Cheap Thrills

mtura1Thank the Almighty. Thank Him fully my fellow humans. I cannot begin to imagine how we would have been without it. The way He created us to his image and likeness; the way our bodies are organized in utmost complexity of which only He knows. But all these complexities, none can be able to match this thing I’m talking about here…The thing that without it, how would we humans be able to enjoy the pleasures of this lovely planet of ours? Located somewhere in these bodies of ours, they can be a great source of pleasure if given what it deserves. And Oh my goodness! If given what it deserves, the sufficient amount of course, it is simply magical. The way your eyes close in sheer happiness as the pleasure slowly cascades from its source, tingling your brain nerves, making you savor each and every lasting moment of that exhilarating experience. I’m taking about our beloved organs located inside our mouths, you evil minded pricks! All hail our taste buds. Yes, those tiny little bumpy things neatly arranged on top of our tongues. Those battalions of pleasure as I call them. The way they make your mouth wet when you give them a little dose of something sugary or anything that your body is totally and madly in love with. Their eruption with excitement when the food of your dreams is swimming all existing styles in your mouth. Everyone has their own different, weird desires and suppose if all of these desires, by God’s grace, I wonder how would the taste buds react. They would probably rupture with over-exposure due to pure sweetness.

So, ladies and gentlemen, let’s go back. Not really that back. A couple of years back, somewhere around 2012-2013, the time of my life when I was just a dumb, clueless high school student whose levels of hormones were levels never witness before in his entire life. He thought he was becoming a man. Little did that dumb boy know that the road to manness was one hell of a crooked, upside down, crazy, stressful, disillusioned journey. And he, was nowhere nearing the beginning of that journey. The time was around 9:00 AM. Moments before that, our school, which we hated dearly with all our hearts despite being forced to sing some ‘school anthem’ which went something like ‘I’m in the best school… .’Bla bla bla, was closed for the second term break which ran from august all the way to early September, when we were supposed to leave the comforts of our beloved beds and wave them goodbye for a very long, long time. To all who persevered the four year ‘sentence’ our beloved 8-4-4 system granted upon us, know that we celebrate you. You are heroes in this great country. Nyinyi  ni mashujaa I tell you.

Anyways, thirty minutes after the school shut its doors and each and every student went back to their homeland, we were now the small town located at the junction that leads to the legendary Machakos town. Makutano if you’ve heard of it. Just a few kilometers away from Nairobi , and thousands and thousands of miles away from the Indian ocean, it was where we, people at the sea level, would take our buses home; I have to say those buses were the s**t man! As comfortable as you were at home, so were you in those buses. Lucky for us, we made acquaintances with an old man who knew all the drivers and management team for those buses, so it wasn’t a hustle for us to secure a seat. As I said earlier, the time was 9:00 AM. And usually, under normal circumstances, the bus would arrive at around 11:00AM after which our journey would begin until sometime late in the evening, around 7 to 8, when we would finally say we have arrived home. Having secured seats for ourselves, and having more than two hours to spectacularly waste in this small town of Makutano, we decided to do what every boy-child could have done. Seek adventure. We started loitering around like street dogs, sight-seeing how our beloved country was faring on after being locked up for years. There was this particular street that we had been warned by some people, even our school had the list of all no-go zones in Machakos school environs, and this exact street was on the top of the chart. But hey! What other way to find out that something is bad without having at least tried it. After all, we weren’t in school. That’s how our naïve brains were functioning back in the days. No reasoning. Just going head on and jumping into dumb conclusions. After thorough consultations with our ‘educated’ brains (If only you knew how chemistry was shoved up our brains making us feel like we were Le Chatelier’s great grandchildren). We decided to head into the street. The beautiful well-arranged shops quickly changed into poorly built aluminum structures. The fresh air before changed into the stinking stench of some illicit brew. We passed by a group of elderly men sipping some weird substances as their eyes rolled unevenly like marbles on a glass container. We went further into the street and then we spotted it. The legendary dish of all times. The Almighty African sausage. Mtura yani. There it was, a few meters ahead of us, being skillfully prepared by a young man with a brown apron, which we could obviously tell it was once upon a time white as snow ,but after years of not spotting some water molecules , it had no otherwise but to adapt, improvise and overcome the harsh conditions it was surviving in. We walked towards him, yearning to have a slice of it. There were some few people gathered around him, conversing in mother tongue as they partook in the devouring of the delicacy. The moment he saw us coming towards him, he smiled as he waved at the other people to give us ,his ‘esteemed guests’, some space for us to indulge. We obliged as we formed a small curve around the man, observing how he turned then African sausage with his bare hands as if it wasn’t straight from the fire, placing it at the further end of the rusty wire being used as the cooking apparatus, ready to place another raw, long sausage into cookery.

