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Dear Visitor

Visitors I would rather do without

So Christmas and New Year festive seasons are over and some relatives and friends who were invited over and those who invited themselves have left. The house is empty of human beings but remains a forest pile of dirty clothes, dirty dishes, dirty towels and a tattered and stained carpet.
I do not have a househelp and my January Bank account does not allow me to call Mama Nguo to wash for me. From where will I start cleaning?
When you visit a single person who has no househelp perhaps it would be nice to help clear the dishes after the meals. Just have some consideration for the hands and soul that bought and prepared the meal.
But even if you do not have the heart to wash the dishes, I do understand this is often a serious challenge in rural areas due to lack of water, at least remove your dish from the table after meals. Surely this does not cost much effort.
Should you lack the energy and the will to take your used plate to the kitchen, kindly wash your hands at least and do not demand warm water and hand washing from the hostess.
I think it would be a good idea to wash your hands as you continue watching your favourite Soap Opera because the bits and pieces of ugali smeared on my sofa sets does not post a smile to my face.
Kindly remove your shoes while placing your feet on the sofa or on the table, surely you can step on the carpet with your socks or bare foot.
Easter will soon be here and I know you “guyz” and “ladiez” will be back again. It would be a better visit if you could take these tips offered in the spirit of family and friend.
Please carry your towel. Skin diseases is a reality that is with us. My new year was clouded by a male cousin who used a towel I hang in my bathroom. A few days later, my skin was infested by a dreaded disease popularly known in the village as “Kajumba” but which I kindly ask any dermatologist who speaks my mother tongue to translate into English.The most dreaded bit is my cousin did not wash the towel after using it for one week and now he has traveled home and dumped it on the floor of the bathroom..for me to wash, I guess! How nasty. And please flush the toilet…that is what that handle is for. If you don’t know please ask as this is not a pit latrine.

But blood is thicker than water and as my people say “the river of blood and marriage relationships is best travelled most delicately,” so here I am forced by culture to smile about it and tell my cousin what a wonderful visitor he has been and to welcome him back for Easter…grrrrrrrrr!

Please do not forget your toothbrush and comb next time. You can share my toothpaste and Vaseline though, but it would be sweeter if you carried yours. I noted that some of you my relas (relatives) had extremely long tangled unkempt hair and God forbid that some lice and “chwarnis”, oh I mean bedbugs would start acrawling from my clothes to the Boss’s file during a staff meeting. No sharing of combs at Easter please, fine? Oh how I dread for my reputation and promotion chances at work!

Please do not sleep with the lights on. That KPLC atm machine operates 24 hours and the ticking units is the only thing that works regularly at Kenya Power. Besides there are no nightrunners in Nairobi city and there is no need to fear the dark. All the nightrunners in Nairobi are usually at one pub or the other, dancing the night away, swaying home in their drunken cars and I highly doubt it if they will come to kick on my door leave their faeces on the staircase as they do back home.

Finally carry your own transport back. I did not invite you Miss. You invited yourself to my house for Christmas and extended it to new year. I welcomed you as a relative. Now it is time to leave and you defiantly insist you have no transport. Do I give you my rent so you can go back where you came from…my village? Is this really fair? And then you dare ask me who said life is fair? Visitors! Visitors! Here, take the rent and go! I will not miss you at all. Goodbye and Good riddance!

But I still am fond of you dear relatives and friends and pray these tips do not make us enemies. I love you all.

Copyright Omwa Ombara, 2012.

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