If this heat continues, I might be locked up

FOR residents of this city called Dar es Salaam like yours truly, I think you all know that unless you are a rich fellow, the current heat wave will definitely torture you.

But if you are a rich fellow like the ones we see riding on fuel guzzlers, then probably you will not have an idea that there are people like Baba Boyi who are living in hell while still on earth.

For the residents of places like Masaki, Oysterbay and parts of Mbezi Beach, life is going on without any hassle whatsoever, because first and foremost the massive bungalows and mansions they live in are fully air conditioned.

These fellows leave their air conditioned houses, enter their air conditioned fuel guzzlers, and go to their air conditioned offices where they spend most of their day, maybe leaving briefly to go to their air conditioned office canteen.

The difference between such fellows and a fellow like me, apart from all the niceties this character enjoys, is that if the chap feels like sweating a little bit, he goes to an air conditioned gym to work out a sweat.

They are not aware that for fellows like you and me, whether we like it or not, you will sweat, and not just sweating, sweating like a rabid dog under the sun. A few days ago I nearly collapsed because the heat was too much for me, and this is after acquiring a very healthy hangover from Zakayo’s Pub the previous night. That day I passed by Zakayo’s to swallow a few beers before heading home because I had a very early meeting in the office, but things did not go as planned after Jatello and Oscar the Hawker walked in.

“Omera, your poverty has finally brought you out, I know you can never afford a crate of beer at this time of the month, so I will take it as my responsibility to irrigate your dry throat,” said the fellow from the lake zone.

Oscar the Hawker also had money that day. Since he is a jack of all trades and sometimes works as those people we call ‘Dalalis’, he made sure all those present knew that he had just leased a beach house to an Israeli national.

By the time I staggered home, it was around 3 am, and no sooner had I laid my tired body on the bed than the alarm went off, reminding that I was supposed to leave the house as soon as possible if I was to make it on time for the meeting. My collection of metal I call my car which had refused to cooperate the previous day was in a good mood that morning, roaring into action the minute I turned on the ignition key.

The way the sun was blazing that morning, it would have been difficult to convince anyone that it was barely 7am, and the traffic jam at that hour did not help one bit. It has been almost 10 years now since the last time the air condition in my junk of a car worked, and that morning it was no different as the sun hit me directly on my right side of the face and body.

For the residents of this crazy city, you know that there are times you can be stuck in one spot in traffic for almost one hour, and that day with the serious hangover I was suffering from, I knew it was a matter of minutes before I chewed a black out. And funny enough, at times like those, you will never see the young fellows who usually pass between cars selling cold water.

I was in my vest as I decided to seek refuge under a tree next to the road as I searched for the boys who sell water, and I had just noticed one and was waiting for him to come over when traffic started moving.

Anyway, for those who live in regions which enjoy cold weather, my advice to them is that at this time of the year, they should avoid coming to this crazy city under the sun, because chances are, they might appear in town bare chested with a pair of shorts. I don’t know if it has been proved scientifically, but tempers are usually very short when the weather is too hot, and to prove my point, you can look at the Arabs.

That is why on Sunday I nearly dispatched to heaven three chaps who, according to them, were spreading ‘Good News’ to all nations, including households like mine. As usual I had staggered home in the wee hours known Biblically as ‘The Nicodemus hour’, so when my clan led by Mama Boyi decided to go to church, they left me snoring like a faulty generator.

To be honest, I think those people who coined the saying ‘I slept like a baby’ had the kind of sleep I was enjoying in mind when they came up with that saying, because I was really out completely. This very precious sleep accompanied by snores which sounded like a trapped bull was shattered by a very loud banging on the front door, which took me several minutes to register that there was actually someone at the door.

I dragged myself painfully from the bed, watching as several very bright stars flashed before my eyes, and went to open the door, thinking that maybe my clan was back from church and had misplaced their key.

I found three people outside, a short, fat lady who looked like a retired bar maid, a thin woman who looked hungry and a young man who looked like a retired pickpocket.

“Shkamoo mzee, samahani sisi ni Jehovah Witness, tumekuja kukupa habari njema ya ufalme wa mbinguni,” said the retired bar maid who was obviously their leader.

In short, she was telling me that because the world is full of sinners like me who nurse hangovers on a ‘holy day’, they had taken it upon themselves to rescue us from ‘the bottomless pit’.

I cursed loudly before telling them to scram or else I would release my dog on them (Of course there was no need of them knowing that although the dog in question is called Tiger, it was the most coward dog you can ever come across and the poor thing is blind in one eye).

“Lakini mzee, you know that God has a good plan for you, hata kama unakunywa pombe, which is harmful to your health,” said the retired pickpocket and I told him that I also had a very good plan for them, so they should wait, as I went to fetch my rusty panga.

I can swear I could see dust where those three had been standing a few seconds before, as I locked the door and went back to sleep.

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