by Otieno Lynn

I met this guy at an art exhibition event at the Louis Leakey Auditorium at the Nairobi Museum.By the way how, many times have you been to the Nairobi National Park?Let me not ask you about the Nairobi Museum.We Kenyans have a stinking habit of wishing for everything we don’t have and not appreciating the little we already have.Is it even little? It’s too much.People travel from all over the globe to come and spend time with animals at the Mara but back here we just lenga them like they’re finishing our oxygen. Just like they lenga you when you’re new in a company, people treat you like you’ve come to steal their jobs…unless you’re an intern, which they’ll love by the way.Some of them will even buy you lunch and offer to shine your shoes.Why?Because you will do all their dirty gigs, which by the way makes up 75 % of what their job description is about.They make you  a wheelbarrow.


I digress…now back to our story.Once in a little while I just like to go out and smell the air outside my house.So on this particular day at the museum, I met Ted. Ted has the features of a serial killer.Not in a malicious way , but he has an emotionless face and body.My job has taught me to listen a lot to the things people don’t say in conversations. Their body language, the emotions they express with their faces, what they do with their hands, the intensity with which they say their words blah blah blah.And within the first 10 minutes of conversation with a stranger, usually I will have given them a personality.

But this Ted guy was just there.He wore old looking, beige ankle length boots, a pair of  navy blue khaki trousers and a grey sweatshirt.This should have given one an impression that he is an easy cool guy but that would change immediately you looked at his face.He has a deep, cold but emotionless stare and you’d easily spot him in a crowd because he wears eyeglasses with overly strange polka dot themed frames.

He was standing a meter away from where I was, staring at an abstract painting named “Wind and the wild”. I just love how you can get so much information just by looking at a good piece of art.Just like in poetry or music, you consciously get into the shoes of the artist, and I just adore how much art expresses emotion; Love, pain, anger, hunger, you name it. He was staring at the painting, I was staring at him.I was lost in it….trying to place him.I was not even in that show room…I was probably in the deep of Niagara falls trying to save my life while at the same time trying to understand how such beautiful things came into existence(I mean the Niagara falls)
 I was startled from my sequence of thoughts  by his voice
“Hi” he said casually
Do you see why I say this guy has the mannerisms of a serial killer?I didn’t notice him turn or even walk towards me.All I know is that he was suddenly standing in front of me with his polka dot glass frames and a smile that was obviously faked.Or real…I don’t know.

‘Hi,’ I responded ,obviously trying to remain cool.We spent the next few minutes talking about art, poetry and music.

There was art and then there was high tea.Tea and coffee and Milo and cocoa. Why do they call it high tea and then tag along every other beverage?There’s some things a village girl like me will never get to comprehend. Just like the pizza craze.I grew up in a small town in Western Kenya and the only pizza we knew was chapat. The first time I set my eyes on pizza was when I joined the University of Nairobi as a first year.I had my own share of testing waters and trying new things, pizza being one of them, but I have never lost sleep because of it.What’s pizza though?Is it not wheat and some meat or vegetables? What makes women…sorry chics in this city go kuku over it? Is it the toppings?Is it the cheese? Or the thrill of belaboring yourself with that huge box? Perhaps one of these fine days I’ll stop craving mahindi boiro and start craving pizza and gikmakamago(things like that)

So Ted and I headed over to the catering stand, walking toe to toe like we’d showed up at the event together.He is quite a talker.One of those people you have a conversation with and ten years later, the conversation is still playing out in your head, like a James Bond movie.
The coffee had such a rich, refreshing aroma, you could tell, by just that, that it had been brewed well well.In  situations where I have to choose between tea and coffee though , tea always takes the day.Don’t get it twisted, I’m not a tea person.One day I’ll tell you a story about how sometimes I wish ugali was a usual thing at the breakfast table.

We found a table, at the far end of the garden.I then set my sling-bag on one of the chairs and sat on the next while Ted sat across the table. He likes his coffee black and sugar less. By the way, sometimes men cringe from the thought of speaking to a lady or even asking her out because they fear being judged, talked about or even rejected . Lol…I read somewhere that some of us are still single because we walk in packs of ten mean, judgmental looking women…sorry, chics.

You know what, if you think you’re being judged,you’re right. We judge every word you say and everything you do.We judge your clothes, your taste in restaurants or ice cream joints, we judge your shoes, your haircut,  your toothbrush.We judge your cologne, your friends, your words.We absolutely judge everything.

I will not tell you what I thought of the glaring fact that Ted likes his coffee black and sugar less but I can tell you something about how he kept the conversation going. Never a dull moment.See, even men have blonde moments where they totally have no idea of what to say about the topic on the table.There’s this one time I was having small talk with some dude.We talked about so many things and then at some point I asked him this
Me:How is the shilling doing against the dollar?
Him: Hiyo ni nini?
He is the same guy who told me he is a foodie and when I asked what kind of food he loves he told me yeye ni foodie wa viatu. That he does that in his free time
Now Ted is a chatterbox but he is a knowledgeable fella.He may be wearing polka dot glasses but is not lacking in this area. Whether you want to talk about Beyonce’s baby bump or Danielle Steel’s latest piece of work, he is game. He actually remembers that in the third episode of season 2 of Game of thrones, Craster bursts John Snow spying on him, captures him and beats him something good. We even made a toast to both agreeing with the fact that John Snow has a pretty face.I think he was about to be born a girl then God changed His mind because no one would get into his character as well as he does.

I noticed Ted never let on  much about himself. Our conversation mostly revolved around things that were neither me or him.

I never realized how fast time had gone and by the time I remembered my home is about 40 kilometers away, it was 6.27pm. That is how you know that you have had a great time. Free advice gentlemen; irrespective of where she stays or the workload of things she needs to do at home, if she keeps asking “Ni saa ngapi “ or if she keeps saying “it’s getting late” ,just shut the f up and see her off.You’re boring AF.

So at this point I decide to request for an Uber. Five minutes later the Uber guy calls and as I try explaining to him my exact location, this suave stud excuses himself for the washroom.Boy did he have a nicely rounded, masculine bumper!

The Uber driver had a thick Meru accent, the type that makes Meru’s add an o at the end of the word Narok and end up calling it Naroko. So we had a bit of a hiccup trying to locate each other because he kept asking “Uko musiam hiw?”Are you at museum hill?
I’m done with the call but Ted is not back. After waiting for about three minutes I decide to take off.If I have ever waited for you for 10 minutes then you should call a press conference and address the nation because you’re special. I am not a good waiter (is there anything like that?)
So I get up, straighten my dress and lean sideways to pick my bag…
My sling bag is gone.

About that dope piece of art up there, talk to Collins Thinktank Okello

You may also like


ronald yego June 20, 2017 - 11:07 am

Noooooo! You just didn't do that. You can't describe a thief with such a compulsive demeanor. No. He is a thief.Lets say that again. He. Is. A. A. Thief.
Then, I just discovered you today. I am subscribing to your posts. I am also following you on Facebook. I'm also inviting you to a sob date and see ourselves choose tea over coffee, just because we can. Not because we would die to have a flask of tea.
Your WRITING is on point. Up there ☝

angela cheruto June 20, 2017 - 11:07 am

The end?

Otieno Lynn June 20, 2017 - 12:24 pm


Otieno Lynn June 20, 2017 - 12:25 pm

Thank you so much Ronald…Let's say this slowly…together…he is a suave thief

Anonymous April 12, 2018 - 4:57 pm

A very suave thief indeed…and who almost stole your heart as well.


Leave a Comment