About Me

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Laid back; chilled out.

Friday, December 09, 2005


It’s probably not customary for a blogger to reveal too much about themselves. I haven’t seen any blog yet that divulges a decent amount of information about the author, which is completely understandable. In this day and age of rampant phishing and pharming it is necessary to protect oneself from people out there that make a living off identity theft and stuff. Besides, in blogville anonymity is what makes the whole experience interesting, receiving comments from complete strangers and perusing other people’s sites at will. Due to these reasons and more, my name will remain >d for all intents and purposes. Everyone knows me as >d anyway so it’s not my alter-ego writing all this $hit. I’m always gonna keep it real here, hate it or love it. I hope you love it though, I can’t lie!

I feel good tonight coz the weekend’s here already so I’ll tell you what, imma tell a little about myself now coz it may never happen again. All my friends complain they don’t know anything about what’s going on with me and stuff so you are one of the lucky few to get to know a little about yours truly. [Not that I think I’m that interesting, no. Shoot, if my life was a book I might not even wanna read it!] Alright, here we go:

I already said I’m Kenyan, right? I am, just for the record. I’m Kikuyu and I’m twenty-something years old. [Hey, I very well can’t tell it all now, can I?!] I was born and raised in shags; I’m a true country boy. As in back in the day when I was a young’n I used to get up early, feed the cows/goats/chickens/pigs etc. before I even had breakfast. Breakfast, if that’s what that was, consisted of scalding tea in a tin mug – the ones that had a tendency to get a little rusty at the lip. [You know what I’m saying, shags people?] That was it for breakfast. That’s all I needed though. Lunch and dinner was, for the most part, githeri. That was OK too.

When I was in Standard one through four I attended this local school which, luckily, was only a mile or so away from home. I’d leave the crib, take my shoes off and leave them by the gate behind some bush then proceed to school. Back then 98% of all the students at that school didn’t wear shoes – they just didn’t have them. I was fortunate to have a pair or two but I like being inconspicuous so I too went to class barefooted. [My Ma doesn’t even know this, I don’t think. I sometimes went home with cuts and bruises on my feet and I’d be hiding the contusions from her coz she’d know I’d been walking around barefooted. Aha, I got you with that one, didn’t I, Mum?]

The classroom, if that’s what that was, was nothing but walls and roof. There were gaps in the walls though and these served as entrances and exits, either or. To this day I still don’t know which was the door; they all looked the same. The desks were the type that you’d share with 2 other people, the wooden joints. The floor was earthen - no cement, no nothing. When it rained the floor was all mud and when it was dry it was all dust. Wow.

The main thing that made the classroom experience unbearable for me had nothing to do with the way the classroom was built or the absence of the simple comforts of a regular classroom, no. It was the presence of some near-microscopic creatures called jiggers/Tungum penetrans. See, I even remember the little buggers’ genus and species names, that’s how much they terrorized me! They were everywhere in the classroom and seemed to love my toes – some of the other kids never suffered from them. After they burrowed under the skin and strategically positioned themselves right under the toenail they opened up shop and got comfortable there, engorging themselves on my much-needed blood. My body would, fortunately or unfortunately, recognize the alien presence and reject it, making the toe infested by the varmint swell up, throb and itch unbearably. The only way to find relief was to literally dig ‘em out with one of my Ma’s safety pins or something of the sort and, after attempting to disinfect it with methylated spirit or GV [remember GV, the purple stuff?], I would begin the surgery. It hurt like hell, needless to say. When I finally dug through the layers of skin, stabbed right through the mofo and pulled it out there sometimes would be a virtual crater left where it had been – I kid you not. This is the fun part – I’d then glare at the critter that caused me so much pain and curse at it. And even though it was skewered by the pin and probably dead I’d light a match and hold the flame under the bugger and watch it vaporize into nothingness.

I apologize for the momentary flashback. I’ll try and stay focused.

Oh, I didn’t mention I’m from Murang’a, did I? Or is it Mulang’a? I still don’t know why I elicit surprise every time with that confession. Most people say I don’t seem to be from there, go figure. Murang’a people seem to have this infamous repertoire for shrubbing – especially with the ‘R’s and the ‘L’s which for them are interchangeable – and for an abundance of discolored teeth from the Fluorine that they say flows freely in Murang’a water. I’ve also heard the wisecracks about Murang’a guys being shao and all. Now, I’m not supporting nor refuting those allegations but that’s where I’m from so hey, all that could be me! I don’t think I shrub though and I guess I didn’t drink enough Murang’a water to tarnish my teeth, but what do I know.

