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My Musings and Recollections About Life and Other Things Part II

26 Jun

If you find me watching TV, it’s likely going to be I am watching news programming, nature or informational/educational shows with the kids, or some old movie or show. I am not into any of the current TV shows and completely refuse to watch the Reality TV shows that now dominate the TV sets across this land we call temporary home.

No one has yet to convince me about, even the entertainment value in any of these reality shows, but I understand everyone is different and some can’t wait to watch the next episode or even re-runs of any one of them.

For me, watching Three’s Company or other old shows like the Saint, or Are You Being Served or the Masterpieces, for the 20th time is much better than watching any of these current TV shows.

As to movies, I can’t remember which decade I was last at a movie theater but I remember Cameo and Odeon in Nairobi very well from back in the day. Back then, taking a date to watch a movie in either of those theaters was the height of one’s life; well, almost.

Talking about Cameo and Odeon, neither is anything close to what it used to be—even going back two decades when I think everything started taking a dive for the worse. That’s just one sign of how bad things have become in the country.

I can go down the list of other things that the young reading this blog have no clue how good they used to be, but that will take the whole day except let me just mention Fanta is not what it used to be; butter, is not what it used to be; does Tree Top even exist anymore?

And that’s just at the bottom of the list.

Very tragic, indeed, how bad things have gotten, when they didn’t have to.

If I were president today, I’ll move mountains to return things to where they used to be and even have them stay there permanently for that’s 1 million times better than where things are today.

By the way, change doesn’t and shouldn’t necessarily mean doing away with the old; not at all; some things are just as good today as they will be 100 years from today, if not better, without changing a thing about them.

For example, I’ll still prefer to watch my old movies and shows no matter how much advances are made in either, technologically or otherwise.

My wife figured this a long time ago for, after years of lack of interest, she finally took the advice if you can’t beat them, you join them so she, too, now is into watching some old TV shows and some old movies.

Okay, she only likes two or three old TV shows but that’s a good start, even though it’s been more than 10 years since she showed interest and started albeit rarely watching the only old TV shows she likes.

We have a lifetime together–God willing, though, so by the time we are rocking chairs somewhere in old age, she might get around to liking all of my old shows when I suspect I may be preferring to watch a current show at that time like Single Ladies, a current hot series my wife likes to watch depicting the lives of 3 hot chicks from Atlanta, one a successful black business woman entrepreneur designer catering to the rich and famous, another a black gold-digger with the looks and mouth to match, who is after her clients’ money and their white female friend caught in between the two lifestyles.

Don’t they say the older you get the younger you become?

Talking about old shows, one old show that my wife likes and we sometimes watch together, is I Love Lucy (the other one being I Dream of Jeannie).

The other day, we were watching I Love Lucy and Ricky (the main character) pulled up his chair ready for breakfast, newspaper at hand.

As he did so, I told my wife how things have really changed to the point I cannot remember the last time I actually physically held a newspaper on hand to read here in the US; must be at least several years ago.

Everything is online now.

I know hard-copy newspapers are still the in thing back home and in fact enjoy having to read same when I am at home but the I Love Lucy newspaper episode had me thinking about these changing times and habits, thus prompting me to pen this blog.

For example, talking about newspaper reading, I remember getting hold of a current copy when growing up was such a rare thing it was manna finally getting one to read—even days and weeks old one.

For me, I was assured of a current daily only once every two weeks when my late Mzee will go to the big city (Kisii Town) to haul his regular re-stocking supply for his general hardware and supply store in our small city (Nyamace Market).

I would at least on that day get a current copy of the newspaper.

And two weeks supply of past editions.

You see, Mzee had to buy bundles of old newspapers from his goods supplier, an Indian (more about him below) and the intended purpose for these used newspapers, was to wrap things for customer’s at Mzee’s shop.

The other albeit unintended purpose from Mzee’s perspective, was for my friends and I to catch up with the news of days and weeks before, or get details of snippets we had heard on the radio.

If a bundle of these unused newspapers was supposed to last two weeks, Mzee would be puzzled why it did not and was forced to send for more before his scheduled by-weekly trip to Kisii to restock.

Little did he know that his generous son was discretely re-distributing the used newspapers to his friends and thus the fast disappearance and this went on forever without being caught.

It was one of the “confessions” to be made at Mzee’s death-bed in old age much to his enjoyment. I say confessions in quotation marks because some of these confessions by I and others Mzee figured as much when they were occurring but acquiesced.

One confession I remember vividly came from Mom as Mzee was lying on a sofa in our family living room, with several family and friends visiting him. He had by this time gotten much weaker and lost quite a bit of weight (he was quite an imposing figure in his life and thus the Luambo or Makiadi nickname) but he was nonetheless active in mind but said little much as he always never did in his life.

So, with family, neighbors and friends reminiscing on that day, Mom told of her elaborate scheme that lasted years to supply some of my uncles 10 wives with things from the shop, behind my father’s knowledge and unbeknownst to his brother either, the late flamboyant Senior Chief Mathayo Ratemo (SCM Ratemo), when the latter refused to provide for them as punishment or other reasons, including there just not being enough to go around.

Unlike my father and his other brother who each had only one wife, SCM Ratemo had 10 wives. I have a whole book about my uncle, some of my cousins and polygamy, to write some day.

I have already elsewhere shared about one of my cousin’s son I helped go to Russia in lieu of I and what life would have been like had I gone to Russia instead of coming to America. I noted in that blog I know for sure I would not be married to my wife, had I gone to Russia because, even though from neighboring Rwanda, we met here in the US.

And what a tragedy it would have been for there is no one I could have met in Russia or anywhere else in the world, who could come even close to be the wife my wife is or the excellent mother of our wonderful children that she is!

I believe God God has life perfectly planned for all of us, all the way, we just don’t know it and when we don’t get there, it’s simply because we fail to stay close enough to him, to see the leads.

For his part, my cousin’s son, too, wonders, what life would have been for him, had he not gone to Russia, which he was completely not even thinking about, let alone going overseas for further studies until I showed up to ask him to come back to Nairobi with me and apply for this scholarship I was offered but could not take because it was in science and I hated science but I knew he loved it. I am happy he successfully completed his studies in Russia and so is he. He is now a professor back home.

To be continued.

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Posted by on June 26, 2011 in Musings

 

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