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Observation

Meeting Old Friends

The other day, I was to meet my class 5 crush for the first time since I transferred schools in class 5.

He suggested Tuskys. It is one of the few places I avoid in Kisumu. If you ever lie to anyone that you are away from town, do not and I repeat, do not show up in Tuskys, you will meet. I assure you there will be no way you can hide. Tuskys is the ideal meeting spot for the people you intend to avoid. It doesn’t help that it’s the only mall next to the main stage. It also hosts the only KFC place in Kisumu. I still can’t understand Kisumu people’s obsession with this place. In short, Tuskys is a place to avoid if you don’t like crowds. Human traffic is guaranteed. It is this same Tuskys that Crush chose. So I said ‘why not?’

When we met, we had the usual pleasantries, which were full of ‘I can’t believe it’s you’ ‘waaaaa’ ‘so we finally meet’ ‘you look so lovely’ ‘I still can’t believe it’s really you’ and my favorite ‘you are beyond what I expected’. A girl can be flattered. A girl can blush. We decided to find a place to seat and talk. We had over a decade to catch up on. Just after passing the security point, which by the way I found to be shitty, we met another class 5 classmate, the best friend to Crush. I immediately knew there would be a change in plans. We will call him Best Friend. I am not using anyone’s name here today.

We catch up for some time creating a minor traffic at the shitty security checkpoint. Finally, we all agreed to go for bhajias. When you visit Kisumu and you happen to be in the mood for some bhajias, the place to be is at Mama Hassan’s. It’s located in Ondiek estate, just a few minutes from Tuskys mall. Best friend was in the company of a petite girl, who looked like his girlfriend (I will justify that) and another guy who was in denim. I hope you are all getting their names. Just in case you are lost, there is Crush, Best Friend, Petite Girl and Denim Guy. Now keep up please.

We leave Tuskys and head to Mama Hassan’s. Let me tell you why this place is sacred to those like me who have no problem eating junk food. Mwitu to be specific. One, Mama Hassan has been there for as long as I can remember. Two, her bhajias are just heavenly, mouthwatering. Three, there is something called loyalty. It cuts across several avenues. Salons, Barbers, and now as you have all learnt, food kiosks. Four, my sister recommended it sometime. So the fact that my sister, who does not know Kisumu so well, found this place means it is the best. I could go on and on, but this is not a marketing post.

Just as we approach Mama Hassan’s, Petite Girl says she knows a different place that is actually good. She gives us an impression of this new place; there is no waiting and that we would get seats fast. Unlike Mama Hassan’s place, there are few people. She goes further and tells the rest of the group to go to Mama Hassan’s if they are not for it but as for her, she was going to the other place. Best Friend, or as I would say Suspected Boyfriend, asked for our opinion. Now I knew it was just for formality purposes because the facts were 1) There was no way Best Friend was going to a different place from Petite Girl 2) There was no way Crush was going to a different place from Best Friend and 3) The moment that division option was brought up, we were all going to the new place. These were facts. A chain rolling out.

That was my cue. I should have just created some ridiculous story and excused myself from the group but I didn’t. I also needed to hang with old friends. Crush to be specific. It had been a decade! All this, for my class 5 crush. Dude you owe me better bhajias.

The other place wasn’t as promised. One, there were no seats. Two, there was a crowd. Three, there was a waiting line. We were group #3. Each group waited at least 30minutes. Do the math. In short, I was missing Mama Hassan’s place. Petite Girl decided to look for seats. As for me, I was targeting the group that was doing literally nothing next to us. They had eaten. They needed to leave. Well, they did leave and we got their seats.

And so the wait began… and my observing eyes began to work…

When you use observation for content, you need things to be real, not stage-managed. Therefore, I was counting on that just in case I decided to write about the place. Crush however decided to issue out a warning to everyone. “Be careful what you say, and how you act. She is a writer and she can be savage. The other day alimulika a guy just for tweezing”. How do you get real content when everyone is now on the alert? You employ patience. Eventually people let their guards down. Am not savage in my posts. That’s just a misconception. Sort of.

