Of Bamboocha and Smokeggs
Last month, my friend Lisa and I were walking from Milimani to town after attending the Kisumu Social Media Day.
Unlike Lisa, I’m the worst person to ask, ‘Plot ni gani leo?’
I’m just not a plotter but if you plot call me up.
So, because I’m not a plotter I would be considered a generally boring person by today’s standard. Because what do plotless peeps do? They stay home and don’t leave unless they have to especially in this Kisumu heat!
‘We can go to Tumaini and just eat mandazi and gossip about the people passing outside…’ I suggested.
She gave me a look that just confirmed what I’d always suspected, I’m not cool enough.
So after an awkward goodbye after walking to town for nothing because home was back where we’d come from, I decided to go home.
First, I had to pass by Tumaini and remember the good times I had with a particular lass, who shall remain anonymous for her own piece of mind.
We used to hang a lot at Tumaini on Saturday evening’s bored to death at home and craving a bit of excitement.
If going to town and stuffing your face with mandazi doesn’t excite you, excuse me?
So almost every Saturday evening, you’d find us there. We’d buy a two-litre Bamboocha and several pieces of cocktail mandazi, and set ourselves up on a table next to the window just to get a clear view of who and who’s passing by.
‘Monica, have you seen that hot guy?’
I’d turn around and I swear that whoever she was talking about was not hot. I don’t know why we can agree on almost everything except what or who’s hot…except there’s this one guy…
Turning back, she’s ng’wenyod my mandazi. After that I didn’t care if she saw the gates of heaven opening, my eyes were on the prize at hand.
We’d munch a bit and talk, gossip, laugh and repeat the cycle until we’d demolished everything before us.
We were such regulars; the waitress at the eatery would greet us with a smile and say, ‘Mmerudi?’
And even when it was getting late and we’d long finished our meal, we were never asked to leave. She would sit in a corner staring at us in wonder at our loud but genuinely happy laughter.
Eventually, we’d stagger up to leave, drunken with Fanta and laughter and our zippers drawn down just to let our newly formed potties catch a breathe.
You would think we would be wise enough to get on the first Okada straight home.
‘I saw one outside Sports Ground on our way here,’ she would say.
‘I don’t think he’s still there but let’s check Naivas; I bet there’s one there with so many people shopping at this hour.’
We went round to Naivas and for sure, standing a few metres from the entrance, steam blowing at the top and reflecting the dim light above were glorious rows and rows of smokeggs – smokies and eggs just calling to us.
And this wasn’t any smokeggs guy, he always has fresh Kachumbari, I always remember what’s important.
‘Ah, customer, mmekuja? Siku mingi, sijawaona!’
Don’t believe the hype, every smokeggs guy in Kisumu knows us and greets us like so, that’s how much we love smokeggs.
That’s both Kenchic and Farmer’s Choice.
He goes ahead to prepare our order, without us telling him. For me it’s an egg and the bonus smokie he usually gifts me, as for her, it’s a non-stop round of smokeggs that I can’t even keep count.
‘Yaani, soda 2 litre plus mandazi bado haujashiba?’
She swallows the food in her mouth and gesturing to her throat, ‘Hata ikikwamia hapa lazima nikule smokeggs. You know that.’
Unfortunately, I do. We pay for the food and head home. Though we live in the same area, we each go separately in different directions dreaming of the coming Saturday for another round of gluttony and gossip.
I know those two G’s are forbidden biblically but we could be spending our Saturday’s engaging in much more destructive activities.
I check my phone and it’s 8 o’clock. I head to stage relieved that at least I can avoid the ‘Nyalenda! Nyalenda!’ guys outside Tumaini always hustling me.