A few months ago, a friend invited for a barbecue. He made sure to note in the invitation text that a goat would be slaughtered for this purpose. I could only imagine the possibility of tackling Mutura, Ngerima and mathagiro.I replied and said I would be available.
On the material day, I made sure that my stomach was well prepared for the feast ahead; this I did my drinking plenty of water and staying away from any other delicacies. So in a sense, and admittedly, I was hungry as I set off for the feast
Being a Saturday afternoon, traffic on the route that that I was using can be monstrous. And it was no exception on this day. The advantage of being stuck in slow-moving traffic, is that I get to listen to a collection of famous speeches or audio books. As the traffic moved at a snail’s pace, I was attentively listening to the wisdom of Dr. King: “You know, it is possible because of the time difference to take a jet flight from Tokyo, Japan on Sunday morning and arrive in Seattle, Washington on the preceding Saturday night; and when your friends meet you at the airport and ask you when you left Tokyo, you would have to say I left tomorrow. This is the kind of world in which we live.” Just as I was internalizing that notion of the world we live in, I heard a bang on the rear of my car. I pulled over.
As got out of my car, I noticed a machine had pulled over right next to my car-yes, a machine, not a car! I saw the machine’s door open, and a lady with golden brown locks and lemon short jump-suit stepped out. The sight of her long legs hidden in a pair of red bottoms, took my mind away for a moment. Before I could say anything, she let me know that it was her fault and she was sorry. Not sure if I needed some type of evidence of her admission, I told her to repeat what she had just said, and I recorded her on my phone. She then suggested that we pull to the shoulder of the road to avoid the traffic snarl up which was building intensely by now.
The lady moved two steps closer, towards me. By now I was standing next to the rear of my car, whose bumper had been slightly dent by the red Lamborghini. She got closer to me, removed her Gucci shades, held them with her left hand and went on to inquire if I was ok. She proceeded to apologize for the accident, admitting she had been absent minded for a second, when this happened. She begged me not to call the cops as she had no problem meeting the liability. She went back to her car, pulled a folder, and from the documents, she gave me a copy of her insurance. She allowed me take a photo of her Driver’s License.
I could tell she was a little tensed. At first I thought she was high on something. She told me she was in such a hurry and as a sign of good faith, and admission of responsibility, from her folder, she pulled a check book and went on to scribble some figures. She handed me the check leaf and told me to write my name on it-it was her way of saying sorry. She also handed me her business card, just in case there was need for a follow up. But she had to go.
I checked my car once again and made sure there was no other damage. My journey was back on track.
As I drove away, I pondered about her action. Why would she write me a check? Why would she be in such a hurry? Well the car had not been damaged and did she even care to check? Would it be okay to cash the check?
A few days later, I made the decision to mail the check back to her, and included a note: “while it should not matter, you did not inconvenience me. The car was not damaged and it would be unfair, given the circumstances to, to cash this check.”
I thought that would be the end of it. A month or so later, I received a call from a man who introduced himself as the lady’s fiancé. He told me that his girlfriend narrated to him what had transpired, and that he was calling me to say thank you. He told me that her favorite brother had been hospitalized and she was rushing to hospital to see him.
He then asked if I could join the family for dinner, a week later, in Orange County. That is where I came to experience the saying, “tenda wema, nenda zako.” All this time, I did not realize the kind of family I was dealing with…
To be continued….