Someone keeps saying I should do more travel pieces, but I keep fighting it, in the spirit of keeping things under wraps. But something changed this time, and I thought it’s good to talk about travelling in its true unInstagrammable form. It started with missing my flight. You do not want to ever miss your flight, friend. If you are going somewhere in the evening, just make sure you are at JKIA by afternoon, honestly. I fought against my very instinct and ended up leaving way later and then not using the bypass. So once we were stuck in Upper Hill traffic, I knew we were done for and just pretty much gave up.
You will meet drivers who think they know Nairobi shortcuts, those that lead you straight into the bowels of the traffic glut itself claiming there is less traffic in the tiny roads. It is painful. And, I, for one, will never take a bodaboda from CBD to JKIA to beat time. I am not crazy and I love myself too much. To cut the long story short, we ended up at the gate right at the minute it closed. After confusing ourselves for another many minutes and taking the wrong escalators and turns. LOL. Also, I was not laughing that time.
We had to make very quick decisions and pay the penalty for the next flight out at midnight. Through it all, my colleague thought I was in denial. I was so collected – like, this happens to me all the time sister, relax. My dad called and suggested I ask where Miguna had been staying so I can spend the time there as well. SMH. I counted the notes at that customer service desk and it all felt so surreal. The total penalty was more than the original flight cost. But later on my colleague reminded me to count my blessings. It could always be worse. The price of a lesson learnt far outweighs the experience. We might not even have had that money in the first place and could have missed the next flight altogether. I was supposed to be mad at someone for this but I was not. Did I forget to mention the part where I left something in the Uber because of the rush? I had to smile at so many men to go backwards through departures to the starting point to meet the driver at the terminal. This involved leaving my passport behind too and coming back to an immigration guy who wanted to play with my head and freak me out by not giving it back immediately.
Not the perfect start to a travel story, right? Wrong. This is the real deal.
So, a few minutes ago I was lying in bed, stalking someone I bumped into on the streets of Nairobi today. Stalking them online. I have a reputation for that. Eventually I landed on my blog and thought I’d read some old posts. Then I started editing some typos from months back. Then I ended up on my ‘What’s in My Bag’ post from 2016. And then I asked myself, what excuse do I have for not writing a 2017 version? After all, I think showing what’s in my bag this year might lead me to tell you all something I should have told you if I was writing as expected. So here we go.
Guest Post By Wanjiru Maina
1. Prepare. Or don’t.
I woke up on Saturday 11th and went for a run. 10 kms. Just like that. No prior practice, no warm up. I got there, said hi to a few familiar faces, got into my branded T-shirt and took off! I was out of breath by the 12th minute. My chest was not tight though, as is sometimes the case, whenever I ambush it with a sprint or a run. (Hihihi) Yea, I sneak up on it some times… And it curls up tight in what feels like a foetal position, fighting for its survival, not caring about mine! Smh! But before I digress, carried away by angina, the condition’s official name, let me share the lesson:
Sometimes, prior planning is just not workable. Either by design or by the design of laziness. That notwithstanding, what needs to get done needs to get done. Get in there with both feet. Roll up your sleeves and get doing. You will pant, you will get stuck, you will want to quit, but you will have started, and that is the most important step. To begin.
Oh, and it will be hard, prepared or not. ( I am all for planning, don’t get me wrong, but “adulting” has taught me that planning is not always feasible, and sometimes, even the most well done plans fall apart.)
You get a good amount of rain on you today. In a skirt. You shiver alright, but you have to go to church. Today is an interesting one. You have been separated into groups. You are in the 20+ group. The crazies. The facilitator decides you are going to break into smaller groups and discuss relationships. In the end, it is very clear you are one of very many singles. Too many. It’s a bit sad. It seems the issue is not really the men, like you’re all trying to believe. It’s you. The men also have their own issues, but from where you are seated, laughing at the shouting match, you nod at their points, while your fellow girls shout them down. It makes you wonder why you are in the group claiming independence and lack of compatibility. Why won’t you find someone who is compatible? One guy stands up and says girls are confused and do not know what they want. Reason, one girl said we want simple acts of love, another said guys are broke. You sure are confused. Or maybe you all just want different things.
Good? You know how it is. The cold. The Twitter dramas. The quest for truth.
