I wake up at 8 am today. A record. You all know I wake up at 10 am on Saturdays. It’s getting harder and harder to wake up at that time nowadays. I have made a pact with myself that I will not neglect friendships in the name of resting away during the weekend. So I wake up, dillydally in the warmness of the blankets, chat with a friend, let miss cat join me as usual and then I finally make it out at 8:30 am. Someone congratulates me for waking up that early. Well in. I am up because I am headed for a wedding. A wedding I cannot fail to attend. Hannah’s wedding. If you frequent this blog, you know Hannah. Hannah almost always is the one who comments first on my posts. If she doesn’t do it here, she will do it on my Hangouts. Every single time. We met last year in the course of our former jobs. We connected instantly. One of those meetings you do not regret. I rarely meet people in real life like that and that’s why Hannah has a special place in my heart.
Anyway, I do not have a plus one for the wedding. My baby sister is always the first plus one I think of, especially because I cannot leave her behind as I am on babysitting duty when everyone is away on Saturday. We get ready and leave earlier than I expected, but of course, not without some drama that comes with my dear Claire. We discover that her Tomy Takkies are sorta wet inside and her only other mud-suitable shoes, save for her toughees, are now suddenly tight on her feet, not to mention torn. Today, I am at my best mood, I am not getting mad. I tend to be in very good moods when I look at myself in the mirror and feel different from my usual tomboyish looks. We will buy shoes on the way to NPC Karen.
We are taking a 103 matatu after meeting up with B who is going to check on a parcel that cost me an arm and a leg at the post office. (Note to self: Last time I am shipping something via the post office.) Nothing much happens on this trip conducted by a female kange with very nice spectacles. Next, matatu to Karen at Dagoretti Corner. There’s this guy reading a self-help book. Too adorable. We get to Karen. Claire splashes mud all over my leg. Lol. I get agitated. The woman just in front of us tells me to calm down, I will wipe it out. Good mood, Shiku, good mood. We get to Bata and get her flats. Now on to Nakumatt to check out the wedding registry. Funny enough, I have been to Nakumatt too many times after the whole #NakumattonTrial saga. More times than I have ever been to Nakumatt in my life. I am telling you negative publicity has a way of pulling me in. I like it now.
Here we waste almost an hour. First of all, the friendly customer service lady thinks I am asking for a wedding registry for myself. Amen to that, sister! 😀 Second of all, she cannot find the right Hannah weds Paul list at first. She brings a weird list belonging to Ann and Paul, two Kikuyus who want sodas for gifts. I am not kidding you btw. After another many minutes of me loading the wedding invitation on my mailbox and showing her the full names, she brings me the real list. Very specific wish list if I might add. Now I know how wedding registries work. Many other minutes later, we are getting the gift wrapped at the checkout. Some more friendly Nakumatt dudes who think Claire is my daughter. Aaaawww. Thanks guys. Amen again.
We are out of Nakumatt, all the while I am thinking we’re late, we’re late. Oh well. We get there and turns out we’re not late. Thank God, CITAM guys are also Kenyan timers as all other Kenyans at weddings. I found it very interesting that the bridal party stands all through the service. If it was my wedding and I am standing there in high heels, I would probably just scream and ask for a seat. Also, they deliver the sermon before the vows. This mutaratara girl cannot understand what is happening at first. Needless to say, the wedding is very beautiful and well-attended. And it is purple. Plus the couple is so much fun. They do this mad dash into a dance at the end of the service and I think, wow, this will be a dancing couple.
At the reception, it’s all dresses, queues and children, like every other reception. Nice food. Very organized way of giving gifts. I liked it. I also think it had something to do with it being a Luo wedding. Hehe. I have gone to many weddings and never seen this. Probably because they are always Kikuyu weddings. That’s the other thing about me. Unless I am explicitly invited to a wedding, I will not just go. I am not a fan of weddings where I don’t know anyone. So I only attend family weddings, thus Kikuyu weddings. This is changing now because my friends are now getting married. 😉 In the end, I have to leave early because Claire is getting bored plus there’s no way we’re getting rained on. It has been happening too many times to me. Not with a kid it will not happen! So we wait for the couple to come in, watch the drummers and dancing, take pics and leave. Hannah will not even know I was there until later.
The thing about Karen is that when you are there and live in Upper Westlands (ahem), you have like three choices to get home. Lang’ata Road, Ngong’ Road or Dagoretti Road. So we’re standing there with my “daughter” debating on whether to go down to Karen shopping centre or up to CBD when this lady comes up to us and asks if we are waiting for a matatu. I instantly like her and decide to walk with her up the wide road past Galleria to the bus stop. In heels. Bad mistake. To cut the long story short, it’s a nice ride because I am talking to a stranger like we know each other which I never do. We get to Haile Selassie Avenue and you will never guess what happens.
You know how they tell you not to alight before you get to a bus stop because of “kanjo”? Well, this was not any different. Some were brave enough to jump out of the matatu in the jam. So when we were about to do it ourselves, some strange dudes carrying empty bags get into the matatu from nowhere, wearing concerned faces.
“Wekeni seatbelt! Ni kubaya kule mbele!” the dark one with a blue and black schoolbag claims, squeezing the male passenger in front of us to his seat.
“Mtashikwa na kanjo!” the one who has made his way to the seat next to us continues.
They block the door and we cannot get out; me, Claire and the other passenger. I know I have finally come face to face with the Nairobi thieves I hear about. I freak out. And I cannot do anything about it. The driver at the front is chanting “mwisho wa gari, mwisho wa gari” while the kange on the ground is on to some gibberish because they obviously know something is wrong. The traffic is still at a standstill. The thugs will not stop making their claims and look like they are being chased by someone. To cut the long story short, something make them let us out. I do not know what, I do not know why but we jump out very fast. The last thing on my mind is “kanjo” or my aching feet. Another trip to Bata, another attendant referring to me as mum to Claire and I am finally at peace and itching to get out of this place.
God is good, people. That was my Saturday. Lots of lessons. Lots of joy. Slight scare. Hope you had a lovely one. Stay focussed!