Let me give you all a picture of how the place looked like. It is an outdoor eating shack with two possible seating areas, outside the compound and inside the compound. The seats are plastic chairs that are available depending on your arrival time and the willingness of the previous occupants to vacate the said seats. Everything was being done manually or rather traditionally. The potatoes were peeled with knives, and later cooked using three stones and a huge black pan half filled with oil. A duck kept patrolling the area at intervals of 10minutes. A baby was crying, I never got why. She was a lovely girl in pink. Her mother however thought it wise to plait her half-haired head. I think this was just torture. Why punish a child like that? Maybe that is why she kept crying. The cooking staff were for lack of a better word, very slow. For a place with that much traffic in form of customers, their service delivery was uncharmingly (this is not even a real word) slow.

It was half an hour since we had arrived and still we were nowhere close to being served. Petite Girl later suggested we all move into the compound and not outside as we had initially positioned ourselves. Best Friend had to ask (formality) if we are ok with that. We had to be. Refer to the facts previously stated.
Inside the compound, I had no view of the activities going on outside, like the progress of our ordered Bhajias.

After minutes of waiting to be served, the lady in charge comes and takes our order. Five plates of bhajia. Pretty simple huh? Well it wasn’t to her. After all that waiting and finally getting some hope she comes back with just two plates. Two plates! We were five! She smiles at all of us and says, “Aki nikienda kuosha plates ule aliuza order yenu”. You don’t play people like that when it comes to food. I pitied Denim Guy most. He had reached out for a plate, which he had to let go, so that the ladies in the team can have the first share. Being a gentleman needs its time-outs. I did feel for him. Unfortunately, it’s only he who was waiting. Crush joined me. Best friend joined Petite Girl. (I promised to tell you why I suspected Best Friend was Boyfriend, right? This is the place. They shared Petite Girl’s plate. She gave him her juice when Denim Guy snatched his and I could swear it was during this time that I heard one of them calling the other ‘babe’. It could also just be my overactive imagination)

Best Friend was making some calls to other friends to join us. His only problem was giving the directions to where we were. Petite Girl took it upon herself to confuse the crap out of the guy more. ‘Tell them to come near the old VCT’ ‘tell them to come to Akinyi’s (not the real name) place’ ‘tell them to use Ondiek’ and many more tell thems. Well, somehow the friend found the place. I was expecting a crowd. It was just one person.

The whole team got to some catching up. I noticed Petite Girl did not talk much. She just stayed in her corner as if studying all of us. It was sort of like what I do when am in a crowd of new people. Denim Guy would join in only when there was a jab being thrown at someone. I guess he feared whatever he said might be used against him in this piece. The talkers were Crush and Best Friend. One discussion however caught my attention. Straight guys really feel a strong sense of repulsion towards the gay guys. Everyone except Denim Guy had an experience with a gay person and the tone in their voices when speaking of such moments oozed nothing but disgust. I will not share the stories. This is already longer than I expected.

Everyone got their share of bhajias eventually. It was lovely to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

It was getting late and I needed to go home.

GOODBYES ARE OVERRATED

Lewis was to write this week, but due to some very real reasons (that I will not mention), and definitely not excuses, he could not. Therefore, I will fill in this week. In all honesty, I had nothing to do so this wasn’t a big deal to me. Finishing school can have that effect on someone.

The past few days have been full of farewell parties, last time photos and ridiculous amounts of goodbye(s). Almost everyone I know is saying goodbye to someone or something. A good percentage saying goodbye to 8-4-4 system. I am among this group. It’s been a long academic journey from the times when we would draw grasshoppers to crooked Kenya and Africa maps to brains and the whole human body. In the spirit of appreciating the 8-4-4 system, maybe one day I will be asked to draw a grasshopper in an interview panel and man will I thank my teacher for the lessons, at the same time giving the interviewers an ‘I got this’ look. It’s a look full of confidence.

So back to the main point, goodbyes. In my opinion, just as the title clearly stipulates, they are overrated. How many times have you cried when saying goodbye to someone only to realize a day later that you did not even think of them in the 24hours you had? This is obviously rhetorical so moving on… How many times do we say goodbye to people with promises of ‘we will talk’ ‘keep in touch’ ‘I will miss you’ and yet never keep the very promises. The contact information becomes one of the many contacts in your phonebook never meant to be deleted, just in case. Just in case you visit a town they are in and you need a host. Alternatively, just in case you meet one day, you want to be the one who never deleted the number. It will be even more advantageous on your side if the person has a new number, and does not have yours. You can always pull the Your-phone-is always-off-whenever-I-call card. Works every time!

