I heard there was an event downstairs yesterday. Our manager keeps telling us, go to events, network and get to meet new people. Bond, interact. In fact when there is a talk in MJC, she ejects us forcefully to attend. I could hear her compelling voice in my head. An event means you can bump into Bob and exchange pleasantries. An event means you can bump into Sylvia Mulinge and maybe, just maybe you become bffs. This Sylviah is pretty, eloquent, a very successful mama who seems fun yet has this intimidating gait and her facial expressions humble you instantly. I have never talked to her. Or who knows? You might even network emotionally and land a man. Above all ladies and gentleman, an event means food. Not hii food cheap of sijui chapatti nyeshea or githeri but exotic food. Ambrosial. Mouthwatering. Strange foods for rich people or tourists with strange gastronomy. And food means no spending lunch money, and no spending money means I will save and use it to buy mayai boil ya kachubari in the evening. And being luhya heightens your appetites.
So my culprit best friend and I went to see what was going on. Just being nosey. One day am disowning her. The first thing our eyes landed on was the buffet. Aiih! My mind stopped functioning, my eyes ignored everyone around me and my legs involuntarily carried me to the buffet. Oh my people. We attacked the first aluminum pan of very interesting rice, very colorful and loaded our wide plates, wider than you can imagine. We saw alien foods I can’t remember their names. They look like they are those ones Israelites took in the desert or those ones the bible mentions when referring to dining before enemies.
Then the next pans were a million types of nyama. Oh, ribs, oh pork chops, oh piripiri, Mediterranean chicken, sijui lamb what, fish looking like it is infested with leprosy…. I don’t know these things but amidst my bewilderment, I spotted chicken that actually looks like chicken. Some of these chicken looked like porridge or greenish things like algae, which look poisonous and dangerous. The woman behind me was loading, the way tractors are loaded with sugarcane in Mumias. You know when two church-mice poor friends see food; it is like you have mwax in the middle of a hard exam. It is life changing.
When we were just done loading our wide platters, some lady came to engage us. Dejavu. What you here for? Am like we here for the event. What you working on? Am like food. You can’t be serious! Turns out that event was not the usual normal company events. It was an invites’ only luncheon. Like kina Rancho and Raju, we stood shocked, speechless and helpless with our plates appearing like mountains. We stammered, shivered and wanted the ground to swallow us, together with the food of course. Her eye contact weakened us. My mind was calculating how much we were to pay.
Crushed with our self-esteem at -100, we dragged our humiliated selves out of the venue with our wide platters. We bumped into our colleague and I poured my heart out. Just as he sympathized, we saw Bob passing and greeted us with a wide grin. Bless you Bob. I felt quite relaxed but no! Yani even Bob was there? Then I saw THE Sylvia I told you about leaving the venue too. I felt humiliated. I just wanted to die. I saw rich people and their kids leaving, wazungus…Yani we had crushed a high –end event. God! I felt horrible! Kumbe it was about jazz pre-launch, invites-only lunch.