Nothing New

Nothing New

People give all sorts of reasons why God no longer literarily speaks (I mean audible to the human ear) to anyone. None of those reasons have ever really satisfied me.
There must be a way to cause this to happen again.
“We” shall quest for it – but not like for the holy grail or the aqua vitae or the philosopher’s stone. “We” shall quest for it in the quiet places first. “We” shall find it. Then “we” shall find it again in the public places.
After all, there is nothing new under the Sun.

A requiem for love

A requiem for love

In the confluence of minds
In the primordial soup
In the Mariana Trench
In the frozen wastes of Pluto

All across the galaxy
From the birth of all there is
Is it true that none seeks God;
No, not one?

A little leaven leavens the whole
A drop of oil on white linen
A dictator among sheep
A fox in the hen house

Hezekiah faced the wall
The Lord sweated blood
Moses despaired
Lot was exasperated

Play a ditty
Sing a dirge
A medley for a sad soul
A love song for a lonely heart

Hear the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God; keep his commandments:
Thus the duty of man.
Who thus this duty do?

The headstone – ready
The grave – dug
The priest – somber
The occupant – flitting as the wind

As surely as the day breaks
As constant as man’s evil
If it lies still in death:
Will there be peace at last?

Staying out of trouble

Staying out of trouble
How hard can it be to get into trouble. Me and my mate Matt completely lost in a foreign town decided we might as well go big since we obviously can’t go home: not until the weekend at least. But it was the wrong day to be looking for some nightlife action: it was a Thursday. And nothing was going to be happening till the following day.
But we were “out of dodge” by 3pm on the Friday.
So we were determined to do something – anything.
We asked one of the hotels concierge for a place to go on a quiet Thursday.
He told us to walk down the street, a few blocks away. There was a nightclub called the Savanah.
Matt asked it it was safe to walk. The chap said we should be safe enough. That we looked strong enough to scare them away. Well you need to understand me and Matt we are black and white. I decided I could play the role of the native while he would be my msungu. I would be his local bodyguard. I asked the concierge if he could provide me with a weapon. If I was going to be play acting, I need to make it as real as possible. The bad guys won’t be sporting plastic knifes (that was for the airlines) so I need to bring my A-game as well. He just laughed.
We walked down the street with Matt in front. I puffed out my chest and walked with deliberate measured steps. I needed to occupy space. I was going for that “don’t mess with me” attitude.
We got to the building without issues. We found a security man who took us in to the club. But the place was deader than the funeral of a tightfisted gold-miner. Like Matt said there was more excitement in the lift that took us up to the 3rd floor than in the club itself.
But one of the waiters was kind enough to suggest we cross the street to another night club called the Bilcana.
Well we got there and made for the inner entrance. But there was a bouncer at the door who indicated we step back and pay the entrance fee at the counter we had just passed. Well the place didn’t look too busy and we wanted to take a gander inside before paying to be attendants at a wake-keep for some chap we didn’t know from Adam. But they insisted. We waited a little and a couple paid and went in. While the door was open, all we could see were empty seats. That was it.
We hightailed it out of there and crossed the car park to the compound at the opposite end of the “square”. We had noticed that loud music was coming from the enclosed compound on our way in. But the place was only a slight improvement on the club. We were on two strikes. It shouldn’t be this hard to get into trouble in a strange city!
Three strikes and it’s time to go home.
As we stepped out, we got accosted by one of the taxi drivers loitering around in the open space. He offered to take us to a club in town with a money back guarantee if we don’t like the place. He would even return us to the park free of charge. Well it was an offer we couldn’t refuse. Remind me sometime to tell you about this technology me and Matt invented (strictly speaking he invented it, but I don’t think he would mind my basking in the light of his glory a little) that cuts a person’s electricity bill in half. Complete legit. But that’s another story entirely.
A reasonable dash across the city and we were at the Cuba. It was certainly more active than the other two. Lots of expats and a live band. They sang a mix of English, Nigerian and Tanzanian songs.
There were girls and women of all ages, shapes and sizes and it was obvious why they were there. The dressing ran the gamut from merely suggestive to “you have to be slow not to notice what’s on offer”
We just sat in one corner, listened to the music and watched the “sights”.
After an hour or so Matt got up and returned with a lady in tow. Good for him. Then the lady indicated we invite some other lady standing behind our table to come join me. Saying the lady was her friend. So now we were 4 at the table. We were too close to the action so it was difficult to have a decent conversation so we drifted further away from the band to a table right by the entrance to the place.
Angela is a diploma graduate with a degree in something related to international relations. She translates Norwegian to Swahili but the job is not permanent. It’s more or less on a document by document basis and the pay is low. She said it’s very difficult to get a job in Dar Es Salaam. She will be 30 next month (or is it 29). She asked if I was married. I said no. The other girl interjected that she’s decided to be Matt’s Tanzanian wife. I asked Angela playfully if she would be my Nigerian wife also. Asked if she would come to Nigeria. She said no. That there is too much witchcraft in Nigeria. That she would be put into a bottle and the bottle cocked. I told her she’s watched too many Nollywood films and that all that gimmickry is make believe for the screen only, but she didn’t completely believe me. She thinks the world of Genevieve, Ini Edo and a couple more Nigerian actresses who she said hadn’t bleached their skins and also had lovely smooth skin. She’s an avid reader of Linda Ikeji’s blog.
Since she asked me about marriage, and she obviously wasn’t married, I asked her about the boyfriend. She had none. I said I couldn’t believe someone as pretty as she was had no boyfriend. She said she was fed up with boyfriends who would be there on and off, leave, etc. she was also tired of taking care of herself. She wanted to be taken care of.
Around 1am we decided it was time to leave. We had a relatively early morning meeting. We bid them goodbye. I promised I had give her a call before I left town the following day.
The taxi driver was excited for us to confirm that we enjoyed the place. Instead of the 10,000 he potentially could have lost, he ended up with 30,000 shillings. Now that’s what you call good business sense!
We entered the hotel lobby and waited for the lift. A couple of girls got out as we went in. Matt greeted them jokingly and before we knew what was really happening, we had decided a nightcap at the restaurant on the rooftop of the hotel would be the thing to do. So there was Tina and Pamela. We chatted away over the drinks. We got there just about 15 minutes to closing but the staff were polite enough not mention it again. We must have spent about 30minutes there then decided to leave out of consideration for the staff. We were the only guests there.
This was on the 11th floor actually rooftop). We walked them to the front of the hotel and waited with them until their taxi came. Pamela said she worked at the southern sun. She wanted to come and occupy my room the following day so she asked for my room number. I said I would call her once my meeting was over. That was more trouble than I was looking to get into! So I had lied to Her that I was going to be there over the weekend so there was no hurry. When in fact we were leaving for the airport straight after the meeting.

