I passed outside Hurlingham Shopping Center and I saw that the store that was Chopstix restaurant for years is now a liquor store.
I know that Chopstix closed years ago and the space had lay vacant for a while but seeing all the lights and the change made me nostalgic.
There was a dining culture when I was growing up in Nairobi that I remember so fondly and I do not know if I can even write about it well. Back then (the late 80s and 90s), fast food was basically Kenchic/Mcfrys style shops and Wimpy. And growing up as a middle class child in Nairobi, my mother took us out to eat every so often. It was mostly because she felt we needed the exposure that she lacked when she first moved to Nairobi. For example she was adamant that we learn as kids how to use fork and knife and how to order for yourself etc. Yes, she made us order what we wanted as opposed to ordering for us (there is an oft referred tale in my family of how she took us to Toona Tree and I ordered a steak done medium and when I cut into it and saw the red I started crying).
Back to Chopstix – It was one of our favourite restaurants. We would randomly decide to go there for lunch, for dinner and we were assured that the food would not disappoint. And mind you, it was a drive because we would be coming from Thika Road. If we were meeting relatives for lunch, we would somehow end up there. It was the first place/time I saw a Lazy Susan. The sweet and sour sauce was excellent – I remember the waiters being so attentive but also I was child so this could be a skewed view. It is one of those places, even as Nairobi changes and I grow older, I will always remember.
PS: Toona Tree was located at International Casino at Museum Hill (RIP)
Before I even tell this story please know I would rather walk barefoot to Diani than ever board an East African Air (or it’s parent company Fly 540).
We had a flight to Diani in early September and the day before the flight we got this message
I called them about the refund and they said that it would be processed in 7 to 21 days. My friends, it’s been over one month and I have yet to get my refund.
Mind you I called them and they told me they have started the processing. Also I emailed them and copied customer complaints at KCAA (who responded before even the Airline who have never responded to my many emails).
I decided to go to Twitter to see and imagine my surprise on seeing this
I know I have said it before on this post but the performance of vulnerability by influencers to sell things is harmful.
There is no way one will post a picture on the beach, living it up and in the caption talk about body issues AND THEN sell you a body lotion at the end and think that this is a inspiring. The comments sadden me sometimes because people feel like they should relate to these posts and we in turn become performers – like we have to always be thinking about what issues we have with ourselves and then correlate it to buying this thing that will somehow make our lives better. And the cycle continues.
Inspiration p0rn is annoying.
I know I am simplifying it but I really do think we need to think about how we engage with influencers and their perfomances on social media.
A while back on YouTube, I watched Kimberly Forster unbox a sex toy. And one of the questions she got was whether using a toy makes one numb. It was asked by a lady but I am sure that opinion was likely gotten from a man and messaging in the world.
And it got me wondering, why do we listen to people who don’t know what they are talking about? I have heard and read many men say that using a sex toy makes a woman numb. How do they know? I speak as someone who has had one for a while. And yet. And while I am only one person here is an article on the issue. So why do they speak with such authority?
Honestly nothing amuses me more than people who think explaining their sexism, misogyny somehow makes sense. And that we, who are forced to listen have to listen and adapt (or change).
There are many things that people talk about that I do not engage with or debate. Social media (and especially Twitter) has made people think that whatever opinion they have has to be said out loud and also that those who have come across it HAVE to engage with it. I personally do not have the time though.
I watched this episode of Lynn Ngugi and it brought to mind Osinachi Nwachukwu, the gospel Nigerian singer who was killed by her husband. There is so much that the church needs to answer for when it comes to women and marriage.
I could write a whole missive about everything that is wrong with the church but really, it boils down to how women are not viewed as human beings.
We like to see as the church as an institution (Of course it is) but there are people behind it, people making these decisions that lead to continued violence and the death of women and lest we forget LGBTQ people.
I am fat. Like size 20/22 fat. And there is nothing I can wear to hide this fact.
So I’m always surprised when I see especially older women snicker about something I’ve worn. The internalised fatphobia of it all.
I was beach side and let me just say, a woman who happens to be fat, who wears what she wants seems to be a sight to behold. Especially if she is black. Cause I can tell you the white women don’t even get a glance. Meanwhile I’ll just be wearing a one piece swimming costume and there is an expectation that I should wear those ugly ones with a skirt or bikers. Yuck.
I really wish we’d all understand and deal with our fatphobia, internalised or otherwise so we can all live in peace without the side eyes and whispers. Heal beloved. Thanks.
I am the representation I needed when I was a kid. Hide for what? For who? Nonsense.
It’s fascinating how people confuse someone being good looking and being attracted to them.
For everyone who has ever wondered how R Kelly got away with everything he has done for so long, just look at what Kanye is doing. And the excuses people make because someone made a piece of music that they like is mind blowing.
I truly believe that most of the things people view as status symbols are trappings of capitalism and I am therefore rarely impressed by the performance put forth to show wealth.
I wonder how all the kids who were born so parents could make content will be when older. I hope they’ll be okay.
Congruently, I think we should celebrate parents who bring up kids well. All that hoopla spent on congratulating people on being pregnant should be saved for how they bring up kids.
Also, let’s take a moment and think about class and showers (baby and bridal). 🤔🤔🤔
Do you sometimes feel like classed people think they know more about love and don’t think non classed people do?
I was watching someone on YouTube buy and talk about sneakers and thought about consumerism, hyper consumerism, individualism and how marketing and advertising has convinced us that we can buy our way out of despair that the very nature of capitalism keeps us in.
I remember having to sit with my thoughts about how travel is sold to us as an experience and yet it is just another way to buy something with little to no regard of the places we are going to, environmental impacts of travel and the indigenous peoples who live in the places we go to.
I mean even how it seems we are missing out on something if we don’t buy it – I find that to be so ludicrous. Advertisers are basically creating desire. Out of nothing. We don’t need most of the things we are buying or even as much as we end up buying. What do those many shoes do for me?
And I think this is the insidiousness of celebrity and/or influencer culture, because it predicates everything they are trying to sell as though they have uncovered the key to what life means and they will show the rest of us how to achieve it, by buying things. These are people we are meant to admire and want to be like so OF COURSE we must want whatever it is they are selling. “I am worthy because I bought this thing that a celebrity uses” LOL, please.
Anyway – I guess, actually I know – that contentment is KEY. And to achieve that, self awareness is important such that you know that you are consuming/buying things for specific reasons. A high sense of self is also important because then you aren’t deriving your worth as a human from things you consume and mostly you are good with where you are at any one moment.