How to Kill Bourgie Germs

This is a post that will tell you what to do if you go to pick someone at M.P. Shah but you have to wait an hour for them to be released. This post will also tell you about how to kill bourgeoisie germs if you live in the latter part of the name #NgongKeren for it is good to boost your immunity every so often. Here goes: If you are going to pick up someone from M.P. Shah you want to park in the KAPS section. You will pay but less than the city council vibes right outside the hospital. Also city council you just pay for the space not for security. If you came back to where you parked your car on a city council spot and your car’s tires were all gone and it was resting on four stones like a traditional fireplace they would still find a way to clamp your car and make you pay. "My gawd, we've been clamped!" So park INSIDE the hospital grounds. Now chances are if you’ve never been inside before you will go to the wrong wing three times but not to worry the guards at each entrance are willing to give you some confusing directions that would only make sense to someone that works there. When you finally arrive at the right wing you might not know it due to the renovation happening at the hospital so go back for more directions and be directed back to where you just where. When you are finally attended to they will tell you to wait for your loved one 30 to 50 minutes. Which is one hour African time (for my diaspora readers). At this point your stomach will start to whine it cannot wait another hour or you will die. So head to the Indian-ish restaurant within the hospital grounds, find a seat, and have a look at the menu. You will discover most meals are in the 400 range and your pocket will whine it only has 100 bob to spare. The cheapest thing will be regular fries for 150. Regular in Kenya means they are as few as possible without being insulting and have no special taste. No spices, sauces or love. Just skinny potatoes and cooking oil. Deliberations between your stomach and your wallet/purse will result in a win for the latter. Your stomach will say fine, let’s go look for someone else. (Does anyone else speak to themselves in 1st person plural or is it just us?) <— see what I did there? Walk out of the hospital and cross to the other side of Parklands Road and walk down past the petrol station and the Sony shop. A closer look will reveal a line of kiosks. Beginning with a bar, then a shop, then an alcohol shop and you are beginning to see what the priorities are around here. Continue walking and you will get to the cafes. It is a little after 3 in the afternoon so most of them have finished their food and are cleaning up. The third cafe will look like it has hopes of food. A quick chat with the hefty cute lady washing a sufuria will reveal they still have chapatis and soup from what was formerly beef stew and cabbage. All for a whooping 50 bob. Your wallet/purse will applaud this revelation. Your stomach will applaud this revelation. But your eyes will not. Sit down next to the motorbike courier enjoying his ugali, and across Mr Anti Bath who probably had the same complexion as everyone else in a past life when he used to bath. He is having rice and beans. Your smartphone will probably start to feel ashamed to be out in the open so make sure, ladies, that it goes to the deepest recesses of your handbag. In the diagram below, this is the section labelled Paleozoic. bb5b797db861f1d5e49442efa11dc399 You will think in retrospect as you write this blog post that a phone call would have betrayed you. Both the top gear theme song and the need to swipe to pick up the call. Thankfully no one will call you during this time. They can probably tell you are in a critical location. What this places lacks in ambiance it makes up for in flies and a lone stray dog that is ‘cleaning’ up the floors. The ceiling if we can call it that has a coating of soot so thick you can probably mine oil from it. The bench you are sitting one is for exercising the posterior muscles and your leg muscles for if you do not sit at the right angle you will fall backwards. The air here does not move for anyone. Stale and still boys. Stale and still. All the surfaces are sterilized by applying generous amounts of salt to them. Two male nurses from the hospital will pass you on their way to buy fruit salad or something or the other. x354 Your meal will finally come. The biggest and most beautiful chapati you have seen in recent days. Thoughts of asking for a second one will vanish. Your plate, china probably from the Ming Dynasty (see what I also did there), is full to the brim. Overcooked cabbage (probably for the better, health wise) swimming in soup and decorated with about, one, two, three, FOUR! four pieces of meat. Maini to be exact. This must be your lucky day! Don’t be fooled. It is a HEALTHY serving. Now I don’t mean nutritious. I mean in terms of amount. Now you must know it is both a skill and an art to eat in these places. The food comes super-heated but you MUST start eating immediately for the food cools faster than tea on Mount Kenya. You do not want that, because, my friend! Your food will solidify before your very eyes. When I say food, I mean more cooking oil than food. See the food must be hot enough for the oil to stay liquid and cohabit peacefully with your soup. But to be fair, this IS the best chapati you have had in recent times. The other reason you must eat like your life depends on it is because your life depends on it. You are like the Hobbits at the Prancing Pony. People will start to slowly notice you are not from around here. And they may get sudden urges to acquire your possessions for safe keeping. But like I said you will absolutely enjoy the chapati and the amount of ‘stew’ will make your stomach happy. After the meal, remember to pay for it. Here 50 bob is worth more than the 400 bob back at the restaurant. If you don’t have it they may feel a sudden urge to put you in the hospital across the road. After paying do not look back. You might turn into a pillar of salt. Or you will just be shocked that you managed to eat in such a place. There will be need for a cold sugary drink to ‘beat the oil’ (as we say in Kikuyu). The shop should have a plastic soda you can take away for 60 bob. (60!! A whole 10shs more than your entire meal!). Ladies, there will be no need for lip gloss after this for you can still feel a film of cooking oil on your lips. And men, you might want to wipe that off. No point in making people think you are from eating meat when going to pick a patient. Now you may go back to the hospital, your loved one will be ready for taking home. And it could be the weevils but you might at this point get the inspiration to write a blog post. Now by my best estimation this is what is happening. The germs you have newly acquired are hard core. Not like the Karen ones. So they are beating and killing the Karen ones and you will be left with only hard core germs. And I mean, if things go absolutely wrong stomach-wise you are after all, ALREADY at the hospital. 121zwpj

