Chronicles of a train-catcher part 1

I first used the train for transport to and from town in 2009 and then, it was more like an adventure. Those were the days when Kenyans used to ride on top of the train or hanging from the windows and doors. On my very first ride from the CBD I stood next to the door (like a pro) in my power suit & heels, carrying a handbag and feeling like a tourist does on their first matatu ride. I wish I had carried a video camera to capture that experience *sigh!* Adding to the drama were traffic policemen stationed at random points along the tracks, ready to whip the pants off guys who were hanging from the moving train. I revisited it in 2014 out of necessity, having been stranded one too many mornings due to matatu scarcity. My Read more

My first ever office job…circa 1900…

I’ve dug this piece from way back, long before I even started this blog. It’s a brief account I did to celebrate the first few weeks at my first job as a receptionist. May 9 My first outing to the place which has been my home till now…only that at the time, I had no idea that I would be there for as long as I have been. Was just checking out the place and hoping to meet one of the bosses who would hopefully give me my “three-week” visa for a temporary job. It is a blistering hot Friday afternoon and I’m in for a long walk from Hurlingham shopping centre. I am wearing my brand new Italian leather shoes (gifted by my sweet sister Enid) and they are doing some major injustice to my feet which are in Read more

Adventure in Naivasha

So a bunch of us decided to do a road trip to Naivasha, the idea being getting away to bond and have a good time. We were to leave for Naivasha at 9am so we could be at Fisherman’s Camp by 11am; have enough time to relax and enjoy a simple camp-site meal before heading back to Nairobi. Well, the devil proved to be really in the detail because despite our best laid plans, we set off 2 hours later with neither the “mbuzi” nor the firewood! (This was going to be one very interesting day). The real “adventure” began as soon as we reached Fisherman’s Camp…. We got there (after 1pm) after stopping at “Mai Mahiu” to buy meat and immediately began a marathon: running around the camping ground looking for dry twigs and raiding neighbouring campsites for left-over Read more

House-help Chronicles

During my growing up years and beyond, my family has had some of the most colourful additions to the home in the form of house-helps. We’ve seen them all – the good, the bad and the ugly. I have written about Beatrice from the Coast in one of my earlier articles so here I will only highlight a few of the others:Veronica aka “Vere”She’s the one who was found wailing, “iiiiiiiii wananiambia nifue brangetiiiiiiiii” (they are telling me to wash blankets) to the ‘Masaai” watchman in the backyard after my mom instructed her to wash some blankets.   Apparently, according to her people do not wash blankets and my mom was the meanest employer for asking her to do it so she was pouring out her frustration and tears to him. She cried the whole time she was washing them.Sofia Read more

A Valentine’s Story – Wambui & Mbugua

Valentine’s Day is on the way so I must write about Mbugua. My “Mbugua”, well….almost. I believe we all know the famous story of Wambui Otieno and her young beau Mbugua. Their love affair captured the minds of the entire  nation. When the announcement of their nuptials was made, the news was on every Kenyan’s lips. Mostly because they could not understand how Wambui, a 67 year old woman could marry a man who was 42 years younger than her. “What’s wrong with Mbugua?” “What does he possibly see in her?” “He must be after her money, the gold-digger.” “Poor boy, he’s lost his mind.” On and on the debate continued & it just wouldn’t stop. Actually, people were not really debating at all – just criticising the couple. Nothing positive or encouraging. Wambui and Mbugua had become villains for choosing to Read more