Sometimes you wonder why you are doing what you’re doing. You wear very many hats at work. Very many. Too many.Sometimes you almost fall into the trap of comparison. You want to compare yourself with others who look like they do nothing all day. But then you look back a year and realize you have grown immensely. You can look people in the eye when you talk. People think you know a lot about certain things and look to you for help. Even when you think you don’t really know anything. Then when you sit with them and talk about something you thought everyone knew, you realise you’ve been sitting on a mine! Not a land mine of course, but the Turkana kinda thing. A gold mine.
Don’t you just love the feeling when you get home and loosen all your clothes and feel free to be you? You know, get rid of that annoying bra that you only notice is tight at 7 pm? That pair of pants that gets real tight at the tummy when you sit in your swivel chair after lunch? That pair of shoes you bought this weekend that only became tight when you walked out of the shop? I know you know what I’m talking about, girls. I don’t know about the boys in the building and whether they ever wear things they can’t wait to get out of, but hey, who knows, right? Maybe they will tell us.
If you are like me, that is. Our friend B just joined the Android world (he finally admitted that Windows phones suck) and asked me to recommend apps. So I remembered that I have never actually written about the apps that make me sleep better at night. So here goes:
You take the painkillers and they simply don’t work. Not in the least. You get that headache again on a Friday night and you just get mad at the world. You don’t finish your supper and just shut everyone out and go to bed. To struggle to sleep. You decide to not move out of the house the next day. To stay put. To iron all the clothes that have piled up over the month and just chill out. Your hair’s a mess. The growth is just annoying. Maybe that’s why your head is aching. That growth is always painful anyways.
Lately, I have been having a severe case of PMS (or at least I thought it was). I have been moody and tired, always wanting to hug my bed when my alarm goes off in the morning. It has been taking the least amount of effort to get a “No” from me, yet I am the true definition of a “Yes Man” or girl in this case.
On this Friday, I have reached the “etc” point of my day. (You know that point where your system has shut down and all you can do is go online and snoop around other people’s lives.) I am a huge fan of Sharon Mundia and her blog “This is Ess”. She seems to always be in beautiful places, wearing beautiful outfits, looking absolutely beautiful. On one post she describes a meltdown she had recently and as I kept hitting the page down button on my keyboard, tears came flowing to my eyes. At that moment, I realised that I am going through exactly what she is, only perhaps in a different way.
I’m having a mild headache. You know, those ones that you know will disappear once you get home. I was okay before I left the office. Then I got into this matatu with a drunk kange and it hit me that my head was aching. Dude was laughing the whole time, in delirium, not giving passengers change and showing them his “change-less” palm.
“Kama watu huishi kama wewe, hawawezi pata depression,” one passenger at the front quips.
Sometimes, I read books. Boring books. Books that suck the life out of me. Books that claim to be New York Times bestsellers. Books that everyone else has read. Most times, I let them sit on my headboard, waiting for a second chance. Other times I let them sit on my shelf until the day I feel they might be interesting again because my understanding of them has changed with experience. Often times, I just give them out because it’s not good to hoard stuff that someone else might enjoy. I gave away The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. I couldn’t stand it. Turns out my BFF’s mum loved it. I also gave away two John Grisham books: Sycamore Row and Gray Mountain. Honestly John bored me to death with these two. Bear in mind I’m a Grisham girl. Why would he bore me then, you ask? I have a theory.
Sometimes things happen. Inexplicable things. Mind-boggling stuff. Tear-jerking events. You stare at your screen and wonder why such wonderful things are happening suddenly to you. Why you even after all your mistakes. Why you after all the self-doubt. And then you realize this is what miracles are made of. Yes, you have given your all but no, it’s not your doing. Absolutely not. And finally it hits you it was not suddenly at all. It just looked like it was.
So I ran out of bundles from sending too many Bitmoji to someone when I left the office. (Yes, B, that’s what they were. Google that. Don’t know if there’s an app for that for Windows phones. Muhahahahahahahaha! Is there any app for anything for Windows phones anyway?)
Anyhuuuuu, (I’ll be using this word now that Biko hated on it. You know how I’m always trying too hard to be a rebel? Yep.)
I loved that series. Early Edition. Anyway, here is the thing, my writing is too erratic for anyone’s liking. For that reason, and to reduce the number of times I apologize for not writing consistently in 2015, I will be writing this weekly piece just to make sure the blog does not grow cobwebs. No one likes to walk through cobwebs, at least I don’t. Here goes: