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Category: life (page 3 of 10)

Lost in space

Fred Msumari
The Royal Palace
Kingdom of Kerugoyes

December 2014

Dear Jaki,

Greetings to you from the ancient kingdom of Kerugoyes

I hope that you are in fine health. It was such a wonderful treat the other morning when your letter arrived. Thank you so much. There was bemusement and much wonder in the domestic quarters as the palace staff watched me read and re read your letter before folding it neatly and locking it away in the safe with our other valuables. I did not realise how expensive postage had become, your envelope was covered in stamps! The kids here collect stamps, bless them.

How have things been in our Fair Republic? I hope they are not keeping you too busy in that peoples’ garage. The description you gave about your typical day filled me with horror and distaste. You know Jaki how much I hate talk of blood. I even refuse to look at a mutura, knowing what it’s chief ingredient is. I fainted that time when I took you to donate blood for those poor leaking petrol explosion victims, remember?

Now, si I told you about Binti Pepo doing her bit during the independence celebrations? Well, the King enjoyed that performance so much, now there is talk of starting a kind of music academy right here, for the young Kerugoyenese. The King wants the young boys and girls to sing like his so-called nightingale, Binti Pepo. His Majesty says that he will only start an academy if Binti is the Director. They have been holding long talks, late into the night, just the King and Binti. Some nights they ask me along to give my opinion and we have also been joined by the Cabinet Secretary for Music & Entertainment. I realise now Kerugoyenese are very big on culture and that sort of stuff.

I tell you all this,Jaki because it seems that we will be here for a little longer than was envisaged. The South Africa leg of Binti’s World Tour is also in question because all the talk in the country right now is about the forthcoming Ndarabara event. I have been told that we will be travelling right up to the great mountain, Kidevu, where the King will perform the ancient Ndarabara rites which are traditionally important for the fertility, health and prosperity of this kingdom. Once these are done, His Majesty will consult the oracle, Abacha, to learn what the coming year holds in store for Kerugoye.

Binti and myself will be the first foreigners ever to witness a Ndarabara at close quarters. I am excited and a little bit nervous, if the truth be told. I will let you know how it all goes once we are safely back from the mountains.

I think I may have written too much! 😀

Have a really good week!

Fred.

* * *

Jacqueline Salama
Accident & Emergency Department
City Medical Centre
Nairobi

December 2014

Dear Fred,

Your own letter arrived just this morning, thank you. I hope that you are still enjoying the mountain air in that remote kingdom. I’m very well thanks. Just keeping myself busy at the department.

We had 2 new doctors that started this Monday, a young man and a young woman. They are both very charming and everyone is doing their best to make them feel welcome.

So just today I had a chance to work with the female doctor. We’d just had lunch and we were looking at some paper-work when they rushed in this patient on a trolley. He was a young man in his late twenties and in a state of complete anguish. It was incredible! The poor sod had only managed to get his wotsit stuck in a soft drink bottle. My colleague was stunned. You see the portion of the wotsit that was inside the bottle had swelled up to a grotesque size and shape – it looked like a python, to be honest. In the end we gave him a couple of steroid injections to reduce the swelling and gently eased him out of his glass prison. He was then sedated and taken to a ward for observation. Fred, Isn’t it just amazing what young men on their own can get up to? Hahahaha

The weather in our fair republic continues to get warmer and some nights it is simply impossible to sleep unless one throws off all the covers. I don’t really leave my windows open at night as I’m not sure it is entirely safe. I would hate to wake in the night to find a stranger rummaging through my things!

The new doctors will be dropping in shortly. We’re going out tonight to try out this new Indian restaurant down the road. I’d better go and do something with my hair.

You haven’t said much about Binti – How is she?

