Thursday, 15 January 2015

Late bar chit chat with a Kenyan lawyer

Recently while on my trip to Kenya late last year, I had the opportunity to enjoy a little bit of the night life that the country had to offer when I visited Picolina in South B with a few friends. I am usually a stay at home and watch a movie kind of girl, but this time I decided to enjoy as much of Kenya as I could since my trip was very brief. 

On the last night of my trip in Kenya, my friends and host convinced me to go out to eat some by Nyama choma at Picolina a nearby pub.

 I settled for the roast goat with a soft drink as I enjoyed the loud music being played over multiple speakers. As I sat on the outside at the counter overlooking the parking area, I enjoyed the company of my solely male escort of 3 for 3 hours.

The night seemed to be going very well up until the latest member of our party arrived rather late and began to cause mayhem.  This is owing to the fact that he had consumed a little too much alcohol and he was not one to handle his liquor. He nearly caused a fight as 2 of my friends from my company of 3 who had taken me out; moved him aside and attempted to calm him down as the other broke up the fight.   

As all this was going on, I was left unattended for about 30 minutes which gave an older gentleman seated at the extreme end of the bar an opportunity to talk to me. He was no younger than 36 or 37 and walked right up to me taking the seat previously occupied by one of my friends.  

Older Gentleman: "Hello, I am Paul," said the tall medium build man wearing a brown leather jacket,  light cream dress with a pair of dark fitted jeans .

Me: "Hello Paul," I said without even looking in his direction. 

Older Gentleman: “I have waited patiently to talk to you all evening, but you had many small boys around you and I did not want to be rude." 

Me: "Really, why?"  I responded politely as I struggled to hold back a grin owing to his referral of my company as young boys. 

Older Gentleman: "I appreciate the way you carry yourself.  It takes a very confident woman to keep her hair short and not cover her face in make up in this day and age." 

Me: "Thank you." 

Older Gentleman: "It is a vice that all these woman of today who do not appreciate their true African beauty with weaves and hair extensions in odd colours they purchase for thousands of shillings." 

Me: "Thank you for the compliment," I said as I looked away in the direction of my friends who were still attempting to calm down their sottish counterpart. 

Older Gentleman: " I did not mean to be to forward but I want to bring you to back to Kenya." 

Me:  "Hihihi, and who said I am not in Kenya," I said as I let out a hearty chuckle. 

Older Gentleman: "You do not seem like you are Kenyan. I can tell after all - I am Kenyan." 

Me: "I need to get back to my friends." 

Older Gentleman: "My apologies for keeping you but it seems they are still quite busy at the moment. So if you don't mind I can keep you company as they finish," he said this as he pointed in their direction. 

At this point, I could see my friends grabbing the drunken Ugandan fellow (the late comer of our party) and holding him back from another Kenyan man. 

Older Gentleman: "That is the problem of keeping company of young boys. They are very immature and I don't see how they will keep you engaged." "Well I did not officially introduce myself; I am Paul a lawyer here in Kenya.  I live here but work across East Africa and you what do you do? " 

Me: "It is a pleasure, I am in marketing." 

Older Gentleman: "You sound Ugandan!  I was in Ugandan a year and a half ago for the NSSF case and will be back next week to pick up my payment." "You see the government of Uganda owes me 25,000 US Dollars for the case that they lost against me."  

We then discussed the politics surrounding the appointment of the new NSSF chairman and board as well as the Ugandan procurement process and political scene for a couple of minutes much to his delight. 

Older Gentleman: "Beauty and brains - that is a very difficult combination to find.  Your friends seem to be making headway; I would very much like to continue this discussion with you at leisure with no interruptions. Here is my card give me a call, when do you leave?"

Me: "Tomorrow evening with a couple of friends."

Older Gentleman: "Too bad we were only getting acquainted, but if you could reconsider and leave a day later …."

Me: "No I really need to get back to some work Monday morning before I break off for the Christmas holiday."

Older Gentleman: "Okay but I would have really loved to show you around. Listen, why don’t  you stay an extra night so I can show you around Nairobi. I will fly you out on Monday morning - my treat."

Me: "Thank you that is a very generous offer but I really need to travel back with my party."

Older Gentleman: "Alright if you insist, well could you call me tomorrow before you leave?"

Me: "Okay."

Older Gentleman: "Do you have a Kenyan number I can take down or …," he said as I cut him off.

Me: "Yes, but my Safaricom line network is terrible at my hotel, it has issues with the connection. Give me yours and I will give you a call."

Older Gentleman: "Here is my card. I look forward to chatting with you tomorrow and seeing you when I come to Kampala next week. You could show me around."

Me: "Okay have a good evening."

As soon as I turned away he got up, paid for his tab and left for his Range Rover which was parked in the VIP section near the exit and he quickly drove away. My company came back to our seating area and sat down to order drinks after over 40 minutes, I thought to myself what a very blunt and confident man and then in 5 minutes I decided  it was time for me to leave to get a good night’s sleep. None of my friends had any idea what had happened over those 40 minutes aside from the waiter who was smiling at m from across the room since he had watched the whole thing.

Oh Kenya, you really got me thinking.

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