Got to my room, checked up on my “downloads”, puttered around a little. Finally got into bed around 3am or so.
We did come pretty close to getting into trouble a couple of times, which is why it’s not good to go on such outings alone: because with at least two of you, common sense should assert itself before you go off the deep end. As the Yorubas say “a pe gbon ni, a ki pe go”. Translate: We collaborate or come together to benefit from the collective wisdom not to become even more foolish”

Well. That was me “live in Dar Es Salaam”

Social Commentary IV

It’s strange that whenever I go to places such as Eko hotel, federal palace hotel or some of the newer hotels where you see a lot of foreigners mixed in with the local population, I get the feeling that I am starring in one of those films based on the state of some African country such as Nigeria and Uganda in the 60s or early 70s.
Despite the obvious and ostentatious show of wealth; the excessive lightening; the happy faces all around, you know that the country is more or less moribund; there is a dictator somewhere in the background; majority of the population are disenchanted and disenfranchised; violence is an invisible thread running through the whole charade that can explode at any time. In the background plays a continuous sequence of different local dance and highlife music that the rich patrons dance slowly or sit down and nod their heads to under thatched little patios under the dark African sky.
African countries are stuck on a turntable: we would rather pretend to be enjoying the horrible music than own up to our own folly; get off the damn thing and get on the straight and narrow but hard road to real progress.
Even the ones we had high hopes for such as our brethren down south are making strenuous effort to join the rest on the turntable.
We all behave like the proverbial street tout who rolls up one leg of his trousers above the knee, unbuttons his shirt way down than is socially acceptable; and starts to make a nuisance of himself at the bus-stop to the disgust of all passersby some of who look at him with pity and others who would love to get rid of him if they were physically able.

Why are we so “different”?


So I went to a colleague’s wife’s surprise birthday party today. It was really nice. I had several plates of “asun” – but that’s not why I am writing this.

The host had hinted that he had something special for me. A friend at the same party said that he hopes the host knew the two things I needed – alcohol and a lady friend. I just laughed.

Some time after we had settled down, someone mentioned that some lady that was at the party was the person the host had in mind. I took one look and shook my head.

