I was born and brought up in Mombasa. Save for my stints at boarding school, the Coasterian way of life is the only one I’ve ever know. Don’t jump to the idea of me eating rice with my hands while I sit on the floor; it has been a hybrid kind of life. As you know, school offers a tempered condition so it did not prepare me for what I am currently going through. As of a minute ago, I have concluded that what I am suffering from is culture shock.
Mombasa has a large variety of cultures, and as one would expect, people have had to find a middle ground, a new culture of sorts. Kiswahili, as a language, dominates but English has always been my primary language.
I find Coasterians to be quite welcoming as compared to the people of the Cool waters. Plus, I don’t care what anyone says, I love the pace of life!!
Then there is Nairobi ……. To begin with, I basically live in Kikuyu central. I went to the market, not SUPERmarket, not grocery shop …MARKET. Everyone was speaking the golden language! The good news is, I now understand exactly what it means to stick out like a sore thumb. (Yes, at my height).
Do you know that moment when you’ve decided to turn in? When you have just switched off the television and for a while, everything is completely silent? I don’t know about you but i usually hear a monotonous hum. That’s what I heard the whole time as I sludged through mud from one stand to another.
On that day, I learnt never to mess with anyone’s veggie pyramid. They get really testy and may give you an evil eye as they mutter something in a language you don’t understand, after which you can only utter a lame ‘Sorry.’
Minutes after entering a hair salon, I was handed a baby. Okay, I accept the fact that I am obsessive about detail. If I had known I would be handling a baby, I would have taken the necessary precautions. Relax! No one died. But seriously, I wouldn’t give my kid willy nilly to a stranger. Furthermore,why are you taking a baby with you to the salon?! The noise (read loud conversation ), the chemicals…it’s just not right. Not to mention constantly listening to a foreign language. All I can do is infer from facial expression and drop in tone that they are discussing something real juicy.
Let me not even start on the weather!! As per now, I can’t complain much because my scalp is slowly melting away in a drier. But at least I’m warm. #Sigh#.