This is not the first time I am leaving a learning institution. This is not the first time I am parting ways with friends. And of course, I mean this with distance as the factor and not any drama. I have been in boarding schools most of my life so I know what it means to say goodbye to years of friendship when eventually everyone has to go back home and the probability of a meeting is at 0.05%. I said goodbye to my primary school friends. Those I am still in touch with are few, but still more than I expected. I expected zero communication. I can say thanks to social media. I said goodbye to high school friends and it is the same case with a little upgrade in form of auto books. They were ordinary books with many celebrity photos, and colorful writing with all types of pens. These books had five main categories, name, nickname (aka), hood, digitz (yes, that’s how we spelt digits back then), and the partying shot. Any other additional data was allowed as long as it was within your page allocation. The few special friends to the owner of the auto books would have the privilege of using two pages. That was an honour! This past week I said goodbye to my campus friends. The difference here is that this time round I was mature enough not to make a big deal out of a goodbye. The most my friends got from me was ‘safe journey’. And this is only for those I was in contact with while they were travelling.

What is the point of elevating something as simple as a farewell into a mountain of rushed, fake and unclear emotions that will only last the duration of the farewell after which everything resumes normalcy? Again, rhetorical.

As Africans, we have a ‘culture’ of making farewells such a big deal. Let’s take for instance a family member is travelling out of the country, especially when the destination is the USA. There will be a family get-together, a Harambee, and several meetings held all in preparation for the farewell of a family member. To me these farewells are just but a huge waste of money and time. At the end of the day, when this person leaves, chances of communicating with them are close to nil. The next time such a buzz will exist is when the said family member is set to return home. Then we start another episode of ‘Let’s waste money with an excuse’.

As I said earlier, I have had a week full of goodbyes. Classmates, friends, neighbours. Everyone was bidding everyone goodbye. Be it face to face, via a long emotional text that may or may not include an ‘I’ll miss you’ with a series of emojis that I find absurd, via social media with a long post about the journey of whatever it is you are saying goodbye to and its relation to you. In my opinion, we only say goodbye to the proximity, when it comes to people. I don’t see what else changes other than that. If there was good communication before, I do not see why that should change. If there was none, there is no point kissing each other’s you-know-whats (read that as a word that starts with an ‘A’) in the name of promising to keep in touch. It’s time to lose the façade. There is no point in creating an emotional environment with people when you know so well you have no intention of staying in touch with them. it’s better to let them go without any expectations. At least this way, when communication fails, no one is betrayed.

Do I sound negative? No? Wonderful.

In related news, we will be changing the design of this website soon. It’s a work in progress. But since am not one to make a big deal out of that, letting you all know is good enough for me.

A DAY IN THE SPA

When you hear Nairobi you think traffic jams, Kanjos, live theft, and many more issues associated with our beloved capital city. Somehow even with all it’s bad reputation, there is still that thrill that comes with being in Nairobi. Personally, I am not a huge fan of the city. I don’t like congestion and it is a congested city. I don’t like the traffic jams. And don’t get me started with the Kanjos… (story of another day). I avoid the city by all means. There is the busy traffic which makes people like me (those who fear crossing the road) have a hard time. There is the noise. I am yet to walk to a part of the CBD that is actually quiet.

I arrived in the city on Saturday afternoon. I should have been in town by 10am but it just wasn’t my day. I had missed my appointment. And was very disappointed. All I needed was some consolation; the only place I know how to get that is a Spa. A treat for myself, from myself. There is this really wonderful nail and facial spa in town just near  Ambasadeur bus stage. They do quality work. They are just beside Lazarus’ Inn.

I walked in to the salon/spa. Casually said hi to everyone. Few minutes later this lady friend was working on my nails. They had free Wi-Fi. All was good. All I had left to do was observe and update Apps.

This Nairobi guy walks in with his group of boys. They look like they are fresh from high school. He was wearing rugged jeans (whoever thought this was a good idea for men’s wear, shame on you!), a very baggy vest that made his skinny arms look even skinnier. His gang of friends had almost similar dressing. Two of them had bags on their backs. They were so flat I was convinced they carried nothing in them. Well, may be except for their headphones. They looked like headphones people. All of them were wearing these huge Timbers. Basically, they looked like young Kanye(s). The leader, he was literally leading them in, walks up to a lady attendant working on a clients feet.

