21 September 2010

Jeered and Cheered

I blame my girlie's afternoon fussy time on myself. She gets tired soon after lunch but I keep her up for another hour or more so that she and her big brother can nap at the same time. It's selfish, really. So today instead of putting her on the floor to fuss it out or hauling her around the house on my hip attempting in vain to accomplish something, anything... I strapped her into the Ergo Carrier and we walked out the gate to run a few errands on foot.

I should know better by now not to leave the house around 1pm. There is a secondary school for boys close-by and the shebaab (young men) are aplenty. This is bad news. We were jeered and mocked all the way to the main road. By now this just makes me raise my chin a bit higher, walk past them and tell my little girl "Don't you pay any attention to them little N, they're just silly boys." I can take the jeering and mocking, but today I didn't want to take it. So I slipped into a small store we frequently shop at and tell my shop keeper friend (in Arabic) that I didn't want anything, I was just there because there are lots of shebaab and they're are not good.

He understood.

So we hang around a few minutes looking at a very large selection of soap and waiting for the steady stream of young men in blue uniforms to wane.

Then we hit the street again.

Now, you have to imagine how much attention we get. We get lots. I mean, have you seen the color of my skin? Lots of staring. And lots of men eager to try their English out on me. I hear so many "Hello, how are you, are you fine?" and "Hello, from where?" and the occasional "Hello, I love you!" that I can generally tune it out.

So don't ask me why I turned around to look when I heard one man say the usual "Hello, How are you?"

I look at him to see if he has anything else to say or if he just was another one of those guys who wanted to be the man who succeeded in getting the white lady to stop to talk to him.

He, indeed, had more to say.

"Where did you get that baby carrier?" He asks in decent English.

"Oh, sorry" I say. "It's from America."

"So you can't get one like that here? My wife is expecting and I was hoping to buy her something like that."

He was rather disappointed.

And me? I was SHOCKED.

Shocked that someone actually thought the baby carrier was a good idea and wanted to have one instead of looking at me like a child-torturing alien from outerspace.

Wow! Consider me cheered up!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...