Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tidbits of Funny

I've been keeping a running list in my head, of things that have happened, conversations I've had, or things the kids have done that have made me laugh - some as they happened, some only when I recalled the situation, and others when the moment ended & I laughed out of pure relief. Hopefully these brighten your day, and remind you there is something to laugh at in every day.

1. We appear to have a foundation issue in our apartment building. The evidence? The floors are not entirely level, doors that used to open all the way now get stuck on the floor, and as the temperature changes in the morning and evenings, we can hear the wooden parque tiles popping up out of the cement. So, one day, when Fred the fundi (handyman) was here fixing a smattering of items, I asked him about the foundation. I asked if he thought the foundation was bad. He said...well, let me retract that...he breathed in deeply and slightly raised his eyebrows...which means 'yes'. I asked if he thought it was a problem. He said...well, he blinked. I took this to mean 'no.' I asked if the building was going to fall on my head - he laughed. Literally. Out loud. In my face. (Perhaps deserved). Then said, with a completely serious face, "no, no, no. It will fall this way." Indicating the parking lot. That was the end of that conversation. No immediate plans to move, and I still haven't made any decisions on what to do with this 'information.'

2. As Fred was leaving after his day of work. I noticed he hadn't fixed the broken drawers in Mika's closet and asked about the drawers.  He raised his eyebrows. I said "are they still broken?" to which he, once again, took a breath and quickly raised & lowered his eye brows. I said "you aren't going to fix them?" Same breath (which for some unknown reason had begun to grate on my nerves & somehow belittle me). I said "so am I just supposed to fix them myself?" Breath in. I have a new project. Mika's drawers are still unfixed.

3. Most structures in Kenya are made out of concrete, including the apartments. Hanging pictures, clocks, or anything was a bit of an obstacle as our land lord really didn't want us to put too many holes in the concrete. After attempting several different versions of double sided tape, mounting tape, and 3Z mounting tape, and only having 4 broken frames to show for it, I decided to try a different route. As our landlord had agreed to let us put a few holes into the concrete, I went to the local hardware store and asked how I should hang things in concrete. The response "with nails." I asked if they had a box of nails I could purchase. The response: "no, they come like this" (gesturing to the bin of individual nails for 5c each). So I requested two nails. I then asked the best way to put the nails into the concrete walls (just covering my bases so I didn't do something asinine). He looked at me blankly and said 'you hit it'. Feeling embarrassed by my exposed lack of knowledge, I purchased my nails and left. Success, though. My pictures are hung.

4. Kai, as I have mentioned is potty training. Our primary obstacle is his inability to pull down or up his own pants. So, I often leave him naked. While we do have a strict, 'no pants, no going outside in the parking lot' rule, he sometimes evades my attention and slips outside in his little man wonder suit. Recently, I met one of the women who live in the apartment complex. After a minute (which I'm not even sure why it took her that long since I'm the only white woman in the entire complex) she said "oh, I know who you are. I've met your husband and your son. The naked one." The naked one. Thank you, attractive, professionally-dressed, intelligent Kenyan businesswoman. Yes, my son, the naked one. Thank goodness it wasn't my husband.

5. My friend, Joelle, often comes over to visit (she's an old highschool classmate who has also recently moved back to Kenya and lives nearby). The guard at our gate enjoys being very suspicious of everyone who comes to visit, even if they've come before. So, Joelle decided she'd take a minute and really introduce herself to Peter so he would let her in when she comes without having to call me first. When Joelle told Peter her name, he looked confused and said "Jo-el"? (the American pronunciation of Joelle is similar to the Kenyan pronunciation of Joel). Joelle explained that in America Joelle is a girl's name. The next time Peter saw Joelle, several days later, he leaned nonchalantly against our balcony railing and said, slowly & very deliberately, "So, Daniel, how are you today?" Joelle, my very female friend, is now Daniel. We've decided to just let it be.

So, there are just a few stories about Kenya, Kenyans, & the things that happen without much flare but should probably receive attention. It really is a fantastic country, made up of so many wonderful people. I'm sure if I had applied my attention to life in Los Angeles in the same way I'm applying my attention here, I would have just as many stories to tell.

My husband is home, and since he just put in a 55hr work week, I'm gonna wrap this up. Hopefully it brought you a few laughs - I'm sure there will be more to come.

Happy weekend.

xo - sarah

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