Half & Half

Can you believe it folks? Just like that we are halfway through the year. I am yet to use the Nairobi expressway but I bet the year 2022 has been using the longest expressway in Africa since day 1 of 365.

May and June have been rough months for me as I have been under the weather from the time I posted the previous article. The first ailment was a skin rash, nothing serious just a feeling of irritation and discomfort. The doctor diagnosed me with an allergy to proteins.

I protested citing that I never had such an allergy since birth; to which she calmly replied, allergies are not in-born but develop as we grow. Mine could probably be a phase or the new normal. In the meantime, she cautioned, I should do away completely with some food products and limit my intake of others like smokies and eggs respectively.

She also encouraged that as much as she had written me a prescription, I should undertake a thorough allergy assessment test to establish the root cause. I can’t quite remember the price of the test kit that she stated but I remember being taken aback by the figure; only God knows how long it will take me to get to a point of being able to afford it comfortably.

I would love to say that I have been following the doctor’s orders to the T but truth is I have had a few relapses. The thing is, in our area, we’ve got this vendor who makes the meanest mayai and smokie pausas. I got re-introduced to these delicacies by my childhood friends one evening during the lockdown period. It is worth noting that street foods and I normally do not get along. Unlike most people who are blessed with a stomach lined with a wire gauze, I am cursed with a sensitive tummy.

In campus, for example, I definitely never had roadside mayai pasua and the number of smokie pasua’s I chomped down on do not exceed one packet (22 pieces). I had grown accustomed to their okay taste, which is why, I could forego them but that all changed on that evening of 2020, when my boy instructed the vendor to do de ting.

The first bite of the smokie pasua made my eyes widen as the hot juicy flavor exploded across my tongue. His mayai pasua is also *chef’s kiss*. What’s more, none of this specific vendor’s grub has ever caused me to experience undesired bowel movement. Believe me when I say, street food that is done right leaves you craving for more.

W, let’s call him that because he is a winner and it’s the first letter of his name, is a master chef of trolley dishes. It’s either he personally handpicks his key ingredients from the slaughterhouse and hatchery, or they are laced, or he prepares them using a secret recipe like KFC. I mean, how else do you explain the fact that his commercial bites taste better than home-made ones.

There have been a few competitors who have set up shop not far from him believing they could eat into his market share, only to end up making persistent losses and vacating the premise. W recently raised his price owing to the harsh economic times but customers (me included) still flock to his corner, even though the nearby vendors are the cheaper option.

I am in no way an addict of W’s treats but I do indulge from time to time. Unfortunately, the last time I disregarded the doctor’s orders in favour of the temporary pleasure, the repercussion was instant. In fact, the more I break the rules, the worse the break out.

Even before I had completed my dose of antihistamines, a mild bacterial infection began plaguing me. Having travelled out of town the week before, I became paranoid the moment the doctor asked about my recent movements. I feared the worst considering I was running a fever coupled with a throbbing headache; dyspneic and shivering; fatigued and nauseated. I was literally semi-conscious.

The doctor prescribed a number of antibiotics, all of which had a distasteful aftertaste. Consequently, my breath, belch and piss started smelling like antibiotics. Only once I had completed my does, did I start to experience relief from my symptoms.

The third and final wave has been a common cold. I forgot to dress appropriately during this winter period, and the next thing I knew, I had a persisting cough. It has taken two full bottles of cough syrup (Mucosovilian and Ascoril Expectorant) and certain three-day tablets (whose name I can’t remember) for the wet cough to abate.

The month of June has taught me that being broke is damn right horrible but poor health is pure hell. You’re better off broke and healthy than rich and sickly. It costs more to restore you to good health than it does to change the balance in your account. Being healthy is the ultimate flex; the older man at the very start of Drake’s “God’s Plan” official music video said it best:”…I look good. I ain’t got nothing, but I look good. It’s a good life, it’s a good life. That’s it, that’s it. Yeah, yeah.”

Still on flexing, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must be aware of the degree fiasco which has tormented political aspirants this month. Who would have thought we would have lived to see a day when a graduation photo would be considered as part of the requirements needed in order for one to be cleared to run for office.

Three revolutions have passed since I was given the power to read and do all that appertains to my degree. Much as society likes to downplay the importance of higher education, I am still proud of the fact that I graduated and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Life after graduation has no doubt been humbling but I am grateful for making it this far.

Three years on, I seem to have have stumbled upon something I am passionate about, something I can excel at, something that means more. It doesn’t matter what it looks like to others, what matters is that it makes me feel alive and allows me to dream unrealistic dreams. I am hesitant to call it purpose, because I strongly feel that I am an artist by birth, so I will aptly call it profession. Whatever the case, I feel like I am beginning to see specks of light. It may not be much light but it sure does beat the darkness.

Goodbye June. Hello July!

Happy new month, and second half of 2022, guys.


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