Some things I have learnt at Andela

I joined Andela in December of 2016 as their Guest Relations and Travel Coordinator. Andela is a start-up that identifies the top 1% of tech talent on the continent and integrates them into companies around the globe. In case you’re wondering how I ended up back in employment and in a tech firm for that matter, it has something to do with free food. (Na si mnanijua?) That, however, is a story for another day.

Joining them plunged me into a world of tech speak and nuances I had very little prior exposure to. Andela is big on learning so I thought I would share a few of the many things I have learnt at Andela. Since I am constantly learning here, I may end up making this a series of posts. Here goes the first short one.

1. Python. This word has always signified for me a nonvenomous snake found in parts of Africa (Kenya) and other places around the world. Fortunately for Andela’s neighbors on Kindaruma Road, we are not rearing those. Python is one of a number of programming languages Andela developers are proficient in.

python-programming

2. Ruby. Turns out developers aren’t dealing in precious stones. Ruby is also a programming language like Python. It can even be more confusing if someone says “Ruby on Rails” then you could wonder how a country can be so wealthy they have the audacity to put rubies on rails. Although I wonder if someone DID put rubies on their braces or grills if they could call that “Ruby on Rails”  *runs away*

RoR

3. The world runs on Java. If you think this means that Java is one of the most widely used programming languages in the tech world you would be right. If you also think it means that coffee is the most widely used beverage in the tech world you would also be right. Both statements are true of Andela developers.

Funny-Coffee-Owls10

3. Fluent vs Proficient. Turns out when one learns how to code in a certain programming language such as Python mention above, you do not say “I am fluent in Python”. I suppose this is for the better because it could be misunderstood as saying you are able to communicate with actual pythons; and depending on where you are on the continent you would be viewed as either a gifted person or a witchdoctor. So words like “proficient” are preferred.

programming-in-python-3633357

4. Full-Stack Programmer. No, this is not a programmer that deals with stacks of hay and stack of money and stacks of books. To quote a user on quora.com, “This is a programmer who is comfortable working with all the technologies required to get an idea to a finished product.” I should add being a full-stack programmer may also lead to having stacks of money and books. Not sure about hay though.

Front End:Back End

I’ll keep this one short and sweet and cap it here, in the hope that this new method will encourage me to write more often. (The other reason is that I am suddenly hungry and need to go make something to eat). I will, however, come back with a part two of things I am learning at Andela.

Until next time.

thatsall

A lifetime of weeks

[10/10, 22:15]

Deja vu.

Except it isn’t.

It’s the dream I had a few days ago and thought nothing of.

In the dream I am drowning. At the time I thought it was strange because I have never had a drowning experience before.

