Hair Raising Experience

Painkillers. Check! Phone battery full to listen to music and tweet the pain away. Check! Mentally and physically prepared. Check! Well, you might be wondering what I’m going on and on about ,aye? It’s the torture every woman who braids her hair goes through most of the time. Getting one’s hair did is really not a fun experience and braiding takes a whole lot of time, and if you are not the patient type like me, you prefer to have your hair braided in one of those markets that do it in a record three hours tops. I will stop yapping much and help you picture the scenario.

Scene 1: Alights from the stage at Kenyatta Market with my big afro and suddenly from nowhere a battalion of women bombard me each one calling me, aunty, mrembo and the guilt breaker mtoto wangu.
Me:”Hapana niko sawa sitaki kushukwa” (for my foreign readers it means, no I’m ok I don’t want my hair braided)
Women’s Army:“ Tutafanya kazi smart utakuwa mrembo sana. Sema tu uko na pesa ngapi hatuwezi kosana bei.” (ok I’m really tired of translating now, but it means the women then try to convince me saying how they’ll work wonders to my hair and I should not worry about the price we will come to some sort agreement)

Pretends to make a phone call while walking so fast like a killer with a saw is behind me waiting to cut me up. They finally get the hint and leave me alone. Sighs in relief, I can finally concentrate on who I was going to visit in hospital without thinking I’m about to be hijacked and held hostage with combs and braids on my afro. Poor lil afro all traumatized now.

Scene 2: Decides to finally get my hair braided and wakes up early on a Saturday to go to a different hair braiding market. Remembered to take my painkillers beforehand for the pain that I was about to go through. Alights at the Umoja Market Stage and before I can even blink, one woman jumps in fronts of me (tempted to show her my Ninja moves) another one grabs my hand all of them calling me aunty (ok why the hell do they insist on that name) manages to yank away from their grip and focus on who I was sent to get my hair did. I don’t know how she looks like, her phone is not going through and my selective amnesia forgot which stall no. she owns. Thank God for small mercies, I recognize that voice shouting; Aunty! Aunty! Kuja tukushuke. I ask her if she’s*censored* she says yes and I finally feel relieved as the women staring at my afro like they are lions and were just about to pounce on this powerless antelope(my afro not me)And the drama unfolds:

Miss Afro:” Nimetumwa na nani, kushukwa hapa since mlimshuka vizuri” (I’ve been sent by so and so to get my hair braided since you did her hair so well)
Braiding Lady:“Karibu sana, unataka za ngapi? Kuna za 5,6,7,8 na thao sema ile size umependa.”(wait am I choosing the braids I want as if I’m shopping for a dress? Oh my bad! For those who don’t understand Swahili, braiding lady asks me which size of braids I want and for how much since they come in different prices)
Miss Afro:“Nataka za 8. Na niko na haraka kidogo, kama mnaeza harakisha itakuwa vizuri.” (I’m in a hurry so if you can do a quick job, I would appreciate) Here I am thinking to myself that she is the one doing my hair, apparently she’s like an apprentice and her job is to scout for interns to do her work for her while she does a touch and go on your hair while gossiping.
I sit outside my braids snatched away from me, a towel thrown on my lap with braids smeared in Vaseline and I’m asked to divide for another braiding lady. Drat! There goes my tweeting away, and I can’t listen to music either because of the loud annoying station that acts like they have a 4gb flash disk worth of music also known as Kiss 100 on full blast. “Shoot me now!”I mutter to myself. I’m given an old Parent’s magazine that should be archived, to read. Finally braiding lady outsources two other braiding ladies and they are on top of my head, gossiping while forgetting it’s your hair they are pulling when they start hi-5ing each other. Suddenly, they get hungry and start eating chapatis on top of your head(this women can eat!)they then call for help to help with the finishing. Now I have four women on top of my head! Wait, scratch that, I have two women and four thighs on my face. You see, when it comes to twisting, the quickest way to finish them is by one woman applying Vaseline on her thighs, and rolling the braids on it. Mind you, it’s your hair being pulled like that to be able to reach one’s thigh. The braiding lady then demands;”Panua miguu” Ok, this now starts sounding like I’m auditioning for a softcore porn movie! My legs are spread in such a way her body can fit, and one of the finishers thigh can be up in my face, with a stench from her vajayjay that makes you want to pass out. There’s always a welding shop nearby, and the noise starts driving you insane, the gossiping and laughing on top of your head, the pulling and forced to do some Kama Sutra flexing muscles stunts is just too much. Once done in a record 3 hours, they pull your hair back, and dab a hot towel on your scalp. You leave there with your eyes looking all Chinese from the pulling, your hairline slowly fading and you want to kill someone.
Braiding Lady:Finally she comes back just to take the cash and says;” Na uko smart, utarudi lini tena nikushuke?”
Miss Afro now tightly braided: “I’ll call you.” As I leave there in so much pain and about to overdose on painkillers, vowing never to braid my hair again. Four weeks later, phones braiding lady again to make an appointment.

