(may 16, 2008)
i am sitting in my pyjamas and having a glass of wine after having set my pan on fire during the melting of the butter and heating of the vodka in the preparation of vodka pasta. like any normal person would, i tried to blow it out (fyi – NOT a good idea) then carefully turned the burner off and gently placed the pan back down on the stove and just waited for the fire to burnt itself out while i calmly wondered, ‘is is soda or powder that goes on a grease fire?’
instead of chancing it, i figured i would just watch and ‘monitor’ the fire. during my vigilant monitoring, i debated putting the pan on the stoop so that it was less likely to ignite my kitchen, but instead just called my flatmate, who was equally clueless on what exactly we should do. so we watched it burn together. and then she said, just like a 14 year old boy would, ‘wow, that was cool.’ and i replied, ‘i know, science, eh.’ and that is a true story.
the vodka pasta was nice (although i have made better batches, i think the secret lies in the cream) and i am now patiently awaiting the arrival of my taxi driver, who i hope will buy my cooker. and agree to come and visit me in canada one day. because without him, my stay in nairobi would not have been as rich of an experience and i am quite sad to think that i might not see him again.
he and i have been plant shopping together, had impromptu kiswahili lessons while passing time, he has picked me up at the airport after returning from journeys both long and short. he even picked my family up at the airport last year with a name sign that i am sure was spelled wrong and chauffeured us around town, even joining us at the baby elephants, which i think he enjoyed just as much as we did.
this guy has given me the low down on all the carjackings, robberies, and other neighbourhood happenings and he has also been a partner in a great many political discussions and we tried to solve the problems of kenya in the post election violence while navigating the streets of nairobi. he has rented me cars, given me free rides on my birthday or when he was exceptionally late, and he has given me the ok to marry my boyfriend who he thinks is a ‘good guy’ and is convinced i will return when i have babies in my arms.
actually, he was there the night we first met and picked up and delivered my keys when i got home and realised that i had left them with a friend at the bar. he has picked up important documents and take away food, helped me figure out how the central investigative division of the kenya police works, and will hopefully buy my cooker and fridge.
he reckons he will save his shillings and visit his friends in canada and australia (or austria, we never could figure out where his friend lives) and i do not doubt it. i am convinced the man sits on a vault of money. i just hope i can be as good of a driver and friend as he has been to me.