Always tastes better

blurry lightsIn life some things you learn the hard way. Like how whiskey is never a good chaser for vodka or vodka is never a good chaser for whiskey.

I had just gotten into town. It was a Friday and the streets were abuzz with activity. You could almost smell the anticipation in the air, everyone loves Fridays; or at least they should. It was the Friday right after the war on second generation liquor started. The effects of this war were immediate, the usual watering holes were empty. They were only serving beer, afraid of repercussions that might ensue from selling spirits. While I love beer as much as the next person, everyone knows you don’t go to enjoy beer at the local. Not my local, I don’t even know if they have a fridge. With a name like Kwa Mathe and a bartender called Ofweneke you get my reluctance in buying beer here. I might never be able to explain why I am comfortable buying spirits here. It might have something to do with the lower prices – these guys are cheaper than a whore at 5.30 am.

The crew is already in town and they are wetting their tongues at some club along Moi Avenue. I quickly walk down the road to meet up with them. As is with tradition you spread your arms at the door and let those guys in black suits wand you. It has sort of become a ritual. I’ve always had issues with them, they have a hard time believing I am old enough (even after growing a beard longer than a socialite’s skirt). Not on that Friday though, they let me in without as much as a side glance. Maybe the beard is paying off, though I am now torn between being happy that I look old enough or being sad that I now look old. The place is full and a waitress willingly tries to help me find a spot to sit. I tell her I am here to meet someone and they probably have saved a seat for me, she smiles and hurries off to seat someone else. I find the guys hurdled over one of their phones, I recognize the blue template on the screen and know these guys or on instagram. I sit next to them, in between fist bumps and hand clasps they hand me the phone. On the screen is a picture of four ladies and they ask me to choose one. I go for ‘my type’ and one of them cusses me out. The other one fist bumps me as we share the same taste – again I don’t know if that’s a good thing, I should probably never leave him in the same room as my girlfriend. A waitress comes along sashaying in her black skirt. I whisper (okay shout – the music was too loud) into her ear that I want a beer. She nods in agreement and stretches out her hand waiting for the cash. I fish into my pocket and pull out a crisp thousand shilling note hand it over to her and watch as she disappears into the crowd.

A few hours later (read minutes) she comes back with my drink but no glass. She says the club is quite busy and they are out of clean glasses but will get me one as soon as they are available. I admired her naïve honesty, but you don’t tell people the club is out of glasses. It is unprofessional. She promises to be back with the glass and my change. I make a mental note to memorize her name as was on the tag but I got distracted by her cleavage. In between laughs and giggles I said a prayer, I didn’t have any more money on me and I didn’t fancy walking home. A few minutes later she’s not back, next to me are seated two girls taking pictures without a care in the world. In every picture they would tilt their heads towards each other and pout – is this the new selfie standard? I don’t want to go into how they looked; they were average and laughed a little bit too loudly to my liking. Oh, did I mention they were having kingfisher? So here they were snapping away without a care in the world with a phone that did not have a front facing camera. So it was a balancing act, one of them had to position her index finger on the camera button and then try to tap the button for the selfie. This one time she hit the home button and then hit the message icon. I saw a brief text from “babe 1” and I chuckled to myself. When the flash didn’t go off they must have known something was wrong so they turned the phone to face them and bam!

Being a gentleman I offered to take their photos for them. They did not even think about it before handing me the phone and cuddling up together pouting their lips. My friends nudged me in the ribs giving me that ‘get one of their numbers’ look. I ignored them as I became their personal picharazzi. Twenty something selfies I handed them back the phone. They went through each of the photos before giving me a nod of approval. I was tempted to ask them for their instagram handles if for anything just to see what sort of hash tags they would bless the internet with. I came up with #GirlsNightOut #BestStrangerEverTakingPicsForUs #OurStrangerIsBetterThanYours but I didn’t ask for their handles, heck I didn’t even speak to them- they were drinking king fisher. I wasn’t looking to have a conversation on why riddims are fast replacing jazz as preferred classical music in our generation. All this time the waitress had not come back with my change and I was getting panicky. I looked around the club, this is when you realize they all look the same. I tried finding one with the same cleavage, you know how no boob is the same? Well, they are the fucking same. Just as I am about to randomly ask one of them for my change I see her walking up to me. She whispers a quick apology and hands me my change. She didn’t bring back a glass though but I didn’t need one I was already halfway. Besides, beer always tastes better straight from the bottle.

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