Later on during the friendly chit-chat the issue came up again. I said I wasn’t interested. The host commented that “This is getting embarrassing” (with reference to my single status at my age). A friend whipped out his phone and displayed the picture of some lady I supposedly had met – she was really easy on the eyes. I begged to differ and said I don’t think I had actually met the lady – he insisted otherwise. I whipped out my phone and showed them several pictures of a lady – pilfered from her Whatsapp profile over time.

That was of course a mistake. Another friend at the gathering who knew about the lady then asked: “So what did she say?”

I had no option but to say: “She said no.”

To which he directed his reply to the other guys at the gathering: “I don’t know why he puts his eggs in one basket.”

Unfortunately, there is only so much room in my heart. The space is only big enough for one occupant at a time. And before the lady in the picture, there was only one other person … it now feels so long ago. And before that actually very long ago there was a third person.

I don’t know how they (the other guys) do it. All of them were married and yet most of them are able to find time and emotion for other women … admittedly just “physical” but still …. I can’t do it …. maybe it’s because I am … shy … maybe I would do the same if otherwise … but I like to think I am “different”.

I really shouldn’t be writing and putting this up in the “google-verse” (Internet)  – “she” may come across it – and I suspect it will do more harm than good, but I guess my ego needs stroking: if nothing else, I can claim to be able to “write.”

A feel good story

A feel good story

A feel good story for a Friday night

I look out the window. I am seated in the back of a salon car. The driver had his foot down on the accelerator. We hurtled down the expressway.
The cars looked like they were idling or had no plans for the evening.
I had no plans either. I placed a call. Afterwards even I thought it was too formal. But I had already said too much a couple of weeks before.

But this is supposed to be a feel good story for a Friday night. It’s already reading like it’s going down some dark back alley where bad things happen.

I pulled myself back from the brink. Life is too short not to live it. If there is anything like a true cliche, that’s it.

A feel good story for a Friday night.

Well. I was coming from a client engagement that went fairly well. But very few people get excited by a well configured system and even fewer can tell a subroutine from an application server.

A feel good story for a Friday night.

We are at the tail end of my journey. It’s shorter than I expected. I paid the fare and swung my laptop bag over my shoulder.

I am a romantic. I just find it difficult to express emotions. What’s all these South American soap operas about? Looks like someone went and made the old girlie book series “mills and boon” into TV series in Mexican or Spanish and then dubbed English over it then called the whole thing “Telly Mondo”.
I will see how long I can stand it. I know at least one very intelligent person that’s hooked on it so it can’t be too bad.

No power as usual but there is fuel in the generator so I could chill in front of the TV.

A feel good story for a Friday night.

I have to decide whether I feel good. But having to make that decision itself makes me think I don’t feel good.

There is chocolate in the fridge.

I put on the TV. I am drawn to the crime and investigation channel.

But this is supposed to be a feel Good Friday. Or is it just a feel good story for a Friday.

I switched to the Telly Mondo channel. Some Spanish girl was being wooed by some guy. Well here goes nothing.

I guess as long as I don’t intend to understand what I was looking at, it’s probably not too bad.


Another lady being wooed. Is it even the same series?

I hefted my bulk off the seat. Which reminds me that I need to get to the gym. Not that I am overweight. But I would like to remain within the BMI for my height. I don’t exactly have a belly. But it all starts from the hint of one. Before you know it what was a slight bulge under your shirt starts to look like a medium sized cooking pot. I think cooking pots should reside firmly in the kitchen.

But this is a feel good story for a Friday. Is it Saturday already.

Time to hit the sack. Not sure what to do with the weekend. But then that doesn’t make it any different from the many before it. Some 2,000 of them give or take a few.

But I shouldn’t think of that. After all it’s a feel good story – for what’s shaping out to be a boring weekend.

This is Sparta!

This is Sparta!

This is Sparta!
What’s a little broken bone
Can a knife stop the true warrior
We live to die
In death our legend lives forever!

This is Sparta!

Put on a brave face
War comes!
We mingle our sweat with the blood of our enemies
Paint our faces with their entrails

This is Sparta!

New borns tested in the ocean depths!
Let the true Spartans float
The rest to the fishes be consigned
Little spartan fingers! Give them the hilt of the sword!

This is Sparta!

The soul of the spartan lives forever
Death is a transfiguration
We fight on in the sinews of those who live
See the muscles glisten! We bring death and destruction to our foes!

This is Sparta!

Love is war!
But the keenest blade is too blunt.
I am confounded!
Sweet words live in my head
I woo my fair lady only in my dreams

This is Sparta!

A thousand spears before rejection!
A million cuts but spare me “No!”
Let me lay down my life for my brothers at arm.
Let me go first – cut short my despair!

This is Sparta!