Of course now I know exactly what drowning feels like.

My dreams do come true.

Even the ones I don’t want to come true.

———————#—————-

[18/10, 21:30] Jeanette
“The world could’ve been torn apart and I wouldn’t have worried with you by my side.
Now the world is quiet but I am torn apart without you by my side.”

———————#—————-

[13/10, 09:20] jeanette: A legend says that the Egyptians believed if you cried into your mate’s eyes you could experience the pleasure of a whole lifetime with them, within minutes.

[13/10, 09:20] jeanette: Sounds crazy I know

[13/10, 09:21] jeanette: But that is a little how this past month was.

[13/10, 09:24] jeanette: I guess because we were so sure we’d finally found each other for life, we talked about everything. We built a life in our minds and filled it with hopes and dreams.

[13/10, 09:24] jeanette: And in our hearts we lived that life.

[13/10, 09:26] jeanette: No tears involved but each time we stared into each other’s eyes we shared a lifetime together.

————-#—————

[1/11, 10:41]

Not all encounters that are once in a lifetime are not meant to last a lifetime.

Some are meant to be short and sweet.

Like a meteor.

Perhaps that is why they are called falling stars.

-Jeanette.

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Signs You’re About to Hit your Thirties

Disclaimer: This post is not in any way an indication of the writer’s age. *avoids eye contact*

If you suffer from the following symptoms, I see 30 in your near future.

  1. Quarter Life Crisis. (especially if this is the third or fourth time you are having it)

This manifests differently for different people but is usually characterized by questioning of career paths and envying anyone that already knows their life purpose or calling. It may also manifest is disillusionment brought on by the disparity between what you THOUGHT you’d achieve by now and the REALITY of your life.

Treatment: Give yourself a break. Goals and dreams are good, but life is about progress not perfection. Also stop comparing yourself to others so much, everyone has a different path.

2. Night-outs and movie “marathons” no longer last till morning.

I HONESTLY don’t know how I used to do it. Pick up a trilogy like Lord of the Rings or an entire season of a series and watch them through the night! Daybreak would signal bedtime. Now I am lucky if I manage two long movies in a row. Series are watched in bits. Going out is even worse, by 3 am I am FANTASIZING about my bed.

Treatment: Don’t sweat the change. We did it, we enjoyed it to the max, we can comfortably say our college lives were not wasted. Also daytime binges and outings are also interesting, who knew.

3. You have started judging teenagers for their attire, speech, and interests.

Don’t lie. You overhear a conversation in the bus, or see an outfit or even listen to music from the latest teenage sensation and think “What in the world is the world coming to??”. This will be made worse by a teenage cousin asking you for grownup advice on something. Lol, YOU a GROWN-UP!

4. Household Appliance Sales EXCITE you. 

Short story. My friends and I (mixed group of ladies and gents) had a meetup at The Hub. As we wait for the last two people to show we decide to kill time window shopping at Carrefour. HOW did we spend HALF AN HOUR just being amazed by the prices of irons, washing machines, hot water kettles, ovens, and best of all, collections of kitchen knives? We even laughed at ourselves afterwards. Five to ten years ago window shopping would have been spent entirely in the snacks, phones and perhaps the laptop sections. If this story resonates with you, teren teren.

Treatment: Just buy that knife or kettle that looks so nice to you. If that’s what excites you know, then let it be your joy.

5. When you pass markets and sokos on your way from a long distance trip and want to buy vegetables there because they might be cheaper than in the city. 

Let me tell you, as a child I detested stopping at those roadside markets. Now I just wish I had money to stop.

Treatment: Go ahead and buy the cheaper veggies from upcountry. Every shilling saved brings you closer to getting that Home Theater system you really want or getting that debt paid.

6. If you met a genie, and your first wish would be to clear your debts, loans, taxes and bills.

Sasa this one is the DEFINITION of adulthood. When winning the lottery is attractive because it will bring financial freedom as opposed to going on a shopping frenzy or eating at the fanciest restaurant. Don’t get me wrong I still want to go on a shopping frenzy AND eat at that nice restaurant, but REAL JOY would be for me to be debt-free.

Treatment: Just continue praying you win the lottery or inherit a fortune.

