Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Not Quite Suburbia

She thought Suburbia was hell...she hadn't tried the peri-urban areas...

I was walking home today evening, as always, when this huge, mad cow came charging towards me. I had no idea cows were that fast. It was this hulking, grey figure with intimidating horns and smoke blowing from its nostrils...okay, I think I got carried away for an instant there with the ‘taswira’...but that doesn't make the charging cow any less scary...or the slightly odd, old man who was running after the cow. My chances seemed bleak at that moment but my ever analytic, calculating mind grasped that I had one of three options:
  • ·         I could climb up a tree. In most fables that I read as a child, the witty, clever creature (usually a hare), would know when NOT to stand in the face of danger and would conveniently find solace elsewhere. I’d like to think that in this particular fable I was the hare...however, there were no trees in sight. Besides, I’d make a terrible climber, my fear of heights notwithstanding.
  • ·         I could flee... preferably in the opposite direction as the cow. That option had obvious flaws too. I can’t run fast. If you've ever met me you realize how ridiculous this anomaly of mine is. I think it’s a mind-limb lack of coordination thing... I just can’t move fast...at all. Also, I am not one to grapple with what goes on inside a mad cow’s mind. It could take a fleeing me for anything. I wasn't ready to gamble with those chances.
  • ·         I was still in the formative stages of my last option when I realized that the mad cow and its slightly awkward pursuer had already run clear past me. However I’d like to think that option 3 would have been to stand my ground, cool as a cucumber (I hope that Nameless song has just gone through your head at the mention of that very ‘cool’ simile), and let the mad cow pass...like the true country lass that I am.

That experience got me thinking about the woes of living in a ‘peri-urban’ area... especially one that’s more peri – less urban. You know, the Rongais, Kitengelas and Ruais of our beautiful city. I once did a post here about home but that was before I got to fully appreciate the...erm... uniqueness of this place.

In the one year that I have lived here, I have made two friends...from church...both of whom live several leagues away from me. Yes, here in the ‘peri-urban’ areas we use expressions like ‘over the ridge’ and ‘yonder’ to describe the location of a place... and we are allowed to measure distance in ‘leagues’ because our lives are hard enough as it is. Aggie and Julie, those are their names. To be frank I don't know them too well because traversing those leagues in the hot sun is not a job for newbies like me. I figure I’ll need a few more years before I claim to be a seasoned dweller. I haven’t met any boys that I’d want to make friends with. It’s just... this will sound vain and conceited but... I find it impossible hard to make friends with a guy who I am not in the least bit attracted to. It can be looks, a quick mind, humor, creativity, or good taste in music... at least any one of them to make me go through the trouble. Girls are much easier to befriend. I suppose... these Kamba boys... they are overrated. There! I said it. I much more preferred the Nyeri  boys men. (I suppose it’s too late for me to cross out all the instances of the word ‘boy’ and change it to ‘men’... Let’s pretend it’s like po-ta-to, po-tay-to...same difference).

The children here are different too. A bunch of rascals pooped in my mom’s garden (really?) and my dad had to raise the walls fencing the compound to keep them out. Now I can no longer jump over the fence on my way in and out. I have to use the gate like some normal person.-_- I brood silently and plot my vengeance against those brats. I figure I have to wait for my baby brother to close school and help me plot. If watching ‘Home Alone’ taught me anything, it’s that an analytic,  logical 20 year old mind is no match for a 6 year olds stupidity. Stupidity beats ingenuity... always.

But it’s not all gloom... not always. The walk does me good...builds character (I hope!) and the jumping-over-the-fence move makes me feel very ninja-ish... a lot like that cowgirl in The Walking Dead that Glen falls for. No, she did no ‘fence-jumping’ that I know of but she was pretty bad-ass nonetheless. I have also grown very sensitive... something about living in the middle of nowhere makes you notice chirping birds, flowers in bloom, yellow butterflies and full moons...something about the silence. Being devoid of human contact has made me appreciative of others. Hands up if I have randomly texted, whatsapped or DMed you recently... That wasn't me, it was the solitude speaking. And this longer-than-usual post is a product of that solitude.

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