Friday, 7 July 2017

ONCE A SUNDAY

Sunday sat there on its holy ass and its holy place, as usual. I love Sundays because ladies embrace a certain obscure sense of decorum, covering all their vital body parts for once even though they had been out and about, half clad and smoking shisha the entire Saturday night. Some will don sun glasses to hide their blood shot eyes dilating, trying to stay afloat in the deep end of hangover. It’s none of my business though. Men of God have to eat, men of God have to have an aesthetic atmosphere as they preach to desperate humans, about the need of planting seed. How do you save money in someone’s account and expect it to multiply in yours? As he cruises in top of range cars and preaches about how God is merciful, always think, unless it hurts.

It’s not a breathtaking sight, seeing people throng to their places of worship. On this day I make special attempt to stay in bed all day long, without attempting to even move a muscle, only rising to make noodles and back to bed. This Sunday, though I am twice unlucky. No three times unlucky. 1. There’s no water 2. I won’t have my noodles 3. I have to get out and witness people who seemingly have been struck by a bout of holiness. For two days in row, the taps have been empty, emptier than a politician’s promises. What sucks when you have no options? Not me. I create options; and so I create a craving for chapo madondo.

Once I alight at Ambassador, I knew where I was going. There’s this guy who praised chapo za Muthurwa, in the same relish a man would in describing a woman’ s derriere-big, curvy and beautiful to look at just as it would to devour.

Muthurwa. There’s always a sea of people every day, even Christmas, I should think. Those Kyuks never go on a break. You’ll find them having spread their wares, eating a huge chunk of the road, albeit shamelessly. Some shout their prices, some just mum. People move by, oblivious, as if these traders are non-existent, worse still invisible. Just like everyone else, I squeeze myself through that narrow entrance. I almost bump into a girl in a jeans skirt and a red t-shirt. In such situations it’s advisable to stand your ground lest you begin playing a game of obstructing each other. What’s worse than that?

I find my way; or rather follow the scent of chapatti. There are empty stalls! I want to run around and scream to whoever has ears that I have discovered empty stalls in Muthurwa but then I remember it’s a Sunday. Before long I am just where I want to be. Men clad in dirty white dust coats knead flour, some make small balls of it, and others are rolling them while watching the one on the pan. Hunger makes you blind to so many things. I mean look at street children. I find a spot nearly empty because I don’t want people watching me eating so ravenously. They throw you pitiful eyes that seem to say ‘kwani huyu hajakula miaka ngapi?’

After giving out my order to a bulky jovial woman, I scan my environment without seeming to intrude into people’s personal space. It’s all men here. It seems like a battlefield. There was a couple, a middle aged man, a woman with a shaved head and a kid tucked between them. The woman was feeding the kid with what I hoped wasn’t from the place. They chatted animatedly, engrossed in each other’s words to notice their surroundings. The man is lucky, or rather among the luckiest chaps. He can bring his woman here and get away without bruises. The current generation of ladies frown upon such places and should she get wind of the fact that you were seen, even detouring through Muthurwa, you will be blocked without notice. Blocked everywhere, twitter, facebook, gmail, yahoo…name it.

I settle on my food, biting huge chunks of the chapatti and scooping the beans slowly, enjoying every moment of it. Once someone asked me my favourite food and I answered ‘the first food I’ll lay my eyes on when I am ravenously hungry.’ This right here was definitely my favourite. I order one more chapatti.

While I was about to clear my plate, a well dressed gentlemen walked towards the food stall. In tow was a beautiful lady dressed in red. The bulky woman beckoned the gentlemen and he heeded. To my surprise the beautiful lady followed him. According to my estimation, a woman of that stature, a woman who had taken time to shave her eyebrows only to redraw (it must be painstaking) deserved a five star kind of hotel, not the lowly of the lowly Muthurwa. She was dressed in a red dress that went slightly above her knees, which would definitely reveal her sumptuous thighs. She had those eyes that peered straight into your soul, straight into your value and even where you’d be in the next five years. And she had heels too.

The gentleman converses in whispers with the attendant (these places don’t have waitresses). Moments later she brings out a plate of what looked like mashed minced meat, with too much soup in it. I pay her and leave. But questions lingered in my head, which I longed to ask.
How do you get such an urbane lady to eat in a kibandaski? For some of us such kind place is unheard of. Even a woman two weeks in the city won’t allow her palate to taste such kind of deplorable food, in deplorable place.


Next time I’ll make a point of taking one to such a place. I’d tell her she needs experience first. And it’s not sold anywhere. She needs to prove her mettle, that whatever happens in the course of the relationship, she should be able to stick with me through thick and thin.