Peace and blessings always, Vionna.


Breakups to Makeups

First of all, I would like to wish all you bloggers and readers alike a Happy 2012 as you struggle to make resolutions that you know by mid Feb you will have completely forgotten about! Now that we have that out-of-the-way, let me whine about the number one resolution that a majority of ladies (me included) make every New Year: Leaving all the baggage behind which mostly involves a man. Breaking up with that guy whose drama you don’t want to carry over come 2012. New Year, new things becomes the mantra you chant most of January. I like to call it the five stages of breakups to makeups, since mostly it starts somewhere in November when you realize the year is almost coming to an end and the person you are dating seems to have your feelings stuck somewhere in limbo, and you can’t start a new year going through an emotional rollercoaster again. Just for the sake, let’s just say a friend of mine went through these five stages:-)

1. Self Pity: All your friends seem to be settling down, getting married and you’re still stuck in a limbo. You start feeling sorry for yourself, thoughts that maybe true love doesn’t exist for you start creeping in. Attending weddings become such a bore for you. The game plan you had when you were 20 to be married and settled down by a certain age starts taunting you. Comfort eating becomes your new hobby in the hopes that a certain someone will get his act together.

2. Making Excuses: You make sure all your friends know how much you love your just dating without marriage in view life. You can travel go on holidays the way you want without having to consult someone or apply for a visa (once you’re married) to go for some random road trips in Naivasha or Mombasa. You seem to enjoy a carefree life of sorts.

3. Denial: It’s not you. He will change, get his act right and finally pop the question. He just needs time to see where he wants to be (Donelle Jones I blame you for this) Denial clearly is a river in Egypt said with a Jamaican accent, unless you accept it and stop living in a bubble.

4. Relapse: December is here. You managed to finally let Mr. Limbo go in November when it dawned on you the year is finally ending and you need change. Then one random night you get lonely, start missing him and find yourself riding that emotional rollercoaster again (pun intended)

5. Waking up and Smelling the coffee: After the relapse, something snaps. You realize things will never change. You will be stuck in limbo for the rest of the year that’s about to start if you keep hoping and waiting for him to make up his mind. So that’s when you start writing down your resolutions. No more carrying emotional baggage come 2012. New Year, new things. You bury that chapter in 2011 and hope to start a new book come 2012.

So those are the 5 stages that most of the time runs through a girl’s mind when she decides to let go and come up with New Year’s resolutions that she hopes she will stick to. Chances are, by Feb, she would be back to the breakups to makeups yoyo or hopefully the coffee she woke up and smelled was really strong and knocked some sense into her that will make her stick to her resolutions.

PS: This is not a true story. Any relations to the blogger are purely coincidental. No feelings were hurt during the writing of this blog post:-)

Peace and Blessings Always, and a Happy 2012 to you all, Vionna.