Fred, keep writing those letters. They always put a smile on my face and as funny as it sounds when I read what you are up to I don’t feel so lost in space. Do be careful on that Ndararara wotsit up there on the hills. 😀

Jaki

Slumming it in Kerugoyes

Fred Musumari
Royal Palace
Kerugoyes

Jacqueline Salawi
Accident & Emergency Department
City Medical Centre
Nairobi

18th November 2014

Dearest Jaki,

It is with a joyful and rapidly beating heart that I pen these few lines to you. I trust and pray that you are in good health. I hope that all is well back there in the peoples’ garage, as you occupy yourself in the noble undertaking of repairing the sick and panel-beating the wounded back into shape. 🙂

At this point I must send a quiet word of sympathy. Surely there was serious damage done to your finger-nails and to the keyboard on your lappy; you wrote some really hard-hitting words. I will not play the fool. I totally deserved all those horrible things that you said. I spoke to a pal later that day and they said that you did not mean to send that email. Ha! They don’t know you like I do. And today is not a day to reopen old wounds. 🙂

If you have received this you are probably wondering why I have suddenly gone all analogue and sent you a letter by post. Has Fred lost the plot, you wonder – is Fred doing that thing of wooing me with letters in blue envelopes with SWALK written on the sticky flaps? No, my dear. The reason is far more mundane. We are slumming it in Kerugoyes – a small mountain kingdom bordering South Africa.

When Binti did that charity gig at the Herbivore, (I was disappointed when you did not show) apparently she made a huge impression. We were back in her dressing room afterwards when a young lady came in and said that the King of Kerugoyes, a chap in his late twenties would very much love for Binti to visit their beautiful Kingdom and to perform during their independence day celebrations. That was a fortnight ago. We’ve been here ever since.

Binti is treated like royalty here and she doesn’t want to leave. The royal palace is vast and has every comfort that one would desire. Binti has several staff at her beck and call. I was banished from the VIP quarters at the palace when I failed to stop the King’s pet cheetahs from eating Binti’s white rabbit – she normally has it on her lap when she’s posing for pictures. So now I chill out with the palace staff, downstairs kicking my heels and wondering when this novelty will wear off so that we can finally head off to South Africa!

There is no internet in Kerugoyes. The young king believes that social media is the tool of the devil and a source of so much misery. Ha!

Let me end by wishing you a very happy week. If our royal holiday should end before this letter arrives I will try and whatsapp you from Johannesburg.

Fondest best wishes

Fred.

Ps you prolly guessed – things between me and Binti are dodgy right now, hence my sleeping in the staff quarters. I blame the King. 🙁

* * * * *

Fred Musumari
The Royal Palace
Kerugoyes

08th December 2014

Dear Fred,

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Kwenda wewe! Ati you guys are where now? Hahahahahahaha. Where on earth is Kerugoyes? I’ve never heard of it before. I hope you’re not just making stuff up!

Everything goes well down here at the peoples’ garage, as you call it. We treat patients from all walks of life who come in with all manner of complaints. Our part, the trauma unit is most busy with road accident victims but we also get a fair share of violent attack victims – robbery, domestic that sort of thing.

I am glad that you acknowledge that your actions might have caused serious damage to my keyboard. I had to vent all that pent up stuff. Who said that I did not mean to post that email? It was good that you wrote back though, despite the slow mail service. Your Kerugoyes adventure has put a big smile on my face. Fred, it doesn’t sound like you are having much fun out there in the mountains. Does it get very cold at night? Shall I get my sister to knit you a woolly hat?

You say this king was besotted with Binti at Herbivore and now she has pushed you to the kerb? (I could not come to your gig that evening as I was on a night-shift). It doesn’t make any sense. You and Binti – you were made for each other. I feel for you, Fred, really I do. Why don’t you cut your losses and come back home? You can do so much here with all your talents.

I know that was a difficult question. Do have a lovely week, wherever you are and write to me whenever you can. It’s good to hear from you.

Best wishes

Jaki

x

ps woi…. the poor rabbit! The boy-king has pet cheetahs? Nkt!

Binti’s hotel room

Jacqueline54@email.com

Dear Jaki,

I got your email address from the hospital receptionist this morning. Please do not be angry. All my attempts to get in touch with you so far have proved fruitless. You’ve changed your cell-phone number and all my emails to your old address have gone unanswered. I am grateful that fate had lined up the stars so that our paths would cross today.

We are in Nairobi just for a few days. Binti is taking a short break from her world tour. She says amepata a bit of exhaustion. I think she’s getting her anxiety attacks again. We’ll be leaving for Johannesburg on Sunday evening to continue with the tour.

