Life is very unfair. I have waited for Ten years to meet this lady, and the first thing she says is “Hell NO!!!!! I am not eating at this restaurant!!!!!” She wasn’t serious!!! Was she? I could not believe it. Wait! She was serious. I sipped my hot and bitter coffee – It was sugarless.
How did I end up here? In 2005, I was visiting a cousin of mine, and he always spoke of a hot neighbour of his. I will not go to the extremes of how I was good with computers back then at a rookie level. But it so happened that I was among the few youngsters who would install and successfully crack a few computer games & fancy softwares back then. This hot chic had a brother who badly needed computer games. Where were they to be installed? On the sister’s computer! So on one of those days when I was done installing GTA Vice City, I wrote a letter and saved it as a document on the laptop under her name. I will not go into the details, but at the time only my mom owned a mobile phone and her number was my contact (Written innocently as the address at the top right corner). We would then proceed to communicate via letters, humongous success cards for KCSE and later phone calls and texts over the next ten years until today. That was a secondary school certificate, a degree and masters later and several high-end roles in some ‘prestigious organizations’.
We all hear of intimidating “aiming for the tops” ladies who intimidate men. From familiarity I know, high-achieving women intimidate men. Then I am in this crazy generation where what our parents achieved at 35 & 40, people are achieving within 25. Quarter life crisis, this? Remember how I mentioned we were encouraged to marry a nice naïve girl from the village in the military and not corporate/ working class women… teren teren… So that we cannot be “Sat-on”. I have been a reserved guy for the whole of my life. Shy to the core. I have nil experience in dating or related. Sio kujitetea. The only treatment I know is cooking for the lady and seeing her off after the meal etc. It works, no matter how atrocious the cooking is, the lady will have to appreciate the struggle somehow and will never mention it. For Wambui & I, procrastination stalled this first meet. Sometimes it just happened automatically. Trust me we even tried meeting in a church. It never worked. The eccentricity of life that I cannot explain made sure we met nearly ten years after I wrote that letter.
She currently holds what I would refer to a prestigious job in a prestigious organization. So, I had to meet her and stop all this shirking. I don’t like choosing locations for eating out and I never wanted it. The few ladies I am comfortable with coffee meets know my choices are very limited. For a fortnight towards this date, I was joking about how I would walk her into a downtown eatery, River Road, Accra Road et al. and we would have tea and previous night’s mandazis… it happens. I may be everything else but not a dating partner. Weee!!! So, she said yes to my choice. By now readers of this blog, my ideal coffee shop is Café Deli, Khaldis or God Gift Kikwetu. The location of what followed next will remain clandestine for obvious reasons… or for the lack of them. I do corners, I acted all confident et al. and ordered coffee as I waited for my date. (You see at my age, I felt I rely on people so much. I wanted to see what would happen without asking third parties where could we go for this and that.) She called, I gave the location as agreed, she came, and I assumed it was a joke when she said, “This is the place you want us to eat! HELL NO CHRIS!!!” I honestly thought it was a joke. I was wrong. “Come inside, I am upstairs seated on the balcony at the corner to your left under the screen” – it was the only spot. However, we all know there is no difference between sitting at the centre of the room and sitting under the Tv screen on the wall – all blinking eyes on you!!!. I sipped my coffee – sugarless.
From the balcony, I could see her, walking into the restaurant as we talked on the phone. She came in, and she said, “There is no way we are going to eat in this place!!!” “Hell No!!!” *Expresses Disgust*
“What is the problem with this place?”
“I just don’t like it!, It is not my kind of place!!!”
“Why?” Trying to act all calm and composed, deep inside I was embarrassed to Mars and back!
In my subconscious, I was like, “This is not what I had come for! I had prepared psychologically for this the whole week!!!!” *Internal Sobs*
“Ebu finish your coffee we go!!!”
“Alright! I am almost done…” Feeling defeated and embarrassed…
For a moment, I contemplated leaving the coffee at its ¾ state and leaving the restaurant. However, I couldn’t leave until I paid.
“What I need is Whisky! A Double for that matter!!!” *yawns*
She was clearly hungry, but somehow this was not her ideal place. She was not going to let this go, and I had to call the waiter and request for my bill – the same waiter I had told to bring me coffee as I waited for my date. Around me were some media people and I was like ‘Hell! I will be the talk of the town on some tabloid tomorrow or someday if these guys overheard our conversation’. I am glad I had not worn the uniform. Would have been a double blow. “PILOT HUMILIATED IN CITY RESTAURANT!”
“Let me show you a real restaurant! Ebu Amka!!!”
The only thing Wambui had said besides all that rejection speech was “Nice to finally meet you but…!”
That is how we ended up at Kosewe.
Please note this is not a restaurant review, I would never pull that off.
“I have been to this place before, but I don’t remember eating anything…”
“Yeah, this is where you should be eating!!!” “Huko ni wapi sasa ulikuwa umeniita! tsk!!!”
“You said you will be okay with anything!”
“That was a horrible place!!!” “Ebu order and never even mention a restaurant to me again!” “Don’t order what I am ordering!!!”
