Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes and listens with the soul – Part 2

Part 1 is here

Yes. the Carmelite sisters taught me all I know about discipline, hard work, rebellion and self respect. They also opened all our letters, read them, censored them with a marking pen and then handed them Carmelitasover. I was a small thin girl with short hair. So sister Paula called me to the “letter reader’s office” [there really was a letter reader!] and she said “Linnie, if you weren’t so small and innocent I would think this is a boy disguised in a girl’s name. But I am happy to think that it will take a while before boys notice you at all! You have no breasts!!?” She looked me over, smiled and handed the letter to me. She then shooed me out of the office.

Encouraging. Very encouraging. I have a lot to thank the sisters for. Although puberty and discipline (rules) were at odds with each other for the four years they shared a compound.

For  many years, I thought the two verses were the whole song. Until I moved to Sweden 10 years ago and looked it up because I wanted to send the CD/LP to Sessa back in Nairobi. I then found the whole.

In mid November 2002, the end of my 2nd year in high school, I received another letter from Sessa. Nothing special with that, I received a letter from Sessa bi-weekly. If the nuns didn’t keep it too long, then I received two letters at once. Which was fine with me.

Dearest, dearest, good things are happening!! the letter began

Hope you are ok and hope the nuns are treating you as Christians should treat each other. She was, and still is cheeky when she sets her mind to changing status quo

Are you really a good street child in the play? I know you can act but you are so proud! A street child has to be dirty, humble and broken. That is what you have to be good at.Taking care of the garden in the mornings sounds like fun. I would have liked to do that with you. But mass in the morning feels exaggerated. Do you really think the priest would be having a relationship with sister Paula or are you just mean? Is it because she reads your letters?

thank you for the book about Anna Frank. Mom said you are keeping my head in the sky so I am hiding all new books at the Salon. The ladies like it. They say it fools the customers that we are classy ladies. Sessa had been training/working at the Rwandan owned salon outside our court, musaponi court, in Komarock, Nairobi. She was learning to be a hairdresser.

Be kind, be nice, be strong, be happy.

Chari has been to visit and yesterday, she informed me that I could find a job at a tourist restaurant at the coast. A place called Watamu. It sounds tamu tamu (sweet sweet) already. I plan to go and see. But I won’t leave until you have come home for Christmas holidays. When will we see each other if I leave without seeing you in December? Only God knows. I am now earning a little more at the salon so I am saving a little money for you so you can come with me and see where I will live. We need to move to a bigger place so Tensa & I can have a room. If I move to the coast, then at least Tensa can have the room to herself. It is no longer comfortable to sleep in the living room. Some privacy is needed since you know what… [referring to puberty, breasts and menstruation] Hopefully I will earn some more in Watamu.

I am happy that I did not rush to marry Timo. When I move and work far from here, I may be able to wait so we can  marry at the same time!! Nobody will bother with me then and I can just wait. [If you become a sister, I will also become a sister.] I thought she did that to please the nuns

Number 52 fought all night last night again. And she is pregnant again. Remember last time we wondered if you can get pregnant from fighting??!! But I will tell you more when you come home.

I don’t know, do you think it is a waste that I am better at hairdressing now  and then I am going to work at a restaurant?

Lots of love from Sessa Sessa.

We both knew my parents would never allow me to come with Sessa. And we also knew that I would come with her anyways. But we never spoke about permission or the lack of permission. We just planned our lives and went about it.

Where mother felt Sessa was holding me back, a bad influence with no prospects; Sessa’s mother felt I was keeping Sessa fed on a dream that would never come true. A dream of independence, freedom, own income.

Schools opened during the 2nd week of January. We would have plenty of time.

rabbits

Valentine’s day & the rabbit stew

It is valentine’s day tomorrow. I will be quite happy if an sms/whatsapp/messenger message finds its way to me asking how I am doing. Genuinely asking.

This weekend, we spoke about valentine’s day. For some reason it was almost ½hr dialog about “how rabbits celebrate valentine’s day”.

How decent, adult people; and lady brought up by nuns come to that question?

Thanks for asking!

Stockholm has so many rabbits, sometimes, they have to be shot to control the population. So maybe, just maybe, we saw a couple of rabbits running around happily, completely oblivious of the fact that they could be shot any minute.

Or stewed.

I was busy thinking of valentine’s day and what it means for rabbits when the memory of childhood rabbits popped in my head.

A boy needed a pair of shoes. He really wanted a specific make that lasts long. In his tactical planning, if he got a pair of Safari boots, a size too big, he could have them for 2 years before he needed a new pair. In 2 years, he would have saved enough for a new pair of the same.

The boy was 10. maybe 11. maybe 12. not older than 12. The boy & his older sister have tried to remember exactly without success. Repression.

