Someone mentioned that around 6.30 am Nairobi is still asleep and I couldn’t help but wonder the last time he was in town that early. This morning I was in town at 6.12am. (I have this thing with time, where it has to be as exact as it was). Nairobi was in no way asleep, not even the half opened peeping eyes we make trying to fight back sleep or pretend to finish watching a movie or hoping for one last text. No, it was in full blast!
At the corner shops of the famous Sanford Fish and Chips, the weird stall vendor was open, pointing ladies in the eyes and gesturing at shoes. At 6.12am. I wonder if anyone buys his shoes ever! He has the worst customer service I have ever seen. He points at you as if he intends to poke your eyes, then pulls his hand back as if pulling you with some sort of string or weird voodoo. Sometimes I think he believes he is hypnotizing the people I have seen ignore him time and again.
On occasion I am tempted to stop, switch off my music just turn to him and say “Yes, sema”. If not for no other reason but to see whether he usually has a plan after the pointing voodoo thingy. But then again, who has time for that? He doesn’t sell kicks anyway. Only to realize that I usually look forward to seeing him, maybe it’s the hope I think he has that maybe that day it might work.
Today, the kanjo at Jamia Mosque have not yet reported for duty. My make shift mirror made of blue tiles of the wall to that Sharia Bank with a name I have never bothered to learn has the steel doors latched in place. No reflection today. As I cross towards I&M, as if on cue, Ed Sheeran is in my ear, ‘Oh misty eye of the mountain below…’ How I love this song. Today I am not adorning my red lipstick and it feels liberating as the strangers are not compelled to stare and I will not bother trying to imaging what they are thinking. Yet weird when some actually stare maybe because I mouth to my music with the passion of a stage performer.
Texting as I walk (yes careful not to bump into someone or have to flash the finger to a careless driver that has no regard for street lights. With a water bottle in hand I cross the Uhuru Highway and this is where my imaginations starts playing games. Random texts here and there that disrupt my concentration. I like giving different people characters and create stories for them based on what I see. It may seem judgmental but it makes the long walk bearable. By the time am through with that boring hill that seems to become longer each day, sometimes with the sun mocking me straight ahead urging me to move closer to feel the heat, doing at least 10 minutes a day and it still does nothing for my weight, am at the office. 6.43am and the office is still asleep.