I was conquered. I could not dispute this. There was no comeback. I would rather have brought flowers, and she rejected them, “Who told you I need flowers?” I would carry them the entire night and pretend my girlfriend bought them for me. As long as she did not beat me with them. Win!
I later learnt why I never had anything at Kosewe the last time. We came and sat down and waited… and waited… Kumbe you pay and pick a receipt (Food Order) on your way. I learnt that on this episode. So that day we sat, and we left in a huff convinced that these people were not interested in serving us. Three things that made me forget the embarrassment. The live band was on point; the food was on point. (Here I picked a battle that I am accustomed to – chicken) I will try fishing* when I am alone, trust me. Last but not least, a cold stout served by the most enthusiastic waiter. The waiters here make you feel at home. They are genuinely concerned about your well-being.
Wambui would not let me rest, after every few minutes; she would find a way to bring up my ‘bad restaurant’. As if it was my lifetime career to disappoint dates. We discussed everything. Majorly clarification of some bits and pieces of life. This ranged from the last ten years in a recap, career life, school life and life goals – of course. We did not do much; we were seated in the open area under one of those fancy umbrellas and it was getting cold and besides, who wanted to get super wasted on the first date. Wait, at some point she tried to entice me to rating two of her connections on LinkedIn! LOL! My chicken and Ugali was awesome. You can dry run Kosewe’s Ugali and not feel a thing! I gulped the soup direct from the bowl – I was embarrassed enough. Royalty for who! Next time I am doing the whole fish like a boss!!! We did a little bit of people watching before deciding it was time to go home. Somewhere as the hours ticked by I spilled my stout on my shirt as I tried to steal a glance of the essentials after she excused herself to the restroom. *Darrrrn!!!*. You see she had given me this illusion that she was “overweight et al. all uncomfy about her weight” She freaking lied!!! She was beautiful and she had it all nicely curved and packed in the right places – but this is neither here nor there… She fits my ‘Twins-Bearer’ profile, though. Clearly, ladies have a different definition of ‘too much weight’. I had already started saying the “Please let me like her” prayer earlier until she blasted me with “I am not eating here!!!”
She sorted the bill and we were out.
“Are you okay to drive?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Okay, I will walk you to your car then.”
“But the whole world has to know you dissed me and my restaurant choice!!!” *Clicks* “How could you?!!!”
“You are never choosing restaurants again!”
“Okay, Move on!” I said.
As we were crossing City Hall Way from Simba Street toward the parking lot near Reinsurance Plaza, she did the unthinkable…
“You know I have been mugged before?”
“Yeah, it was on January 17th, 2013…”
She gave an encounter I cannot remember, my mind was elsewhere. She then pulled a “mama soko stunt” I was shocked. She removed her HTC M9 from her purse and pushed it deep in her brassiere… (I confirmed it was not the smuggled type like the One I own – the phone was legit.) So I am like…
“Is that really necessary?”
“You never know, you see how dark this place is!!!?”
“But I am here, who would mug you?” “Trust this karao-street-thug composite to keep you safe.”
“Clearly!!! A thug; with your choice of restaurants, I would agree!” “Wacha Maze! Nairobi is never safe!”
“So that is the safest place huh?”
I decided to leave it at that; this I would not discuss. Then it hit me.
“So we can even out this mama soko stunt you just pulled with my taste in restaurants?”
“Hell NO!” she said.
“I will only let this go if we cancel the Subaru bet…”
Now, the Subaru bet is one she lost after I told her I have a pile of Cosmo & Vogue magazines in my library. She said it was impossible! Now she owes me a Forester. If I happen to buy it before she can buy it for me, she will fuel the equivalent of half the value of the car. She lost of course! I have enough Cosmos and Vogues to dish out to several salons full of women. Apparently, she was still angry at losing this bet.
We got to her car, and she drives the Impreza R205. She is an adrenaline junkie too. At some point, I had hinted we do a final round at her local, and then I would get myself home and she was like “hell no!”
We got into the car, and she drove towards Taifa Road like a pissed off rally driver who had just lost a race & trying to save face. We got to the parking exit, and she said;
“Naweka hazard! Ebu shuka!”
“Sawa unashukia pale! Ata sitoi hazard!” “Ona hiki! Usha funga belt! Where do you think you are going!?”
Ha ha ha I had no words. Before I could say Harambee Avenue, she was already there, pushed back to my seat like I experienced while on take-off in a Seneca sometimes back.
“I will be home in five minutes. Ebu shuka!!!! We will talk. Let me know when you get home!”
I dragged my ass out of the car and walked along Harambee Avenue, crossed Moi Avenue towards Umoinner. Wait! What is that funny name they gave to former Club Envy? I pretended to be stroking my non-existent beard trying to hide the stain on my shirt that stuck out like a white flag in a dense forest. To clear out the illusion of embarrassment, I thought of the Digital Camp Kenya and how I would have avoided all this by attending and the experience I was missing at Naivasha. But I have to visit with the children at the orphanage tomorrow. I laughed at my poor ass all the way home.