If you know how alcohol infected families work, you know that needing something does not translate to you getting it. You can walk around in too tight or torn shoes. Too small or torn clothes. Too messy hair. Dying of malaria etc Regardless, an adult will prioritize alcohol over your need.

The boy got an entrepreneurial idea. He would rear rabbits. Rabbits breed fast. He could sell the kittens/bunnies. Keep the mother rabbit for continuous breeding. within 6 months, he calculated, he would have his first pair of safari boots.

He worked after school, for over a month! Helping a neighbor with one thing or the other.1 Kenya shilling a day.

Read Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

He paid 30 Kenya shillings for the mother rabbit. He borrowed a buck from a neighbor two villages away (2 hours walk from home). Within a month and a half, the boy had 4 kittens! The sister could hear, feel, sense and help him count the money that was on the way into his little torn pockets.

Everyday, on their way home from school, the boy & his sister picked weeds by the roadside. For weeks. Food for the rabbits. On Tuesdays, market day, they ran by the market, which was forbidden by the adults toxic people; to collect cabbage pieces left lying around when market closed.

About 3 weeks after the birth of the kittens, they came home from school with their small handfuls of weed. They head to the rabbit house. Oh, I forgot to tell you, the boy had built that little rabbit house, with little help from his sister, with sticks, nails, iron sheets, reeds, anything they could scavenge, borrow or steal without being caught.

The rabbit house is empty. The boy starts to shake. They can remember a cat. And a goat.

They finds mother. In adulthood, they can’t remember if they looked for mother specifically, called out, or just found her in the kitchen. He asks about his rabbits. In character, she avoids looking at him. “ask your father” she says.

He goes towards the main house to ask father. Halfway across the corridor, he turns around. Back to the kitchen.

The rabbit mother, the doe is stew. In the kitchen. In a cooking pot just beside mother.

He asks, tears running down his face without a sound:

“the babies?”

mother: “he sold them and went drinking”

he: “where were you?”

mother: “what could I do?” still not looking at him.

The sister takes his hand & leads him away towards the river. To the big stone by the oak tree where the big snake may or may not be hiding her babies.

The boy is still entrepreneurial. A teacher who runs all sorts of small businesses together with his wife to supplement their income.

Where there is even a little love, some things can be salvaged.

 

 

proposals-scuba

Too good to stay relationships?

I suppose we all have, ok.

maybe not all of us.

some of us maybe?

a few of us?

Never mind! For those of us who have read the book, Too good to leave, Too bad to stay, the knowledge that it could be time to leave, or time to commit, probably comes after Diagnostic question #20. Is there a clearly formulated, passionately held difference between you that has to do with the shape and texture and quality of your life as you actually experience it?

Well, my passionately held belief regarding marriage proposals is: “nothing shall be so extravagant to make me feel coerced, in debt or guilt-tripped”.

Imagine, then, my utter horror every time I read or hear of proposals where helicopters, expensive antique cars, serenades, videos on social media etc are involved.

If you are raised by an Nmom who cares lots about how things look outwards, they will enjoy the proposal so much they will say yes on your behalf. If you have a totally “balanced” mom NOTE: DOES. NOT. EXIST, they will see the nice guy you are turning down.

a-lady Being “a lady“, brought up by narcissists, I get my knickers in a twist, and see vividly imagine all the limitations that come with this kind of proposal.

  1. will I ever be able to get pissed at this guy without feeling like the biggest A-hole of this city??! A guy who proposed with a helicopter; can I get really, really pissed at him? Scream/shout at him? slam the door behind me? throw an IKEA plate at the wall near him I am conscious enough to NOT throw an expensive plate? lock him out of the house when he promises to come home early and then “looses track of time” 2 weekends running?
  2. Can I say NO to sex with this guy? You know; I am tired. I have a headache. a backache. an ear ache. my hand hurts. my toe feels weird etc NO. TO. SEX.  with super nice guy without guilt?
  3. Can I dislike this guy’s morning breath? mother? feet? can I dislike anything of him without feeling like the worst person EVER? I mean, poor guy, he proposed with a helicopter. He has a bank loan since then.
  4. Can I question this guy? not too much, this ego apparently needs stroking just ask him “are you sure about that darling?” without feeling like the most disloyal lady in the world? I mean he is the best, isn’t he?
  5. Will anyone ever want or bear listening to me when I want/need to vent about the dysfunctional relationship I am living within? Most people I know may enjoy my dysfunctional relationship a little too much to want to loose it. Yes, I know, crazy world!
    • The frenemies were not impressed with the proposal in the first place. According to them: “OMG! you are soooo strong, I never thought anyone would want to marry you!! & now this??! Congratulations!!”?
    • Nmom is more worried for my welfare: “Is he hitting you? violent? drinking too much? unfaithful to you?” answer:”no mom”. He just treats me like maybe worse than he treats his car.
  6. My real friends are exhausted by all the attention I have been getting from my beau boo boo, babie, babe, darling, lovie boo boo, strawberry muffins, cheese cake, tea with honey, who “works less” in order to spend more time loving me.

