Last night was peaceful. You’d get my meaning if you knew my neighbours. They fight. They fight often. It’s loud. It’s ugly. It keeps everyone up.
Last night we all took the night off. I was happy to hear my own heartbeat again. I drew the blinds. I dimmed the lights. I got my bowl of popcorn. I burrowed into the couch and started the film.
And then I heard that eerie sound again: the kitchen door opening, distinct footsteps slowly coming my way. I froze. My pounding heart rose to my throat. How I wished the neighbours would fight.
“A woman’s handbag is a mysterious dungeon. It’s the key to her real self; the prosaic answer to many poetic conceptions. A magician does not want to explain his tricks. There is an aura of taboo about a closed handbag. Every woman has an uneasy look if somebody glances into its sacred privacy,” reads a passage in an article titled ‘The Inside Story of a Handbag’ by Anita Daniel in The New York Times of January 21, 1945. Continue reading
Today, I had a strange experience. I was in a roomful of sweetpotato scientists, including three of the winners of the 2016 World Food Prize (surprised that I know some very important people? Don’t be).
So, the strange experience: Someone said something about the media, and the first image that came to my mind was a tissue culture lab, shelves lined with rows of transparent test tubes. Inside them, tiny, green plantlets sitting delicately inside the nutrient media. Turns out the speaker was talking about photos and video repositories. I had to reboot.
“What am I turning in to?” I wondered.
A slender, dark-skinned, seemingly exhausted policemen stops our car somewhere along the Mombasa – Nairobi highway. He asks to see my driving license. I reach for my handbag, pull out my wallet, extract the document and hand it over to him. He flips it open, gives it a cursory glance and says, “I want you to give me your own licence.” Continue reading
A distant vibrating sound rouses me from my deep slumber. For a few seconds, I think I’m dreaming. And then I hear it. The hooves of a herd of cattle, pounding the stony earth road, the whoosh of a whip cutting through the still air, the deep bellow of a full-grown bull. My sleep disappears with the moon. The herd disappears through the gate to oblivion. Onward to the slaughterhouse that supplies the city with fresh beef every morning.
I drag myself out of bed and through the day in a sleepy daze. On my way home, as I wait to be served at the local butchery, my thoughts are drowned by that staccato sound of hooves, and I walk away in a stupor, to my dinner of salad and fruits.