Seeing you this morning at the emergency room was a most wonderful surprise. I have carried a buzz of excitement in me all day! How can I convey to you how great it felt to experience again a renewed hope in the future?

You must tell me right now – how you have been – when did you qualify? How long have you been working at the Emergency Department? Are you in a relationship?

I know we did not leave things in the best of ways. Everything happened in a whirlwind and I was so confused. Why did you cut me off so abruptly? I would very much like to re establish contact with you again. There will be a charity performance at the Herbivore Club on sato night before we leave for Jo’burg. Filanga free to drop in and say hello. You will be most welcome!

Very best wishes

Fred

ps don’t be a stranger

* * * * * * * * * *

Waiting for the diva

fredmsumari@nails.com

Hey Fred,

I hope that you are good. Thanks for your email. It was indeed a surprise for me too, to see you today. I was on my way to the trauma unit when you walked through the doors wheeling that old chair. The patient you were pushing wore very dark glasses and I assumed it was an elderly relative.

I am sorry if I appeared rude and hasty this morning. I had just received a call that we were expecting a large number of casualties from a road traffic accident. As it turned out there were fewer seriously injured people than we thought. We cleaned most of them up, stitched up the rest and sent them on their way. 😀

Soooo….Kumbe that was your Binti Pepo – world famous soul diva? Has she lost weight or something? We are none of us getting any younger. She was looking well and truly lost. I hope she is feeling much better now. You looked quite stressed yourself, carrying all her coats, bags, blankets and things.

I am quite happy to keep in touch with you, Fred, but I would much prefer that we leave everything from the past right there – in the past!

“We did not leave things in the best of ways”. Fred, are you serious? Is that the best way you could have worded that? Need I remind you how we ended…no, how You ended things between us. I promised I would reply to your email without getting angry – but it is just not possible. Not when I remember how your precious Binti Pepo dumped you once before. The unceremonious way in which she left you for that con guy who promised to promote her in Germany and Austria ha! You came to me in tears telling me that she did not need you now that she had hit the big time. Big time my foot!

Fred when you said that you and me, that we could make a go of things – that we could be happy together – you said you’d stand by me and I would finish medical school and after that we would travel to all those lovely places that you know. When you said all those things did you still carry a torch for her? You are such and idiot.

You know, I saw you for just a moment today, less than a minute, I think. We said hello and I looked into your eyes. You have been with Binti now for over two years and I know that every day you keep telling yourself that this time it will be different. Your eyes, Fred, your eyes say that you don’t believe it.

I hope that you don’t mind when I say I will not shed a tear for you, Fred. Not after the way you went against my advice and signed up to work for Binti again, as her manager, after the Austro-German gig failed to materialise. She just snapped her bling fingers and you rushed off to her like the poodle that you are. Where is your spine man?

The other thing I can never forget is how you called me from Binti’s hotel room that evening. You said she was playing the cabaret. I think that she must have been standing right there next to you when you said to me “ This is not working. It is not you dear, it’s me.” Ha! You ended our relationship on the phone with that cow standing right next to you. You told me that you would be staying the night with her.

I saw much later how I should have seen it coming many weeks before. You had been spending far too much time with that witch. And everytime we spoke it was Binti this and Binti that. My Uni assignments were keeping me busy 24/7 and I trusted you with my life. You knew how much I wanted to complete my degree. When I needed your support the most, you had gone to the arms of another woman.

How did I feel when I got that phone call? I was so confused. I actually thought that it was noble of you to give me time to get my things together and find another flat. I thought you were the perfect gentleman when you said I could keep all of the deposit – use it for my new place – in the crucial stage of my degree course, Fred. Damn you!

I promised myself that I would not get angry. I am seething right now. You should not have opened these old wounds. How dare you talk of hope for a bright future. I am moving on, Fred. I read the social media pages too, from time to time. Lots of rumours about your Binti. I know it is mostly celebrity gossip. Your next leg of the tour takes you to China, no? That is one place she could really make it Big. What will happen to you then, Fred?

