Monday, 13 June 2016

Waiting in Coffee Shops: The Art of Deduction

Anyone who knows me know how impatient I am. I simply cannot stand lateness... Yet, some of the most important people in my life have a slow internal clock. The fact that I still talk to them is evidence of my goodness.
Image source: Pinterest

Last Friday I was impatently waiting for someone at the Java in TRM. On an aside, has anyone noticed how Javas in the CBD and all these malls frequented by the emerging consumer* have comparable service to Olive Green and those other crowded restaurants along Tom Mboya? I mean, serviettes are a luxury. You'll be lucky if your coffee doesn't splash on you when they dump it on your table!

I am digressing. Coffee houses will be a post for another day. Anyway, I was reading an okay book and waiting for someone to think of asking if I wanted a coffee refill. In true Java fashion, the waiter led this couple to my table. Regardless of the fact that a book is the global 'Do Not Disturb' sign that even a moron ought to understand. I was more than miffed and would have pouted petulantly and dug deeper into my book had curiousity not gotten the better of me.

What caught my eye was the girl's hair. She had one of those weaves with bangs, so well done that I had to stop myself from asking where she got it done. Now that I was already distracted, I had no option but to eavesdrop on the conversation. The man she was with must have been at least 50 and dressed in those Kaunda suits. On another aside, why do people dress so ridiculously on dress down Friday? Casual wear should be easy! 

Looking at the couple, there were a number of possibilities: this could be a dad and his daughter; this could be a random relative taking his random younger relative out for coffee; this could be a boss and employee (yes, young girls can hire elderly men as drivers); or this could your male spomsor / investor and his beneficiary. I simply had to solve this mystery!

I have carefully curated the conversation for you to help me solve this:
50 y/o Kaunda wearer: So, where do you live?
PYT with the good hair: Kahawa Wendani
50 y/o Kaunda wearer: (shudders) Gosh, that is a whole other world. The wide, wild west.
PYT with the good hair: Yeah. I'd like to move.
50 y/o Kaunda wearer: What do you want?
PYT with the good hair: A government job. You work short hours and make lots of money. I also                                              want to move to Mombasa Road.

(At this point I want to mention that I was quite mind-blown. I always thought that the typical sponsor-beneficiary relationship followed certain societal norms, such as beating around the bush. Turns out it is full blown capitalism here!)
50 y/o Kaunda wearer: Yes we can get you a new job.
PYT with the good hair: (smiles coyly)
50 y/o Kaunda wearer: (picks ringing phone) Hello. Nani ameshikwa? Give me the name of the                                               police officer. Tell him if he still wants his job tomorrow anipigie simu.
At this point my date showed up and I moved to another table. My final conclusion is that my 50 y/o Kaunda wearer is part of the suave group of powerful men who work the puppet strings. He can hand around government jobs, hire and fire policemen! Infact, I think he may be Bruce Wayne himself!

As for PYT with the good hair, she may be Robin for all I know! I wish I had asked for her hair dresser's contacts.

*emerging consumer: how fancy multilaterals refer to the middle classs that has just now arrived, as opposed to those ones who have always been here.

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