13 June 2009

Umbrellaed Ties

This morning, Michael and I were joined by Neto at the Honey Drop for some breakfast and Kung Fu.  We chomped away at mandazi’s, watched the programming and jabbered about Ronaldo to Spain.  It is always nice to see Neto out of work and with him coming to eat some brunch with us tomorrow will continue a weekend full of Neto meals.

As we ate, a young boy waited at the counter with his sharply dressed father.  He was in a royal blue sweat-suit, the kind that actually makes you sweat.  With black dress shoes, the same pair that every school boy wears in this country.  For a shirt, a white button down with a striped tie.  I guess you can say he was wearing a suit and tie, but would not meet the requirements to make it into the New York Athletic Club.

The afternoon was spent confronting the reality of being home next year and contemplations in regards to what that means for my next step.  Hence, much time was spent on the internet doing the grad-school-research-trot to iTunes genius playlists.

Yesterday, we ventured to Kakamega where Sue and I hung by the pool to await Michael’s arrival.  The Gulf Hotel is located just outside of the center of town and features a pool that has been in the past Jell-O green.  Today it was the normal blue haze of most pools.  I did not wish to go for a swim, although I regretted the decision upon seeing the correctly colored pool.  However, I was able to read my newspaper and learn about the new budget while sipping on freshly squeezed orange juice.  I felt high class sitting amongst the Kenyans wealthy enough to spare the Sh100 for a swim.  The hotel is stuck in the same Dirty Harry era of the buildings of Nairobi.  I think there are so few options due to lack of construction materials, but I always feel as if I am transformed back into some sort of 70’s movie.  The cars in the parking lot even fit the bill.  Boxy Volvos and Mercedes sat with the odd Subaru away from the rest.  All I needed was more white people with cheesy mustaches and semi-afros and the aesthetic would be complete.  However, there were some of the most beautiful flowers planted in a garden behind my seating that I was unable to photograph due to my camera being at home.

Hanging from the post was chalk for the pool table.  One of the girls went over to see what was hanging and upon inspection realized it was chalk.  Perplexed, she showed her friend who viewed with greater intrigue.  They called to their male friend to find out why chalk would be hanging in cube form.  When he motioned towards the pool table, the two girls blushed and giggled at their reaction to such a mundane thing.

On the matatu over, I observed a man walking along the side of the street.  Nothing seemed out of place save the umbrella he was carrying for shade.  You know it is hot when the umbrellas make an appearance, but for a man to be carrying one indicated that Friday was a scorcher.  It really was not all that strange.  In fact, the reason I remember it is because I thought to myself, “that is one smart guy.”