“Niaje…Mnafanya eye tweezing?”

I could not contain my laughter at this point. Its not because he sounded funny or anything, there is just no such thing as eye tweezing. Its just tweezing. The fact that he was just being specific made it very hilarious! You know that look everyone in a room gives you when you are the only one laughing? I got that. My friend joined in of course. That lady attendant was clearly suppressing her laughter. I think she was trying to be good.

“Hua ni tu tweezing. Hakuna eye tweezing”

“Ni how much?”

“one-fifty per person”

“Sawa. Ntaback”

Its a good thing he said he was coming back. I was hoping by the time he gets back, maybe with more people who needed eye tweezing, I would be gone.

I refuse to sit next to a guy in a Spa as he gets his nails done, his eyebrows trimmed (tweezing), or even his hair being worked on (for those who use hair dryer). Trim your nails at home. Go to your Barber for your hair issues. If you have to be in the salon/spa let it be because you are working there (It is not uncommon to find some men working in the salons nowadays. Its adorable how we got rid of classifying jobs), or you have just gone there to pick up your girlfriend, and maybe pay for the services. Just don’t sit down next to me, read a ladies’ fashion magazine, listen in on what we talk about, and who knows? You might just be a blogger! And a week later a link will be sent to groups ‘My day at the spa’. It will have all details pertaining to your day. Highly exaggerated of course, all in a desperate attempt to expose what goes on in there.

I always believe the Salon/Spa is the ladies’ sacred area. Just like the Barber shop is for the guys. The guys can talk about anything in the Barber shop. Politics. Women. Football. Business. Anything. The salon is the same for ladies. It may be known as a place where women ‘gossip’, but it’s also the place women can discuss their issues with each other without worry. Sometimes the topics are so fruitful and you end up getting some good friends.

Tweezing guys left and it sparked a discussion. How the fine line between being a man and being masculine is fading. How women are put off by girly men. Keep in mind these are not gays, they are just men who will do all girly things. Including wearing make up. It was one hell of a discussion.

There was this really brown woman who had brought her daughter along with her to the Spa. The daughter was nowhere close to the mother in skin colour. Mother was almost white. With some dark spots on her face and knuckles. I am not saying she removed some tint. Am just saying, maybe the daughter’s father was from Sudan. It is possible. So this woman wanted everything done on her. She wanted full pedicure and manicure (I recently learnt a friend thinks this is for men!). She wanted a facial. Oh, and because of tweezing-boy, she also wanted tweezing done on her. This lady had very few (almost none) eyebrows but still wanted them taken off so she can draw her own. Ladies, where did we go wrong? Who ruined us?

I could see her attendant really bored already. All that time, daughter was busy installing games on her phone. Give anyone free Wi-Fi and they want the whole App Store in their phone.

A woman whose name I got as ‘Dada’ came in and started marketing her products. Food products to be specific. Cooked food. She had everything. Pilau. Beef. Chapati (they didn’t look like The Chapatis). Rice. Beans. Green grams. Everything you can want at lunch time. Brown Mama ordered Pilau. It had been long since she had the meal, so she said. She ordered just one plate. But they were two (what would daughter eat?). It was none of my business though. Her attendant ordered the Chapatis. I still insist, they did not look good. I didn’t make any order. Trust issues.

At one far corner in the spa was a skinny dark lady who just got new fake nails and could not stop taking pictures of them. Instagram was not going see enough of her. I could imagine her tags. #Nails #Slaying #TheseAreReal #PreparationsForTheBash #HatersGonnaHate #KeepingItReal #SpaTings #TeamNatural. Then a series of emojis. Her phone had those pinkish-yellow silicone made phone cases that really annoy me. She kept taking selfies; one with her hand placed seductively on her face. That particular picture wasn’t going on Instagram. That was headed to Bae. She looked and acted like a light skin. Its only until recently that I knew some behaviours are associated with light skins. She was this Nairobi diva until she got a phone call. Her English was gone. Her Nairobi Swahili was gone. It was just her and her perfect Luo. And some bits of broken Swahili. Akinyi yawa!

