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LIFE BY LOUIS: My Plot 10 chronicles

Monday January 20 2020
BD NHC housing madaraka 050.1 px

Apartment buildings in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE

By LOUIS MUIRURI

Surviving early mortality is a full time occupation for young people out here.

I was young and had just gotten my first job, and the tax man had just finalised the marriage negotiations with my payslip.

It was end month and we had just been paid. We used to get our salary, or what remained of it after deductions, in a sealed and marked envelope.

The first destination was the toilets where you carefully opened the envelope, lest you tore some of the currency notes in the hurry to count the contents inside.

ADULT BEVERAGES 

Because I was a Kenyan adult who had the right to make decisions about what to do with my money, I held a lengthy session with adult beverages on my way home. 

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One characteristic of young people is that they cook bad food for themselves, sometimes in vain attempts at suicide through self food poisoning.

I therefore arrived home at around 2am carrying a quarter of meat and some green accompaniments.

Our forefathers taught us to cook meat with a lot of soup, but because I was young and rebellious, I used to make dry fry meat.

Meat without cabbages, carrots and a lot of water is an abomination in my clan. However when you are young and newly employed, you are daring enough to challenge the culinary gods of the clan.

There is nothing that compares to cooking when you have had a session with an adult beverage.

You feel like a highly coveted gourmet chef who trades his practice in 10 Downing Street and major royal castles when the Queen is resident.

It works better if you are in ugly shorts and a t-shirt harvested from a presidential campaign and bearing the photo of the candidate you never voted for.

ZERO GRAZING

I never used to close the door to my bedsitter when I was resident because the door was a critical ventilation unit. Furthermore, we had nothing inside the house that a respectable thief would find worth risking his life for.   

I cut onions into my one and only sufuria, dried them a bit in moderate flame and added cooking oil. I waited for the oil to cook the onions until brown then added the meat and salt. If you think meat should be cooked differently, please start a blog. 

I covered the sufuria with a plate and waited for the meat to dry before I could add dhania and tomatoes. 

This is the point where Satan pays young men a visit and tempts them to lie on the bed for a few minutes as the meat dries. 

When a soft hand violently shook my shoulder in an attempt to wake me up, the bedsitter was full of acrid smoke and the room was dark. This could only mean one thing. The devil had almost succeeded in giving me immigration papers to his land that is renowned for fire, brimstone and gnashing of teeth.  

The scene was awkward, with me lying there in the final stages of meeting my maker in ugly shorts and leaving burnt offerings behind.

The lady was a neighbour and a good friend. Those days, dirty old and rich men had not been invented therefore no big cars came to the plot to pick young single girls on Fridays.

We dated internally, more like zero grazing, although the risk of being friend zoned by all the girls in the plot was extremely high.

CASTRATED SHEEP

You could also not import girls from outside the plot because they would be terrorised, denied access to the common sink and bathroom and her bras would be stolen from the wash lines.

They would be the subject of estate gossip for the entire weekend until they left. Therefore you selected a plot with nice girls or else you lived a celibate life and just became fat, like a castrated sheep.

We on the other hand treated visiting men with hostility and blocked their cars in the morning so that they left late.

We relished the fact that their wives would kill them when they finally returned home at 11am. 

Although we were not dating, my rescuer had seen me in several stages of semi nudity because we all shared a common external bathroom.

The doors to those bathrooms were made of timber panels that had 10cm spaces in between. It was like showering in a cage made of wire mesh.  

The doors were latched with a bent nail and a small push was likely to usher in a scene of a nude person in stage 2 of bathing where they are all lathered up.

When someone stormed into the bathroom while you were nude, you just used one hand to cover the essentials and continued scrubbing yourself with the other hand. It was not a big deal.

LOSER

My rescuer cleared the mess, scrubbed the sufuria and went ahead to bring me food from her house at 3am.

I hope she found a fine husband, not the kind of loser that she had come to rescue.

Our caretaker, Mutuku, who never liked me, never got to hear about how I almost burned his employers plot. He also never heard that the lady he was coveting was scrubbing my sufuria as I lay on the bed nursing a sore throat due to smoke.

He would have chased me from the plot right away and locked my house with a big padlock.

We turned out all fine despite all these tribulations.

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