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Rated: E · Column · Biographical · #2065878
A brief exposure to my village drinking joint.
I remember the previous months before I quit vodka; we were at the locals with Antony and were sitting near this couple who at first you’d think were conversing intimately.

This was the time I was still obsessed with Allan Pease’s writings and was dragging Anto into many of my social experiments. We took keen interest in these two, normal looking people and the results were amazing.

For the lost sheep who have not visited village breweries recently, it would do good to inform you of the few changes that have marked 2015: Though you still have the option to sit on stones in the open air, most modern breweries now have iron shades with full sets of benches to accommodate customers who need privacy and comfort. In my favorite spot, it’s so comfortable that lucky clients even get to sit on the one and only “couch” which accommodates three, sometimes four lucky people.

The lucky couch, which is strategically placed near the DJ (Yes they have damned music too!), is a plucked-off matatu back-seat. The DJ, who starts playing his instruments at 2PM, sits on a stool- emphasizing the fact that this couch is specially reserved for patrons.

We were here for busaa, not chang’aa. Please if you have to drink from the locals go only for busaa. