ONE PARTICULAR FRIDAY

Every Friday, both the living and the dead descend onto Nairobi paved roads creating traffic jams from 6.30am to 8pm. If you’re under belly is weak, then Nairobi on Friday isn’t the place for you. But then so do most Nairobians also agree to.

While Nairobians make plans to leave the city come any weekend (dependant on the availability of money) the rest of the east African peoples seem to be trooping into nai or enroot via Nairobi.

So what happens to the majority who have no plans no money and with many friends who have no money as well? Here is a taste of the weekend.

Three friends all married with young families. Known to many as Tom Dick and Harry, they are always together and light up Nairobi in ways that leave little to imagination.

One particular Friday

Tom called his side kicks to inquire what was on agenda…. Harry was very calm as always and said due to IMF (wife) the atm had been confiscated. But it was Dick who brought a long pause from the two.

He said that the wife thinks he is a witch….. cut the story short. Dick as he thought had the habit of putting a small bucket under his bed that he would use to pee into after a long night out of boozing. Dick couldn’t fathom the idea of getting out of bed in the middle of the night and dash to the toilet. So the best was to place the bucket and as wifey was in lala land he would whiz into the stop gap.

Well he had left the bucket under the bed for over three weeks and forgot about it till the wife decided to do some spring cleaning. Well you can imagine what the wife said…. so Dick thought it would be ill advised if he went out this Friday. What Dick eventually found out was that his is not such a unique story. Harry was using plastic bottles and it nearly turned disastrous when his hyper 3 year old decided t o have a sip of the ‘apple juice’. HR2 as the boy is known tasted it and didn’t like it and handed it to his mother who unfortunately took a big swig of the stuff.

After spitting it out she found several bottle of the ‘special apple cider’ under her bed and she let it out. According to un- substantiated reports from Harry there were about 12 one litre full bottles found under the bed. But how do this three get to this end.

The rule they abide with is that if you have to communicate you never TEXT but you must call. And when you get a call a plan is in the works. After a lot of soul searching on their perceived witchcraft, the decided that the best way to remove this unfortunate ideas and thoughts was to embark on a long night of emancipation.

For most nairobians, the best place to be on a Friday evening is either on kimathi street or the up market westlands shopping centre of Nairobi. In both these places there is a drinkery every second shop. As is the ‘rule’ in Kenya (not written in any law) apart from church with names like ‘the helicopter of god church’ one would be asking for the ‘taxi of god church’. Anyway this digression notwithstanding, Tom Dick and Harry excursions usually take them to the downtown area of Nairobi. Many people have always equated this area with the low lives of the city and as such its reputation is said to be that of wild wide west.

However things have changed, due to its high presence of security officers the area is relatively safe. And a plus, everything is this area is very cheap and of very good quality.

Here the three will part take sessions of Khat and feelings of grandiose will engulf them in just 20 odd minutes…. this continues

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NOKIA 5330 TV AND PHONE CONVERSATION

It seems as many commentators have said; Kenyans are always queuing for something. Last Wednesday we lined up for the referendum and it went well, today I started the day by queuing for the bus then when I got to the central business district I had to line up in the banking hall for some banking stuff.

Apart from the monotonous video adverts and the bank’s CSR videos nothing ever jostles ones heart and leaves a bad taste as when someone answers their mobile phones while in the banking hall.

Some of this people will hurriedly whisper on their mouth piece that they will call back. But then there are some people whom I must say at first really ticked me off but over time I just stand in awe and just laugh.

Just sample this

Phone rings and the ring tone are surprising when you see is hurriedly trying to get the phone. The ringtone is a rendition of Abba ‘dancing queen’ and the lady getting the phone is in her mid fifties standing next to her friend same age looking at her and asking in a not so quiet way ‘where did you keep that thing its making a lot of noise people are looking at us’

At this point the friend is obviously louder than the phone and people are just chuckling at the action. Oh if you happen to be in Africa and standing next to a lady past 50 years of age (my mother’s age mates), you will by default become a shelf as she hands you stuff from her bag while she searches for something.

Once the mobile device was found, using her bifocal spectacles she holds the device at arm length and tries to redial the missed call.

Lady ‘halo who is this oh it you………we are still in the queue……no do not give them any more sodas….. I don’t know but its moving…. ‘At this point the bank manager starts walking towards her. She is talking to everyone in hall now.

Lady ‘no there are only two on the counter…..one of them is Martha’s grand daughter……I cannot cut the line even if she is my niece’. At that moment the manager decides to serve them personal. As they walk away the friend just says ‘I told you that thing was making way too much noise…but I like the song how can I have it on my mine?’

Now sample the finest of all

Man is standing just behind 4 people before he is served phone rings… and he is not subtle and lets everyone hear his conversation

Man ‘Listen that man you brought to me was a thief…..instead of fixing my car her ransacked my car and stole my spare wheel……now tell him am connected and I will hunt him down and lock him and his family….I do not like thieves.

The man moves forward and stops using the phone at the counter but doesn’t stop being loud.

Man ‘I said I want 10 thousand…ati my cheque bounced….’ at this point the cashier is forced to be louder at him. ‘You have to see the manager this is your third bouncing cheque this month. And in a quiet voice close to a whisper the man seems to ask ‘why does the manager want to see me?’

Now to a device that I have been using, the Nokia 5330 TV special. It’s not a phone for the geeks or phone craze people but what it has is the DVB-H TV receiver at a very affordable price. Now 15,000 bob or $188 at any shop in Nairobi or other Kenyan towns. While it has no WLAN, HSDPA, GPS, no preinstalled document viewer, no smart calling, poor video recording; for its price the benefit from its use is worthwhile.

For me watching the 2010 world cup on this device was pure gold and I have no qualms with it on this front.

It appears that the Nokia guys are testing it and will before long launch hopefully a better version that will certainly not hang while surfing the net. That was one of my biggest problem with this device and I hope that is improved.

RAMADAN APPS ON NOKIA OVI

In just about eleven days my brothers of the Muslim faith will be observing the holy month of Ramadan.

For those who know about this month, it involves a great deal of discipline as the faithful observe strict prayer times and a full day of fasting.

In this technology intensive world more and more people are relying on their mobile devices to check on daily essentials and now applications on Ramadan are now available to help users keep abreast with prayer times and also directions on prayers.

Nokia OVI stores has just launched the Ramadan applications on selected phones. This apps are free of charge from the ovi stores

The Ramadan applications are feature-packed and include the Holy Quran, Prayer Times and Hadith. The Holy Quran includes Quran recitation from multiple recitors from which users can choose to download in MP3 format while offers Qibla direction, provided for 1,000 cities in 200 countries, along with the ability to add, remove, update and edit any location using the Global Positioning System (GPS).

Ramadan applications for 2010 are compatible with a range of Nokia devices including Nokia N97 mini, Nokia E72, Nokia E52, Nokia X6, Nokia 5230,Nokia 5530,Nokia C5,Nokia 5235, Nokia 5800, Nokia E5, Nokia 6700 slide, Nokia 5233, Nokia X3, Nokia 6303i, Nokia 2710, and Nokia C3. The user interface for the applications is available in English, Arabic, Farsi, French and Urdu. 

  • The Holy Quran: allows users to read, search, bookmark and listen to Quran recitation although they are yet to include the translation in English saw if you do not know Arabic better learn fast.
  • Prayer Times: provides prayer timings and Qibla direction for 1000 cities in 200 countries, along with the ability to add, remove, update and edit any location using the GPS
  • Hadith: gives an easy and convenient way to read the Honorable Hadeeth from Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Riyad us-Saliheen, Holy Hadeeths and Arba’in An Nawawi