7. You are less excited for your birthday each year. 

Let me just tell you, I don’t suffer from this one. BIRTHDAYS are still a big thing for me. However I recognize there are people who are less and less excited about turning that extra year. Watu wa “21 years old with 9 years experience” tunawaona.

21 going on 30

Treatment: Think of it as getting wiser rather than older. Lol.

8. SLEEP becomes the primary goal of any day or week. 

You can’t wait to get to the house and sleep. You can’t wait for this event to end you go sleep. You can’t wait for the weekend to get here so you sleep. Especially if like me you calculate how many hours you’ll sleep. “If I get home by 11, I can be asleep by 12 and that way I will get a full 6 hours of sleep before I have to wake up”

Or if you pass up joining your friends to that new joint so you can sleep. Or get annoyed with early morning Saturday engagements because you can’t sleep in.

Treatment: GET ALL THE SLEEP YOU CAN GET. It is the only free commodity. Tax and VAT free.

So what’s your diagnosis? You have the above symptoms? Congratulations, at least you’re not 50!! Phewks!

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Gadget Tribute: My Sony Xperia Arc S’ Final Moments

So I was looking for content to write and decided to check my notes on my old phone and seeing the phone after so many weeks having collected dust and in contrast to my new phone I wondered how I managed to keep it going for so long.

Let’s start at the beginning. When we first met. I got my Arc S in October of 2013. It was really my first proper smart phone. The others had been wanna be smartphones. It was delivered to my then workplace and it looked so sleek and modern.It looked so nice my boss promptly got two for his daughters after seeing mine.

New Sony Xperia Arc S

Other than my infatuation with its design, the Arc S was also my first Sony. Of course back then it was SONY ERICSSON but I had always dreamed of owning a Sony phone. I remember admiring a friend’s K750i back in college. And up until 2013 I had sported a Nokia, a Motorola and a Samsung. Moving on up I tell you. Arc S was a beast for its price. With a little more than half my paycheck it had an 8MP 720p camera, screen with 16M colours so even the menu and home page were in HD, scratch resistant glass, superior Sony sound, active noise cancellation and dimensions that would make any smartphone envious. At 117g it was 4.2 inches and only 8.7mm thick.

For all its perks it had one glaring weakness. And this wasn’t even the lack of a front camera. It was a measly internal memory of 512mb. And this was not a problem in 2013 but let’s forward to early 2016 to what my phone had become.

https://lonehungrytraveller.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/gadget-tribute-my-sony-xperia-arc-s-final-moments

Before we go into the memory problems let’s talk about all the problems as a result of the phone falling. Don’t even ask why I did’t have a cover, I think I might have masochist tendencies there.

In early 2015 the camera went off and never worked again. Literally in a span of 24 hours. Basically one day I was taking amazing pictures and the next day the camera wouldn’t even switch on. No prior incidences or indicators or warnings. Just kaput. Tried everything, flushing the phone, reinstalling the camera app, clearing memory, nothing. It was a wrap.

Next thing to go was the earphone jack.That one angalau was a progression. Or retrogression. So I saw it coming but this was not a serious handicap since I still (to date) listen to most of my music from my 2010 Sony mp4 which I feel is another tribute in the making.

By late 2015 the next serious handicap came. The ‘internal earphone’ went kaput. Lemme elucidate (isn’t this just a brilliant word) the effect of a dead internal earphone. You can’t pick phone-calls normally. All phone calls HAVE to be on loudspeaker. And if you need to be outside or use public transport in Kenya where music needs to be an a nauseatingly high volume this is a problem. Had to drop so many calls, and yell at so many people that I would call them back, and I basically stopped taking phone-calls in public. Although this is half the truth. I also stopped taking phone-calls in public because of their reactions when they’d see the state of my phone.

https://lonehungrytraveller.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/gadget-tribute-my-sony-xperia-arc-s-final-moments

My phone was quite literally falling apart but Kenyans are mean.

“EHHHHH!!! Nunua kabambe tu!”

“Eish my friend, let go of that phone”

“You know there are cheap smartphones nowadays like infinix”

“Si you replace that phone lakini?”