My nails were almost done in less than an hour. I was having a time of my life relaxing in the Spa. I spent my time observing people. I wonder just how many were observing me. Well, my friend did a good job, as usual. I am definitely going back the next time I visit the big city. Who knows? Tweezing-boy might actually be there. Then I can ask him why he didn’t prefer a Barber shop.

 

Let’s talk nails

Ever been bored till you start thinking of your life as a village bull? You start imagining how a big bull with a huge hunch back you could have been. Named after a prominent leader and carrying the last york in plough. You will be receiving all the praise songs during the tilling period. After all the accolades and good fights, your owner will decide to get the best return on you before your better days are gone and decide to cash you in for slaughter. Just before your last prayers as the sharp knife is inching nearer your neck, boom! a notification gets on your phone. It is a word document.

It is one of these articles which you read and make you feel your eyes become watery, you get so engrossed you feel you are going to save it for future use. You will have a hard copy printed out and you hang it over your bed. You have known no tears before but here an article working you up. Nobody has moved you with a piece of writing this deep before.

It was an article by Paula Norah, even though it was done as a mere embarrassing trial, without having to worry about flowery words, no scented language and not even a bit of editing. It got to convey the intended message home. From that embarrassing trial, she has done other kick ass pieces, with every new piece becoming better from the last.

One of the things she is drawn to are drawn to nails, I don’t even understand how people get time to do those, well we can have that world with us.

Paula take it away…

 

The long lecturer’s strike made me one lazy brat. Lazy because that’s just me. Brat because I started viewing myself as a diva. I started questioning why I had to do chores…like cook, clean the house, and worst of all wash dishes! My defense was pretty much simple; I would have been in school meaning I wouldn’t have been around to do that particular thing at that particular time. As if that would work. Am petty like that sometimes. One thing that all these chores share in common is they involve water and sometimes soap. I do not fear that combination, hell no! Am a lady for heaven’s sake. What I don’t like is that combination in relation to my nails. Like I said, diva.

I love my nails. I love to care for them. I love it when I apply cutex on them and walk around swinging my hands. I have to care for my nails. Why? I have tiny hands and slim fingers. Anytime I shake someone’s hand most will say “uko na mkono ndogo!”. I avoid hand shaking too. Am a huger. Being a saloonist, when I do someone’s hair, I have to ask for help at the last stage because small hands can’t allow me hold everything at once. Clients laugh at me sometimes. Yet it is them who need to look good. Anyway, when I have my nails done really pretty no one notices my tiny hands and all attention goes to my nails. I guess you now see why my nails are a big deal. That and the fact that I have really beautiful nails. Yes, fact.

So on this day, I am lying casually but abnormally on the couch, phone in hand, legs high on the back of the couch, my back flat on the couch seat, my head facing up but actually a little bit suspended mid air. Basically I wasn’t sitting on the couch like a lady, at all. Or even a normal person. Picture a couch, now picture the design. It very clear on what goes where. So take all that and turn it upside down. Yes, that is how I was. And in case you are wondering, I was wearing a trouser.

Crrrrr…Crrrrr…Crrrrr… That is the sound my Grandma’s walker makes anytime she is approaching. That sound is a warning bell to me so I sit up and act like a lady. I place my feet down, cross my right leg over the left one. Haha! I even adjusted my trouser. I put my phone away and pick a newspaper (It wasn’t the day’s paper for sure). I did all that just to avoid her lectures. Back to point, nails. She is already in the sitting room now. And she is carrying a knife.

“Paula…!” *she always believes we don’t hear well so it’s a shout*

“mmmh”

“Paula, yitsa undeterekho amatere kano”

*awkward silence*

“ewe! Yitsa undeterekho amatere kano!”

“kukhu sikuelewi”

*she laughs*

“vbolangendi…yitsa undeterekho amatere kano” *she says this a bit slower*

Now am laughing my lungs out. She is not making this easy and she knows it. She might even be having fun who knows!

“aki kukhu sijakuelewa. Unasema nini?”

“katiakho mimi makucha hii”

Ooh… So that is what she meant. Cut her nails. Wow, thanks Grandma, you didn’t make that hard at all! Now I understood why she was carrying a knife. Grandma believes in razor blades and knives. Current inventions like nail cutters just don’t cut it in her list of things she trusts. I only know how to use nail cutters.

