Recently, my girl and I have been fighting. (Not physically, we are both tiny and physically incapable of doing any real damage to each other, never mind that we are both from Nyeri.) You see, Ivy, that is her name, is independent and very lovable. She always has been. She is, in my opinion, the epitome of a goddess. She is tall, slim (her arms look smaller than any Kisii man’s plate of ugali.) and she has this awesome smile that could make you fall in love with her in an instant. Then there is the way she laughs you could swear her laugh will be on the playlist in Heaven. She is a lightskin but she can make you an awesome stew of beef (don’t trust her sausages tho) while at the same time making you question what you ever did to God to deserve her. They say that the easiest and shortest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but I could swear Ivy is the shortest way to my heart. Sorry ladies.
Anyway, the whole reason we have been fighting is because she got a job in Uganda, Kampala to be precise, and God knows we were unprepared for it- almost like a scary pregnancy. She got a job at one of the most awesome places I can think of and I don’t think I need to mention that her job is more awesome than the boob job the Kardashian family invested in- Kanye West will understand what I mean. She gets to meet all these great people, and her boss pays her to convince them that they are awesome people. I know, right? Her boss basically pays her to have fun and get free drinks. I envy her all day (I know you do too) but as an engineer, naah. My job is better. At least I get to meet old people and hope I will age more graciously.
So, you can imagine my dilemma when she tried to convince me to ignore my(awesome) job and travel to Uganda. In short, a perfect Texas (or Mexican, if you watch Citizen TV) standoff.
In my mind, I knew Uganda was horrible. All 3 people-including ivy- that can speak English can attest to that. First, they call their matatus taxis, and their banks make you feel like a millionaire when in essence you are a hundred-nare back here in Kenya. They make you have Matoke with everything except sex (thank God) and their bodaboda drivers insist you use a helmet. Plus they could turn you into an alcoholic in a few hours. Tusker is Ksh. 83 for crying out loud.
Eventually tho, she won. And I had to take a 13 hour bus to Kampala. I have to tell you at this point that if you are the sort of person that has to pee every 30 minutes, Kampala is not for you. And the bus does NOT have a toilet on board.And you cannot make the driver stop because he is NOT your girlfriend. Let us just say that I am not a bus person. Anyway, I did get to Kampala ok eventually. It was like nothing I had imagined. (The accent is still a load of nonsense, and apparently we have a Kenyan accent, but…) and then their bands are so epic, they can make dancehall music (or riddims if you are from Kayole) sound heavenly. The women are so polite and respectful; you ask yourself why you were born Kenyan. And their policemen actually shake your hand without expecting Ksh. 50 from you.
I should just say that I had enough fun for years thanks to Michelle and Phill. Ivy will want a mention too so I should tell her thank you at this point.
Now, fast forward to yesterday, when I left Uganda. The journey was okay up and until we got to Busia and crossed over to the Kenyan side. Bribes for luggage. Luggage that was so tiny I felt I could have sneaked it in my underwear- NOT condoms. An hour later, the price went up from 3000 to 5000, simply because it got very sunny and someone needed an appeasement bottle of alcohol. And the girl being taken advantage of was from Denmark hence could not really understand Kiswahili. So we refused to let her pay and threatened to get off the bus if they made her pay and to carry the corrupt official from KRA to the police station.
Eventually, I think he realized had more to lose than actually losing the 5000. So we proceeded on our way towards Nairobi. We had won. But it did make me question why Kenyans tolerate corruption when it was pretty obvious nobody liked it. I still can’t understand. May be you people can help me understand.