As fate, her evil mother-in-law and her conniving co-wife would have it, I am spending yet another night in a lodging; this time in Nyahururu.It goes by the name Sheriff’s, but not of the town. Before I landed here, I walked to this sorta posh lodge earlier to ask about their rates (It’s called Spanish and it had red blinking LED lights, big deal).I sensed from the PUSH HERE glass door and the magnificently tiled floor that this was no poor-intern-trying-to-save kind of place
but I kept walking anyway. Talk of confidence in motion. To say the least, the lowest priced room cost one thousand, five hundred Kenyan money without V.A.T and without breakfast. I almost got a heart attack. That is someone’s one-month rent for crying out loud! Plus it’s not that the room was coming with the man of my dreams in there? Far from it! Was it even coming with any man at all? Even spongebob? Uh huh.My financial insecurities hit the peak.My shoulders slouched a bit but I maintained eye contact.Always maintain eye contact.
I tried hiding my sarcastic-pity party reactions from the receptionist and maintained my cool,like the world couldn’t be more on balance.Inside though I was falling apart, my stark inadequacy pinching enough to make me shed a tear or two.Okay it was actually not that teary-serious but that ka-feeling that France had losing to Portugal in the concluded Euros was intimately there.Were it not for the fact that my innerwear wasn’t exactly my ‘Sunday best’, the kind I want people to see when they undress me to administer first aid, I would have feigned a faint.I would have faked it like we used to do when faced with the shtick(read cane) back in primary school then added a little pizzaz,say a brief seizure-like affair that would involve me mumbling (in)coherently that if she,the receptionist didn’t allow me sleep in one of their ‘executive’ rooms their lightning arrestor would stop working.In fact it would fall off the building at midnight and then a hen,not a cock,but a hen would crow.She would have bought that:hook,line and sinker but then I wasn’t rocking the best innerwear so that plan could not fall through.(Ye of shallow minds that heareth of innerwear and quickly conclude of one tiny piece of apparel, redeem the sanity of thy minds. Think big. A black man wrote that book.)
As expected I didn’t pay for that room. My humility could not allow me.O wait, that’s a lie. I didn’t pay simply because in another part of the world, say Nairobi, fifteen hundred could get me a whole wardrobe makeover at Ngara.I’m talking extreme makeover.And that is how I pulled the PUSH HERE door and walked away,money intact in my pocket.
Here I am at Sheriff’s lodge room twenty-two,an orange-painted room which cost me a whooping five hundred bob.Hehe.I’m lying in bed facing up, typing away on my phone while munching on Macadamia nuts and Oreo, interchangeably.Bliss.It is bonding time for me and my sweetheart Oreo. Oreo is that type of biscuit that understands the dynamics of the human mind, especially mine. We talk about anything and everything: what life has been for it since it was baked, does it fear it might end up alone, never find ‘the one’? We talk about why people in Nyahururu and its environs put more waru than githeri in githeri when you order for githeri,is it a case of bad P.R as in bad public…er,potato relations? We both don’t get it.At some point we turn our attention to the great wall T.V absurdly named TUOSDA where Nat Geo wild is showing.Two alligators are mating.Ew ew ewww(Finally I get to use this expression in life!)
With time the light banter gains momentum and turns philosophical; we talk about deep things like why death is part of life and the NTSAs of the road to success. It tells me it was meant to go to Nakumatt Mega, the huge one along Mombasa road, but some other jealous Oreo badmouthed it to their boss, something about it having a shallow taste and it’s cream being not-so -creamy so it was sent here to Nyahururu.I sigh. Life can be cruel even to a tiny piece of baked wheat. It sighs too.Malipo ni hapa duniani,it says. I religiously agree and massage it’s back slowly while humming to Christina Shusho’s “Tenda wema,nenda zako weee“.It moans in crunchy pleasure. I shush it to sleep, then munch all of it to ease it’s pain. I end it all. That Oreo was too damn good for this cold Nyahururu weather. It deserved better. Like my belly-better.
I wake up with a start. The rooftop bar above my room is too loud for my sleep’s liking. It leaves without goodbye, the sleep. Its terms and conditions have been violated. I am left to stare into the dark of night and my phone battery precariously going down to 15%.My charger is somewhere in Eldoret.Sigh.Earlier in the night when I signed in here it was all peace and tranquility. Now the Kikuyu music from up the ceiling is daring to dismantle not just my sleep but my ear drums too. What was I thinking? That lodge rooms next to bars were custom-designed for visiting nuns? No bliss. No bliss at all.
I plug in my earphones, albeit an effort in futility. I toss and turn, eagerly waiting for day break. As the minutes drag and the music starts and stops I regret holding back that fifteen hundred at Spanish. At this particular time I would trade anything for my sweet sweet sleep. At least the oreo is resting in peace. Cheap is indeed expensive.