Of course I will maintain email communications with you Fred but our lives must remain like parallel lines never to meet again. You see unlike your Binti Pepo, I would never make the mistake of taking you back again, ever. 😀

Be good. Strive to be happy.

Jaki

captured on camera – 4th and final instalment

Caught on Camera – conclusion

Babu and his party made the journey to the hotel in just under two hours. The hired minibus was spacious and comfortable. The evening traffic was light to moderate and they had only waited half an hour for the ferry crossing. Continue reading

Captured on camera 3rd instalment

Caught on Camera – continuation

The story of the Man who caned The Politician continued to make ripples. Newspapers and social media were full of jokes and commentary providing a welcome relief from the real woes of day to day living.

Meanwhile, at 10:30 am at the down town offices of Uchoyo Property Developments, Gregory Uchoyo sat at his desk. He was staring at the newspaper photograph absently adding sugar to his milky tea. His sister, Baridi sat opposite watching him, unamused.

“You take too much sugar, Greg, It’s disgusting. Nkt. And why is the tea here always so milky?” She looked around the room, her lips curled downwards. Continue reading

nobody gives up something without a reason

The beautiful restaurant was perched high on the side of a hill. Our party were lucky enough to get a table by the large windows and we were hit by the breathtaking view overlooking the busy high-way many feet below. We watched cars, lorries, buses and matatus speeding away in both directions. We were too far away to hear the traffic noise and the silent picture seemed unreal, like watching telly with the sound turned down. Beyond that and to the south, the huge lake spread away, as far as the eye could see. Continue reading

Erstwhile kindly landlady (ii)

It was twenty-past ten when I finally got to the office on a cold, wet morning after the night before. What a night it had been. I was still trying to get my head around what I had learned from Rubina. Babu was standing at the office reception and he did his usual annoying thing of looking at his watch when he saw me. Continue reading

miserable sight to behold

These days he drank his tea from a green plastic cornflakes bowl. Every morning he would place a teabag in the bowl and throw in a measure of sugar. He then poured water from the hot tap into the bowl. When he had milk he would put that in too. He held the bowl in both hands, like a beggar and drank the tea in one long draught. Continue reading

My burden is light: Decluttering for dummies

The holiday season is upon us once again. Schools are now closed. Looking around this city you’d be forgiven for thinking that this town is coming like a ghost town. Notice how quiet it is as most people have gone away on their holidays. In their place is a whole new lot of tourists together with European and Asian language exchange students. The Spanish, French and Italians make up the bulk of European kids and most Asian kids come from China and Saudi Arabia

Taking it easy

Whenever Woolie and the clan go on holiday as a family, there is always the great debate about how much stuff to pack. Woolie likes to go with something for every eventuality. They have such a small luggage allowance. Taking just what you need, so that your time off is not cluttered by possessions or decisions about what to wear is an important lesson in living daily with all we need.

Do you look at your emails inbox daily whilst on holiday? What about twirra? Na Skype je? Being held hostage to the clutter of life is bad for our relationships. It is all too easy to be keeping in touch by email with everyone around the globe, 24/7 and at first it seems like such fun to be constantly available. But to be free of such distractions, even just for a short while, refocuses our lives on what is really important. Twitter and Facebook must be shown the door if you are to enjoy your break.

Clutter is anything that takes up our time, moves our focus away from what is really important. A recent survey in the news indicated that the average adult in the UK now spends more time each day looking at laptop, mobile or tablet devices than sleeping. But resting in is vital if we are going to be aware of everything that goes on around us. Baggage can literally weigh us down and hold us back from listening to our families and friends or sharing our lives with them.

There is a great danger that the baggage of modern life will fill up our every waking moment, becoming even more falsely important and ambushing us at every turn. We need to travel light.

Like the good book says : ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

Erstwhile kindly landlady (i)

The Friday evening with Rubina was totally awesome. Can awesome be an understatement. We had a great, wonderfully fantastic time. I use a load of adjectives but frankly it is difficult to describe that enchanted evening in words.

That was the night when I believed I had finally cracked it. I had found the secret to happiness at last. Later on, that same night my ship of optimism and expectation would crash against the black rocks sending my lifeless dreams down to the bottom of the sea. Continue reading

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