I get my lazy-self off the couch and head to Mum’s room. She always has a nail cutter, my nail cutter. Though I have a strong feeling I am not getting it back. I am hoping she was not listening to my ‘wonderful’ dialogue with Grandma. That would crack her up, and we will have yet another conversation about how we kids are not ready to learn her language. Anyway, Mum heard everything! I know this because she was laughing so hard when I walked in.

*still laughing*

“you kids have to learn kiluhya”

I pretended not to have heard that.

“ulieka nail cutter wapi?”

“chukua kwa iyo bag yangu”

I see bags. Not a bag. There are at least 6 handbags, 2 travel bags, and some that I cant categorize. There is no ‘iyo bag’ Which bag does she mean? She wont tell me of course, she is busy. So I search all of them and finally find it after a good 7minutes. Mum never helps me when I search for things. She’d rather watch.

Grandma gave up waiting for me and began sharpening her knife against the wall. Patience has never really been her strong suit. So I had to hurry. Now we are sitting outside on the verandah.

“watoto wa tawuni hapana juanga kutumia wembe da?” (don’t town kids know how to use razor blades?

*silence*

It is sometimes better not to answer Grandma’s questions. Especially those that refer to us as town kids. Those conversations never end well. They never even end because I usually walk away when she is not seeing, and she would keep talking until she finds a distraction. It’s our thing.

We maintain some small talk. Her asking if I am really cutting her nails and me showing the evidence. Grandma has trust issues!

While I am cutting her finger nails I notice she has beautiful long nails, they look old now, but they are definitely beautiful. The fingers are long, wrinkled yet still have the shade of perfection. Her hands are so frail I fear I am too rough on her. Her toe nails are also long and beautiful, though old. I am thinking I should give Grandma a mani-pedi. Ha! I can imagine her response if I am to suggest that. I know where I get my beautiful hands. Her hands are a replica of mine, except mine are small. She observes me keenly while I work and asks why I keep long nails. I can’t find the exact Swahili words that can describe to her why I keep long nails so I tell her I like them long. At this point, I am done cutting hers.

“Ah! ni mbaya…kata”

*ouch Grandma*

I laugh anyway and tell her that’s just how I like them. she says thank you but still checks her nails to confirm if I have actually cut them. Like I said, trust issues. That is my Grandma. That is just how she is. Old, rigid, prayerful, compassionate, inquisitive, traditional, and the best. And she has beautiful nails.

I need to sign off and cut/trim my nails. The nail on my right middle finger broke! Damn! As if it was siding with Grandma. But did it have to be that finger?

Paula Norah.

Blue-Ticking Justified

Blue ticks…Well I know no one wants to be a victim of those. For those wondering what blue ticks are and what blue-ticking is, let me be a lamb and educate you. When you get blue-ticked, you have been ignored. Your texts are going unanswered. And yes, they have been delivered and read. This term pretty much came to be when WhatsApp introduced the tiny blue ticks that indicate your text is delivered and read.

If you don’t see ‘typing…’ after the blue ticks, honey, you have been blue-ticked. Now, I know it sounds bad to be a victim, but let’s face it, some people really do ask for it.

I have done my fair share of blue-ticking. Have I been blue-ticked? Yes. No. Maybe. I dont know. Anyway, this is the day I finally justify blue-ticking. It’s never about snubbing. Like I said, some people really beg for it. And I am a very generous lady, when it comes to blue ticks.

These are some of the instances and character traits that would definitely guarantee blue ticks:

  • The X-Factor

Those who use the ‘X’! Who told you introducing ‘X’ in all your words makes your text look cool? That’s just really annoying. I really get pissed off when someone texts me ‘xaxa’ instead of ‘sasa’. Am pretty sure that is not even Xhosa. If you can’t let go the X-Factor, please do not complain when you see the blue ticks. You begged for them.

Some time back a friend had communication issues with his landlord. Why? The X-Factor. The landlord sent a text saying they meet on ‘Xday’. Which day is that exactly? My friend automatically assumed Saturday. I would have. Turns out that is Sunday, in the X language. If that guy gets the blue ticks, he had better suck it up. He deserves it.