Another thing – I was taught to read and write in Kikuyu Std. 1 through 3. I’m dead serious. I was even tested and graded in the subject, for real. For some reason that stuck with me to this day and I can still read and write in Kikuyu. Ninjui mureciria niguthaka ndirathaka ngimuhe ng’ano ici. Maundu maya mothe ndiramuira ni ma. There. Convinced now? Could you even read it? lol

I’ll try and summarize the rest of it – I can perpetuate tales sometimes. Std. 5 found me in a new school though, a boarding school. I was in boarding schools from then on till 4th form. Came to the U.S. of A a year and a half later and I’m still here – sometimes I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. All good though coz the U.S. has a way of turning boys to men, girls to women. Feels good to be grown up too. Here I am now, working and studying and getting locked up in the good old USA! I’m now fully convinced anything can happen, for real.

Let me be out before I divulge any additional info I might be kicking myself for later. Now you know me a little better – hope that little bit helps. Keep on blogging!


Anonymous said...

Well well well, nice to get to know you better Mr. >d. So you are from Murang'a eh? Take it from one shags person to another, most of what you said read like my early life. But did you have to dissect the stuff about jiggers? Man, we didnt have them where I am from but we did when we went to cucu's for holiday. Those things were mean - now you got me wriggling my toes coz just the thought of them gives me the creeps. And why did they not move (or did they?) - I swear that is one 'being' that I could de-create if I was given the choice.

LOL @ you writing in Kyuk - well, I read that, and yes I can write in kikuyu too - I actually write kikuyu better than I read it - dont know why that is :)

Ati andu a Murang'a ni a gicagi? Ii nao andu a Kiambu? Na a Nyeri?

You forgot to talk about the thrashings that we got when we were late, made noise in class, didnt get the mental sums the second the teacher asked in a minute - oh, I could write on your blog about the experiences. Our school was only about five minutes from the school, but we were permanently late so the teachers gave up on us. Shame shame...

Nice post - gives quite a nice insight into the man that is you.

Enjoy the weekend and take care.

|d®| said...

Guess: you never cease to amaze me, really. I'll hit you up on that later on though.

I guess I neglected to include all that stuff which was part of the shags primo experience, huh? Maybe I can revisit the issue sometime in future. I can write volumes about it, believe you me.

Enjoy the weekend too. Shake stuff up.

Anonymous said...

Sup w/ the cracks bout Nyeri ppl? I'm from Nyeri, and proud of it....gotta say tho...that's no shags compared to some parts of Murang'a...hm....so we now know >d? hmmmmm....the mind wonders...

*Blogger's note: currently listenin to "Picture"- sheryl crow. Mood: blah

Anonymous said...

@Devoted reader - I wasnt making a dig at Nyeri people, or Kiambu ones either -I was merely stating that they are all shags places, are they any less shags than say Murang'a - but maybe my kikuyu needs some brushing up :(

|d®| said...

Shags is shags, I say. I went to high school in Nyeri and it's more or less the same as Murang'a. Only thing different is the shrubbing - The 'L' and 'R' shrubs prevalent in Murang'a are replaced with the 'CH' and 'SH' in Nyeri. A chair is a 'Shair' in Nyeri, and share is 'Chare,' ha ha!

Poi said...

Hhhehhehehe thanks for the let-in D(cnt even write the name you go by..lol)

Anyhoo, great read :)

My shags is murang'a and i'm witchu all in here that shags is shags. I went to pri-shule in a boarding shule in Nyahururu and even Embu and Nyeri too for that matter, haiya and shags is shags

Got memories ringing bells and them memories keep us warm so lovely this..

Merry Xmas :)

gishungwa said...

So you al flom mulang'a, texas. Now am from shags too, born and bred in naivasha where i learnt kikuyu in place of my mother tongue. Riuri, todo wa uhoro ucio nie ndi wa gicagi. Idi gicagi nikuo kuratigia ngiri na matano ona broker iriite.
Hats off to all gishagi people :)

Farmgal said...

first time here!
I enjoyed reading that!
I once saw a grown man crying coz he had jiggers under his toe nails!

KenyanMusings said...

I feel you all the way....kwanza the gashai of the morning, yashinaga ma ngai! .......and the classes. LOL, Good times those. Simple life. Good life. Cool post!

Anonymous said...

hey jamas i am from kinangop (talking about shags that was it for me waru boga baa mai mahehu rocini gukama na kuriithia ngombe. oklahoma is kind of quiet like home but no place is like home keep it coming yo ura na ndukamarwo

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