I was drunk and the city lights seemed to hypnotise me. Walking towards the stage down Kenyatta avenue, it seemed like I was in a trance. Time stood still and the neon lights dazed my already intoxicated mind. I walked past people hurriedly brushing against them.
Nairobi is bustling with life at 10 P.M unlike any other city I know. It comes to life ready and willing to partake in all manners of nocturnal activities. I crossed the road at Moi avenue right next to Gallitos, where a number of Nairobi’s youngens have been drained of their pocket money by the pizza eating, ice cream licking, instagram foodie type that passes for girlfriends these days.
There was a slight stagger in my step as I made it to the other side noticing the rather empty Standard Chartered hall. The veteran Dedan Kimathi had his hand out pointing at me like I was the man. This was the shit they fought for, a country where a young man like myself could walk free and get drunk without having to carry an I.D above his head. The public toilets were a buzz of activity which reminded me I had to pee. But who in their right mind pays ten shillings to relieve themselves especially at 10 P.M? Everyone knows you go to a pub or club and pee for free, you then walk out without giving a rats ass. Somehow I found myself in the public toilet literally passing away my money (ten shillings). I walked out and didn’t even look at the statue I was sure by now it was ashamed of me.
I crossed over to National Archives. Here at 10 P.M it’s a circus. Girls are bundled in groups of threes chatting away seemingly excited about going out. Some look like they just got attacked by the ghost of Mary Kay and barely survived. Some, from their dressing look like avid readers of the Ngara fashion bloggers and some are just clueless. They have this “I’m trying to have fun but my mum will kill me when I get home” look on their face and they end up looking like a virgin Huddah Monroe on her first night. Up ahead a few girls are trying to sober up their one friend who’s throwing up all over the place. What a waste of alcohol I think to myself as I walk past. One of them gives me the “woiyee help” look but I dismiss them I’m not looking to smell like puke. There’s extents I’d go to get a lady but helping her puke is not one of them; besides I’m inebriated too I don’t want to pour out my innards, plus Kimathi is already mad at me.
I turn right onto Tom Mboya and head to the stage known as commercial. Where the cities best matatu’s converge to blare horns. Here it’s all out
competition from the drivers, the hecklers, the conductors, the passengers and the matatu’s themselves. I work an ordinary 9-5 but these chaps will have you reviewing your whole life. Let me start with the conductors, they definitely do not read the ngara fashion bloggers. These chaps would give kenyan stylista a run for his money on a bad day. Catch them on a good day and stylista wouldn’t know what hit him. Head to toe in the words of a central man these guys “wamevaa shamba mbili na mbuzi tatu ruai”.
I think I know how girls feel when they got all that attention from numerous suitors. It must be the same feeling when a dozen makangas convince you that their mat is better. You do that little attitude thing girls do where you brush their hands off, take a step back like you’re taking time with your decision and keep listening to their stupid comments. I mean I already know where I’m going but these chaps will go like
“Brathe hii itapitia ile Mombasa road iko na jam”
Then you’re there wondering if there’s now a Mombasa road with butter. In such cases what I do is take out my phone and turn on my WiFi. Our mats are wireless Internet enabled just incase you were feeling toasty and entitled in that subaru of yours. So whichever connects automatically is the one I’ll pick.
“If I’m going to be in jam I’d rather be in the matatu that updates my phone” Dedan Kimathi
Those are wise words to live by. So I get into this specific one called slip knot. They have pulled out all the stops on this one from interior, to music, to music and to music. Walking into it you feel like there’s a bouncer missing. It’s a moving night club. I grab a seat next to a window and rest my skinny behind as I let the music engulf me. They’re playing my kind of music too – urban hip hop. They’re rapping about fucking nicki or rather not fucking nicki but the bass kicks are orgasmic so fuck nicki. See what I did? It doesn’t take long to fill up and I’m praying a lady sits next to me. Not those tired ladies that want to go home. Talking to them is a waste of time, they’ll complain about the music as if prior to entering they thought it was a cemetery. They’ll dismiss you as soon as they smell the alcohol on your breath, ignoring the fact that you were nice even though she’s rocking channel no four which is my slang for jasho. No I wanted the more laid back lady. The one who’s probably going to visit the boyfie or the one that just came from kulain chipo with the girl’s e.t.c. I’ll explain later why but those are the ones you talk to in a mat. But this guy decides to sit next to me. He smiles as he takes his seat like he’s being sinister. I want to ask him to move he’s spoiling everything. There were a number of window seats available but the guy seats next to me. Dedan Kimathi didn’t die for that shit. Honestly there’s something gay about that. So now I had to look out the window the entire time. On the bright side though the music was dope.