1. The cold
The weather has changed, and now it is “winter.” Of course, it’s not that cold, and during the day the sun still blazes–right now it is 73 degrees Fahrenheit, which is not so bad except for “jua kali” or “harsh sun,” which I envision as an angry sun personified, wearing too cool for school shades and indifferent to our plight. But it’s also the rainy season, and early in the morning, or mid-breeze, and especially at night, it feels cold, or at least “chilly.” These days, when I get to the pool, I spend at least five minutes trying to soak in some sun before I manage to jump in. Unfortunately, the hotter it is outside, the colder the pool water. One day during the past few weeks, two guys were at the pool on a Saturday, and having jumped in before me, one decided to adjust to the cold by running through the water and flapping his arms around, saying a lot of hilarious things. Then he looked to me and said, “You can come in now. I have warmed the water for you.” Please let him go into comedy; Kenya needs you, bwana.
There were also two kids playing in the small, slightly heated pool on the edge of the large pool. Their mom announced that she was going into the big pool, and her son responded, fearfully, “But mom, you will die!” To which she responded something like, “My son, I will not die!”
Anyway, the water is quite cold for the first two minutes or so.
2. The mannequins
At the Tuskys near my house and, let’s be honest, all over town, there are these really creepy-looking white mannequins. I would do a photo post of them, but it’s just not worth it. I don’t want to get creeped out all over again. Anyway, the other day, I was consulting with the Safaricom agent over faulty credit I’d purchased–she was very helpful, but these things take forever to deal with–Safaricom must be notified, plus the manager, plus the president, etc. So I was at least amused by watching these two little kids suspiciously walk up to the mannequins and touch their hands and clothes, and then jump back, as if those creepy white mannequins would bite.
A few minutes later, an older man walked by–he looked totally peaceful and in his head, just drifting, and he, too, seemed mesmerized by the mannequins, especially the male mannequin’s blazer. He touched their hands slightly, examined the blazer’s buttons, and then slowly walked away
3. These pictures are very good
Thanks to my dear aunt and my friend Vinita, I am now in good supply of three American magazines, one of which has a very sexy picture of Serena Williams on the front cover. Brother John was in my apartment, dealing with some thing, like clothes washing or gas borrowing, and he picked up the magazine when I was out of the room, saying, “These pictures are very good…” This was followed, days later, by his flipping through my dvd case, asking, “What is…Gilmore Girls?”
These days, thinking of America, it can be hard to pinpoint what I miss until it floats back into view, but these things are certain: I miss toast, oven-roasted vegetables, my own homemade smoothies, familiarity, and so many things. It sounds superficial, but I think when the longing is so deep, it comes down to those concrete, seemingly superficial things.