It’s day 3,077 of the government-mandated self quarantine...ok it's been maybe a month, but time seems to move differently in the current setting.
I have a totally new respect for the men and women doing time behind bars, and I now get why they actually call it ‘doing time’, being confined to a particular location for an extended period of time should be classified as a crime against sanity.
In my case, my ‘cell’ is a two-bedroomed house somewhere along the Thika Superhighway. I was lucky to find this gem - I call it a gem because it actually has a backyard, a walled perimeter fence, and its very own gate.President Uhuru Kenyatta pictured during the virtual meeting with the special coronavirus emergency taskforce on April 1, 2020.PSCU
During the very first days of the mandatory quarantine, it was actually fun to have time to play around with Hector (my german shepherd who thinks he’s human, going by the number of times I catch him lounging on the living room carpet watching dogs chase after cats on Nat Geo).
We played every dog-owner game known to mankind - and I mean it, I actually had to refer to YouTube after running out of ideas.
Our routine was set, wake up, run around the yard for 15-20 minutes, feed him, take a shower, make some breakfast or gobble up last nights remnants, flip through funny videos, lunch, more playtime in the backyard, watch the daily govt presser, more playtime, more food, sleep and repeat.
Fridays were the best as I got to actually interact with another human-my nduthi guy, alias Njoro.
This one was a special character, with conspiracy theories that would make it to the Oscars if turned into a movie. I remember one time he told me that Covid-19 was just a long dream and that we were all in a trance induced by a select group of people who were currently looting the earth dry and that we’d soon wake up.
I suspected that Njoro had spent the previous night watching reruns of The Matrix.
Anyway, Njoro gave me my dose of comedy and some needed human interaction - no offence Hector.A boda boda rider.File
He played a crucial role in replenishing my supplies. Following the ‘stay at home’ order, Njoro was making a killing as riders were designated as essential service suppliers.
Equipped with his 3-ply mask, gloves that looked like mittens and a bright-orange helmet, he could pass off as one of those bike gang members from the movies.
This particular Friday was extra special. It was Good Friday.
A day that had previously signalled a road trip upcountry to see the folks, lots of chapati and choma, and that one cousin who follows you around like a shadow just for a bottle of the ‘good stuff’ - I really miss that one cousin at the moment.
Anyway, Njoro was at the gate at 9 a.m. as he always was, however, today he looked extra cheerful and that always signalled a brand new conspiracy theory.
Njoro: Vipi mtu wangu. How are you holding up? I can see siku hizi you have time to give Hector a cut...he said while looking at my companion who was now donning a fresh new trim.
Me: Hahaha...really Njoro. Si you know time is all we have at the moment… Ebu kwanza hand me my package before this one tears through everything in search of his special treats...I said while looking at Hector who was wagging his tail with excitement after catching a whiff of his special snack.
Njoro: Haha….Nilikushow long before this corona thing utafte jiko but you thought I was crazy or something...he said while handing me the package and laughing at the same time.
I couldn’t help but laugh as well as I took my delivery indoors.
I walked back out with my Co-op Visa card - as I always did, and found Njoro and Hector rolling in the grass- as they always did.A german shepherd dog - Hector was a whole mood by himself.File
After swiping this elephant in my wallet (my Co-op Visa card) that had become as important as oxygen, Njoro filled me in on the latest word on the street.
Njoro: Don’t tell anyone this came from me...he said while looking around frantically like he expected to see a platoon of special forces guys around the corner….I’ve heard from a reliable source that they already found a vaccine for this thing but they have a special list of the elite few who’ll get it...he said in a half-whisper.
Me: Really?...I said while trying my best not to laugh at his facial expressions...ehe
Njoro: I kid you not...it was created by some genius kid who is a first-year chemical engineering student at K.U is what I heard…..don’t say I don’t keep you in the loop my friend...he said as he walked to his bike.
Me: What would I do without you? Thanks so much for the package...I’ll also load some cash from my Mco-op cash straight to your M-pesa coz I need a special delivery on Easter Monday. It's been a while since Hector had some fresh bones.
Njoro: No worries bro….ntachukua from Kama on Monday, I don’t know how but his butchery is always open 24 hours, anajua the right people...he said as he turned the ignition on his prized possession….see you on Monday bro and remember to sanitise. Mi naenda home kwa wife, all the best with Hector...he said mockingly and laughed as he rode off.
This was going to be one hell of an Easter Weekend. Maybe Njoro was right, maybe I should google how to get married online.
Well, at least I have Hector to keep me company, we’ll be throwing a barbeque on Sunday and try a video-link with the folks.
I just need to figure out how I’ll explain the process of setting up a video-link to my mum over the phone...trust me, this is a ‘rocket science’ type of problem.A deserted Moi Avenue, in Nairobi - Stay Home.File