‘’Hii ni yenu mabrathe,’’

He spoke as he quickly chopped it into equal pieces, then dipped his hand into the left pocket of the apron which came out with a pinch of salt. He evenly sprinkled the salt onto the African sausage as he simultaneously placed some chopped tomatoes mixed with lemon and some pepper besides it. He was a master of his art. The whole procedure made our mouths pour with saliva, yearning for a taste. Not wasting a single minute, we began munching the delicacy. Damn it was sweet! Not ‘sweet’ sweet, but it did something to your taste buds that made you want more and more of it. Simply magical. The hotness of the pepper made it hot: hot with sweetness. It was unexplainable. We munched and devoured it non-stop, with our mouths and hearts begging for more. I almost felt like licking my fingers. God bless the African sausage. One hour later, we went back to the bus station, our stomachs totally full. It was as though we were being starved to death back in school. The mission was accomplished. We discovered new territories and returned back with our stomachs completely full. We were even lucky enough to be awarded a whole African sausage by the man courtesy of us promoting him. What a way to begin the holiday. With blessings. It was finally 11:00 am and a few minutes passed when the bus finally arrived. The way we had eaten was enough to sustain us through the whole journey until we arrived in the shores of the Indian Ocean. We boarded the bus and comfortably sat as the journey soon began. With the blazing sun of the Eastern region at its full throttle, sleep was inevitable. I soon began sleepy and in no time, I was dead asleep.

What the @#$!

 

I woke up with a strange feeling in my stomach. Remember how your mother folded up and down the wheat flour when she was preparing chapati for you during the festive season? Imagine that happening to your beloved stomach. I grabbed my stomach in pain as I fumbled on my seat. I closed my eyes in pain as I felt the pain slithering form my stomach, going up to my heart, and back again into my stomach and even my small intestines. It was pure torture. I looked around to where my friends were seated, only to discover they were undergoing the same scenario, even worse than mine. I looked at my friend who was seated next to me as his eyes became watery and tears flown out of his face. I was engulfed with laughter but as I even thought of laughing, the pain in my stomach became more and more agonizing. You know how the cycle goes; after poor decisions comes the phase of regrets. I cursed at the man who sold to us, having massive regrets as to why we went to that place in the first time. My stomach rumbled endlessly as the woman seated next to me looked at me with a grin in his face. I looked outside and we were in the middle of nowhere; still some few hours to go before we reach a refreshing joint where I could run out of the bus like a mad person to the nearest washroom. Now the washroom was at the top of my agenda .To hell with the rest. There was no shortcut here. I had to wait until the bus stopped for me to head out. I looked at my watch and approximately two hours were remaining to reach the nearest stop.

Those were toughest, longest, most painful two hours ever. I got up of my seat, walked around the bus like a confused idiot, all this in the name of my stomach to at least have mercy on me. My friends were laughing at me, as though we weren’t sailing in the same boat. I went and sat down. Moments later I got up, pretend to yawn all in aim to calm my stomach. I swore in my ancestors name I would never dare taste the African sausage, ever, ever again. The torture I was enduring would have been unbearable for the common mwananchi. But to God be the glory: two hours later, the bus came to a stop. Even before the driver switched off the bus engine, we were out of the bus, rushing like gazelles being chased by predators, to the washrooms. Everyone in the bus watched in awe as we rushed out of the buses. Experience was delivered unto us in un imaginable ways.

 

 

Cheap Thrills.