How I have come to be Kenyan…
I say things like “I want to alight at the next stop”, “I’m going for holiday”, “Do you take chai?”, and “whoa, you look smart!”
- People compare my American friend’s accent to mine, saying I sound like a Kenyan.
- I argue with matatu tout
- I drink chai at least twice a day
- My favorite food is chapati
- I eat chicken bones, matumbo, and omena
- I am increasingly meeting people I know on the streets
- My mathare kids no longer call me mazungu, its Teacher Kaylie!
- I can eat street food and not get sick
- I can walk on a matatu, know where I am going, pay the tout and then get off at my stop without saying a single word to anyone.
- I walk out in front of oncoming traffic
- walking is the most efficient transportation
- I know how to cut a mango
- When someone tells me they are going to “flash” me I don’t hide my eyes
- The first price given is never the price I pay
- I’ve abandoned my proper Tanzanian Swahili roots and am adopting Shang instead
- I wash my own clothes
- Most of my friends are Kenyan, not American
How I am definitely not Kenyan…
Ugali is not all it’s cracked up to be
- I dont consider a stack of five bread slices a meal
- I dont understand Swahili well
- I do not wear sweaters when the temperature is in the 70’s
- I am not scared of rain messing up my hair
- It would be the death of me to drink changa
- I am not scared of dogs
- I wear sunglasses
- I am bluntly honest and have no problem telling people “no”
- when I am introducing myself I don’t say “Hi, I am Kaylie and I am born again.”
- My daily schedule exceeds the amount of things humanly possible to do in one day- which is any more than two!
- I am not at all intrigued by Nigerian Soaps or movies and think they are pretty hokey.
- I consider it a bad thing when people tell me I’m “getting fat.”
- If someone tells me to finish my food I will do the opposite and feel insulted.
- I do not avoid cold drinks and do not think cold drinks cause illnesses
- I like to talk to people on the street, asking for money, and have made some friends this way