You can see why I am not married, eh? I win the “Overthink everything!” contest.

banter-bus

Not all bus drivers were abused as children; apparently

A few weeks ago, maybe months even, I wrote about the bus driver who drove away from me when I was so close, so so close, I thought he must have been mis-handled as a child; which may have damaged his sense of empathy (or sympathy).

Unfortunate what our upbringing can do to us.

Today, something quite the opposite of the experience above happened to me; which means that I can disapprove my previous thesis.

Yes I can. I totally can. It’s fantastic. It’s great.

Counter Thesis: There exists bus drivers who were loved and nurtured as babies; and are therefore friendly, well adjusted, lovely people. These great servants of the people do actually step on the breaks, smile and wait for you. They smile. Yes they do.

Proof: This morning, the bus number 526 was almost driving off the bus stop when I, in my regular “just a few seconds late” tempo, came running, huffing & puffing. He saw me, literally stepped on the breaks and waited for me to huff & puff into the bus.

“good morning!!” he said, all happy

“huff & puff. wheeze. cough. good morning to you too!” I said in surprise

“It is a new day, with new challenges and surprises!” he keeps on

“wheeze. cough. sure is. sure is. A great day. Fantastic day” I say looking closely at to him to make sure that he is OK

That all the horses are home. That all the nuts are screwed on right. That he isn’t off his hook.

My “all the nuts are screwed on right” radar lights green. Seems a regular chap to me. In a good mood and kind to the core.

“Have a nice day!” he says when I got off the bus at Odenplan

Conclusion: There exists bus drivers who were not abused or neglected as children. Thank heavens for small mercies.

And I really did have a very nice day.

A good book for learning the different Ways you can use f*ck in a sentence

mark-manson

That is a book I want in hard cover so the next generation can read it. Immortality projects and the Cape of Good Hope drama had me hooked on a Saturday morning.

If you want to know more, read the F*cking book!!

obama-the-feminist

Bye Bye Michelle!!! Finally you are leaving President (Mr) Obama!

Delusional, I know. I am born Kenyan. So I feel a kind of pride in the name Obama, though according to his birth certificate, he is American. Most of the jury in my head is still out on that one.

I am a woman, so I feel my feathers flutter every time Mr Obama, the man, not the president smiles. More on that later.

Back to presidential matters, I will remember Obama’s commitment to reminding us all of our responsibility, to not only seek change but also, to foster the positive changes that have improved society. See his speech at the women’s rights conference held last summer:

“We need to keep changing the attitude that raises our girls to be demure, and our boys to be assertive; that criticizes our daughters for speaking out, and our sons for shedding a tear.

We need to change the attitude that punishes women for their sexuality but gives men a pat on the back for theirs. We need to change an Internet where women are routinely harassed and threatened when they go online.

We need to keep changing the attitude that congratulates men for changing a diaper, stigmatizes full-time dads, penalizes working moms. We need to keep changing the attitude that prioritizes being confident, competitive, and ambitious in the workplace — unless you’re a woman.

We need to keep changing a culture that shines a particularly unforgiving light on women and girls of color.

[…] We need all our young people to know that Clara Barton and Lucretia Mott and Sojourner Truth and Eleanor Roosevelt and Dorothy Height, those aren’t just for Women’s History Month. They’re the authors of our history, women who shaped their destiny. They need to know that.

A woman did not magically appear on a space shuttle. It took Sally Ride’s relentless commitment, Mae Jemison’s boundless courage to shatter that glass ceiling…

Rosa Parks wasn’t simply a tired seamstress who sat down by accident. She was a civil rights leader with the eye of a strategist and the heart of a warrior. She had the confidence to board on that bus, the courage to risk her own life and liberty for the sake of ours.

That’s the story that’s still being written, today, by our modern-day heroes like Nancy Pelosi or Sonia Sotomayor or Billie Jean King or Laverne Cox or Sheryl Sandberg or Oprah Winfrey or Mikaila Ulmer or Michelle Obama — the countless ordinary people every day who are bringing us closer to our highest ideals.

That’s the story we’re going to keep on telling, so our girls see that they, too, are America — confident and courageous and, in the words of Audre Lord, ‘deliberate and afraid of nothing.'”

Back to non-presidential matters; when Mr. Obama finally swaggers away from me, away from us, I really really really want to crank call Michelle in the middle of the night and ask her “why you??!”. Of course we all know the answer to that question. The lady is gracious, stylish and classy!

I don’t want to be attracted to the Obama the president, because that could lead to Lewinsky:sh problems. As we have learned, this could ruin one’s best years, especially if Michelle turned Hillary:sh.