  • Mr. Dia

These are the guys who just can’t quit calling you ‘dia’ in the middle of a chat. And to make matters worse, they spell it wrong. Its dear! If you can’t type that, you have a problem. And blue ticks are definitely the solution. I know some think it’s cute, but its really not. Especially if you are a stranger. Keep the dias. I don’t need to read 100 dias in just one conversation. Otherwise, Blue ticks pap!

  • Ok. Sawa. K. Lol

These words definitely kill a conversation. I never think twice when I get such a response. It is even worse when you write a paragraph and get a ‘k’. People please. That is not even a word. It is a letter that follows ‘J’ in the alphabets damn it! If there is a new communication trend that introduced letters to stand in for words and not be irritating, then K. But I will still blue-tick you. K?

And LOL. What do you even say after that? LOL to you too? Really people! Send me a LOL and I go mute.

  • Boring chats

Let no one tell me boring chats are a two-way thing. Someone initiates this. Imagine a scenario where you are really hyped up about a certain topic and the other party just doesn’t give a similar vibe. Boring. Another scenario of a boring chat is when all you do is exchange hellos. After that, nothing to talk about. Let’s just say, in this case don’t even complain when you are blue-ticked. Next scenario; someone initiates a chat but expects you to now keep it alive. I am a very good conversationalist. I can try to save a chat, but not for long. If you are boring, you are boring. If there is nothing to talk about, just say “I was checking on you”. Dont bore me to death.

  •  Delayed Responce

This relates to those people who send you a message at 7.00p.m. You will reply at 7.01p.m.  And they reply the next day at noon. Here’s the thing, you will get a reply from me immediately. But not all the time. I use the three-strike rule. Once you are at three strikes, blue ticks. There is no way I can be discussing one topic for a whole week! For the sake of peace, kindly accept the blue ticks if you fall in this category.

  • Too sensitive

Take a joke people! Loosen up a little. Buy some sense of humor if you got none. If possible, please learn how to have a comeback for the likes of me. We are the sarcastic kind. And somehow we find being mean funny. Comebacks just make the chat interesting. But it’s very annoying when someone just ‘catches feelings’. The world is brutal. If you can’t take a joke, darling don’t expect anyone to massage those feelings. Carry them and the blue ticks away. Adios!

  • The Questionnaires

The questionnaire type of chats are just a beacon for blue ticks. I mean they can be interesting occasionally, but they had better introduce a discussion point. I will not be interrogated. I refuse that. I am not a criminal…well, not yet. If that’s all I can get in a chat, I am better off watching detective movies.

  • Forwarded messages

Don’t get me started on these. They are tuned to different seasons. I love originality and creativity. If you can’t come up with your own Christmas message, then just say ‘merry Christmas!’ But do not forward a message that was forwarded to you by someone who also got it from a friend who forwarded it. You get the picture. My dad once typed and sent a message to his colleagues on New Year, only to receive his message as it was the next day. From someone who is not even a colleague. Who killed creativity?

I particularly have a problem with those messages that have threats attached to them. ‘If you don’t forward, you don’t love God…’ 

Another particularly annoying phrase is ‘send to 15 other people including me and see what happens in 5minutes…’ I know what will happen in 5 minutes. You will be waiting for a response. It won’t come. Why? Blue ticks!

  • Failing to communicate

I am not choosy on what language to chat with. I can comfortably send texts in English, Swahili and Luo. (am not 100% fluent in swahili and Luo though) But yes, I can use them. If you also want to mix them up am good with that. Just ensure you communicate. I don’t want to read a text and ask myself ‘what is this person trying to say?’ I will not try to decode that text. It’s a complete waste of time.

For example, what is this? ‘mng. Nd ur hp. U bzy? Xnd me mbanas ya mxee wa cls. Gdy’ I do not speak in codes. This kind of text will get a blue tick. How hard is it to just write a word as it is?

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These are just some of the scenarios where someone is really begging for blue ticks. The thing is, the blue-tickers are not really snubbing. At least not all the time. Sometimes their actions are justified.

Free advice to the constant victims, how about unmarking the read receipts box? That way you will never see blue ticks. All you will see are the black ticks. And again, they don’t rub in your face that you have been blue-ticked.

Blue ticks are not just for WhatsApp, they are all over now. Metaphorically Speaking of course. But they are. Any messaging platform has its blue ticks.

And that, is blue-ticking justified, my way.

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