“That phone imebeat kabisa, hata si simu tena”

And let me tell you 2014 and 2015 were not easy years financially. I couldn’t even comfortably afford the Infinix I was being told to buy. And Kabambes? Well my phone could whatsapp, tweet, facebook and read and write emails. Sort of. So I didn’t see how a Kabambe was better. Less stressful yes but that would make me go offline and with a young business largely dependent on the internet this wasn’t an option. One thing I learnt is to be kind to someone holding on to a dying phone. Some comments were downright hurtful but I laughed them off. Because what else can you do? Cry? In fact if I had 500 bob for all the mean comments I got about my phone I would’ve replaced it much earlier.

https://lonehungrytraveller.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/gadget-tribute-my-sony-xperia-arc-s-final-moments          https://lonehungrytraveller.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/gadget-tribute-my-sony-xperia-arc-s-final-moments

So I had a phone that no longer looked good, and gave me grief during phone-calls and didn’t take pictures. Let’s go back to that 512 mb internal memory. In reality you only have 420mb internal memory at your disposal. In 2013 this was okay but in 2015 apps had become obese. Whatsapp alone was huko 70mb. However the BIGGEST CRIMINAL are the very people who make sure you have to have their apps and obviously you can’t run these apps from your SD. Google Play Services was over 100mb (almost a quarter of the total internal memory) and you can’t do anything without this blasted app.

So I was trying to use the new Gmail app on my phone because the old one was no longer an option. Apparently I couldn’t use it till I updated Google Play services through Google Play Store. This I couldn’t do due to insufficient storage. The two apps taking up the most space? Google Play Store and Google Play Services. Followed closely by Gmail of course. This, my friends, is the definition of a vicious cycle. Eventually I gave up on gmail.

And anytime Whatsapp INSISTED on an update was a nightmare of its own. First clear data on whatsapp and any other non-essential apps. Clear memory from essential google apps and then watch them balloon again. Go to play store try and update whatsapp. Whatsapp gets to 80% updates download then error message for insufficient storage comes up because Google Play Services has ballooned again to over 100 mb and rising. Uninstall some apps to create space (which will be reinstalled later). Manage to update Whatsapp (a few extra emoji is what all my trouble was for) and then continue to operate on only 30 mb free.

I tweeted our friends at Google, messages them and even WROTE an email to Google. No response. I mean in 2015 what is an Arc S right? Who even has that anymore?

Sigh. Recalling all this actually has me stressed now.

By May 2016 the Arc S had started cold booting due to memory problems. And people thought its looks were what should bother me. It would even cold boot during phone-calls and that was the worst because it seemed like I was hanging up on people. A little less than three years was how long I held on to this phone. Won’t lie, it was an amazing journey but I am happy it is over.

My fortunes got a little better though so with some help I FINALLY upgraded. First thing I did was take a picture. It looked so nice. Just like the new phone. Funny. I felt exactly as excited and proud and happy as when I first bought the Arc S.

https://lonehungrytraveller.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/gadget-tribute-my-sony-xperia-arc-s-final-moments

Is Your Team Building Working Against You?

Team Building simply refers to the use of various activities and tasks that can be used to improve social relations and define roles within teams by having participants work on collaborative tasks. While each particular exercise may be geared to bringing out particular qualities in a team, it may also highlight the absence of a certain quality and the importance of cultivating it. Experiential team building varies from traditional learning in that it seeks to have members realize the importance of these qualities while they work together as opposed to spoon-feeding the lessons in a lecture-style session.

In Kenya and the rest of the world, this is a growing industry and many companies are realizing the benefits of team building. However the industry remains unregulated resulting in phony facilitators and a lack of professionalism even among genuine facilitators creating negative sentiment and misinformation on what team building is and its…

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Movie Review: Disney’s Jungle Book (2016) *spoiler free*

GUYS. I WENT FOR A PRE-SCREENING. These things are all the hype. Like 20 people in the cinema. Most of them media reps and paid bloggers. Akello got me a ticket seeing as I am still an unpaid blogger. At least I am not a Chase bank blogger though. Hehehe. *ducks chairs being thrown by Akello*

But on to the movie review. I am procrastinating because I am not sure how people do movie reviews. Akello said I do one but wouldn’t tell me how it is done. No hints not format so don’t be surprised if I end up talking about the weather instead.

