It’s about half past two in the afternoon. After seating down at Kaldis, I unplug my earphones; I have just spotted a power source. My phone is threatening to die on me any minute now and that socket is the proverbial oasis in the desert.
I have just taken out a book that I intend to read while I wait for my date, not bothering with the menu because I already know what I want to order, when she (not my date) walks up to me.
I love, love weekends in Nairobi. It feels like responsibility just seeps away and for 48 hours we’re young (and free) so we set the world on fire in the name of FUN. And yet, even in the midst of this madness, Sundays are different, they are easy (ha!) and it’s okay to be lazy- even in the CBD.
The slow paced life has its advantages and I love, love Sundays. They are my favourite for photoshoots. I can breathe, take a minute to settle in and get comfortable but this particular Sunday just doesn’t feel right.
I wake up a little earlier than usual. I have plans to shoot in town later but my gut says something is off. I do not know what so I can’t validate canceling. Instead, I shower, fill in my eyebrows and dash to mass. Then during the announcements, I dash out and run to the house for an outfit change; I am certain the Catholic Women’s Association wouldn’t appreciate me bearing my midriff on church premises.
As New Year’s resolutions go, I am determined to keep time this year so when I get to town ten minutes late, I clap for myself a little. I am doing amazing. I haven’t heard a peep from the photographer so I assume like every other predictable creative, he’s running late and I take the time to grab breakfast.
I’m washing down an episode of gluttony with the best blueberry smoothie ever when I ask him what’s up.
The photoshoot is a burst.
My gut and her feelings are doing a serious eye roll. I am contemplating going back home but I’m meeting an old friend for lunch. If I go home I am definitely not hauling this body back to town, so I get comfortable.
Nairobi coffee houses and business men are two very compatible concepts but the miracle of Sunday is currently at play, at Kaldis. There’s almost no one here and I am not complaining, not about that anyway.
I’m attempting to trace my bookmark and failing and it doesn’t help that this book reads like cold porridge. I am beginning to get irritated when she walks up to me,
‘Ermmm Hi… how are you?’
‘I like your outfit. I am a photographer, do you mind if I take a photo of you?’
Compliments make me feel awkward but compliments from women, those make me feel like a well watered plant. I don’t have to question the motives behind them and put those under a microscope.
She’s in this cream and brown outfit. Flowwy skirts and ultimate boho vibes brought to completion by these baby(?) locks. I think she’s pretty but even beyond that, I find female photographers to be the ultimate badasses so I’m a bit nervous. I never figure my good sides until we’re a couple shots into the shoot but it’s too late now. She’s snapping away and in a minute she’s done, just as my date is walking in, seven minutes late.
We say hi, and thinking I dragged a friend to a date just in case he turned into a serial killer in the years since we last saw each other, he introduces himself to her.
Her name is Imelda but you can call her @antisocial_octopus.