sense the palpable anxiety of those in Arts and Anthropology who are wondering where they will find jobs. It is only natural.

The first thing you will learn in the next few weeks is the depressing gap between fantasy and reality. Start by forgetting that Ksh 80,000 job you have been dreaming about. It is for the extremely few and the luckiest. Luck only favours a certain minority, and the least you expect. So you will have to periodically adjust your expectations. Soon or later even a Ksh 20,000 job will be good enough.

Another thing you are about to learn is that some of your female colleagues will never have to work hard in their lives. Their beauty and voluptuous bodies will guarantee them good jobs, instant promotions and generally good lives. Such is life, deal with it.

So start by regulating your expectations. Higher expectations breed more disappointments and disillusionment. If after a year, you don’t have a job, self-loathing and reproaching will set in. This often coincides with HELB reminding you to repay that loan, that they are fining you Ksh 5,000 monthly, anyway. Some will have to stick with bad and unsatisfying jobs. Some will quit. Life will be harsh on you so much you will wonder why you were born bright. Your colleagues who went to tertiary colleges or joined the military are buying houses, getting married and having a life. You soon discover we don’t author our own lives.

The excitement you have today will wane as days go by and you realise no one is calling you after dropping your CVs in 103 organisations. It will take them so long to get back to you until you get the point: they don’t make more jobs today than they churn out graduates. Most of you will know what it means to be an adult and broke. For men for instance, having date will become a luxury, unless you have a very understanding girlfriend. Good luck with that.

For men, today, don’t impregnate a woman or marry too soon after college. Family and children will blackmail you to conform with societal expectations, essentially sticking up with a bad job, because bills have to be paid. A married man who borrows money to pay rent is a sad case study. Don’t be intimidated by societal norms, peer pressure, pressure from your girlfriend or anyone. Be your own man. Nothing stifles creativity than conformity.

For women, timing will be crucial in all your endeavours. That Masters, that child, that marriage will give you nightmares in the short run. Those from poor backgrounds or without means will find marriage an easier option. It is an experiment that proves wrong when motherhood slows down personal progress. You have to be careful on what you give in to first. Choices have consequences. Don’t be complacent.

Don’t compare your life with that of your friends. Comparison is the death of contentment. From here, life will play much more differently. Out goes the herd mentality, in comes the capitalist individual. Some are coming back for their postgraduate in the next intake. Some will move into business and be rich at a miraculous speed. Some will get plum jobs. It doesn’t matter. Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead. Sometimes you’re behind. The competition is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Times will be tough for the majority. But don’t lose your cool. Be calm. If you lose your cool, you harm yourself. Some will take longer getting that dream job or any job at all. Or even getting into business. But eventually, with hard work, belief in self, things have a way of turning around.

Those who will succeed, remember to be humble. Life is short. Be good to those around you. Reward those who make your life easier every day. Your spouse, your shopkeeper, your newspaper vendor, your mechanic and your security guard. Anyone. Remember relatives who are less fortunate and pull them up. Education serves its purpose when we all do good to make our society more equal and equitable.

The theses you have written, the highly esoteric term papers and your erudite arguments that you hold daily count for zilch if they don’t bring any good to the less privileged.

If you mess things up, you have to pick up yourself. Whether it is at the workplace, in relationships, family, anywhere. Ladies don’t stick in toxic relationship. Men avoid women who might ruin your life. But should you fall, hold your feet on the ground strong. Cry. Regret. Move on.

Remember the world can run without you. Osama bin Laden is gone. Hosni Mubarak and that other dictator from Tunisia are gone. Muammar Gadaffi, for all his supposedly noble Pan-African ideas, is gone. Mugabe will go. Putin will go. Nothing lasts forever. We are all dispensable. And yes, the world can run without you.

Nothing is definite. Nothing is guaranteed. Nothing is given. All you need is preparedness to deal with whatever life throws at you. It is a cold world out here. Just find your way and whatever that brings you happiness. Be patient.

What will be your place? Wherever it is, find it. And be patient. God’s time is the best.