Let’s start with technicalities. The Jungle Book is a 1hr 45 minute EPIC do-over of Disney’s original Jungle Book in 1967. Both were based on Rudyard Kipling’s book written in 1895 of a boy in the Indian jungle raised by wolves. It is directed by Jon Favreau (had to google that)  and its music composed by John Debney. (also had to google that). It features the voices of Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johanssen, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Walken and Russell Peters among others.

 

 

Over to the I CANNOT emphasize how much I enjoyed how awesome this movie is. I mean, I don’t entirely trust movie reviews (be sure I see the irony there) but Rotten tomatoes gave it 100%. A HUNDRED guys.

The music was epic, borrowed just enough from the ’67 film to make you nostalgic but with enough new music to feel original still. BE SURE I was singing-along in the cinema, GESTURES AND ALL. AH! SO much love for this movie I tell you. I realized a lot of the other movie-watchers with us had no background and may have been wondering how Akello and I were singing along word-perfectly.

Movie Review - Disney's Jungle Book (2016) - Bagheera - Ben Kingsley.jpg

Ben Kingsley/Bagheera

ALL the characters were tweaked. Absolutely satisfying tweaks. And we had quite a few new characters and some of the old beloved characters are gone. No, I wont tell you which ones, I think that qualifies as a spoiler.

One thing I WILL tell you: (Guys feel free to skip this part)

Neel Sethi as Mowgli is the only real human actor in the film, congratulations. Brilliant performance. Star of the show and winner of hearts both in the story and on screen. Considering this is his break out role this was a great start. He has however starred in Diwali (2013). We hope to see bigger and better of him.

I don’t need to tell you Bill Murray as Baloo and Christopher Walken as King Louie brought it. You KNOW they did. It IS Bill Murray and Christopher Walken after all.

Idris Elba as Sheer Khan’s voice? SLUUURP! This man NAILED Sheer Khan. So did the animators/designers. For me Sheer Khan’s character was absolute GOLD. I was not sure how Idris Elba would do voicing our beloved villain but my friend, he threw down. Idris Elba’s voice though. How can a voice be so epic and attractive? Even if he was reading the Kenyan constitution but spoke it gently into my ear I would be done for. JUST the voice. Let’s not even launch into his looks and height. Idris Elba was created on the morning of the sixth day my friend, when God was fresh. He got the lion-share, or in this case, the tiger’s share. My point is, he did a great job.

Movie Review- Disney's Jungle Book (2016) - Sheer Khan- Idris Elba

Idris Elba/Sheer Khan

 

You may be wondering if you’ll enjoy this movie if you never watched/enjoyed the original 1967 Disney classic. Even I don’t know the answer to that. If you’re in this category I don’t know you. And if you tell people we are friends I will deny it. Our friendship will be reinstated once you go watch this film and enjoy it.

If you liked the 67 classic then you’ll love this one.

Speaking of which Jungle Book premieres in the USA on April the 15th. Here in Kenya it is NOW SHOWING at the IMAX theatres and Nyali Cinemax. Westgate, Prestige and Junction Cinemax will be showing them next week. Be sure to catch it. This is a movie definitely worth watching in the big screen in 3D.

Honestly I can’t say anymore about this movie without giving away spoilers. JUST GO WATCH IT. Let’s finish with a shot of Scarlett Johanssen as Kaa because we can.

Movie Review -  Disney's Jungle Book (2016) Kaa - Scarlett Johanssen.jpg

Scarlett Johanssen/Kaa

 

10 Rules for Lion Encounters

Who thought I would even need to do such a post? Normally there are rules regarding conduct around wildlife like lions within National Parks and Reserves but in this case we need to hand these lions a code of conduct when they visit us!! Though seeing as lions are not really great readers perhaps we should instead figure out how to behave if you DO stumble on a lion during your morning commute to work in Nairobi.

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  1. SNITCH ON THEM. Any time you spot a lion outside the confines of the national park be sure to snitch on them to KWS immediately. The KWS hotlines are +254728331981 OR +254736506052 OR +254770296352 . You may also tweet them @kwskenya
  2. NO SELFIES. Lions aren’t crazy about close contact or being told to smile and look at the camera so avoid trying to take a selfie with any lion. Pictures of lions ought…

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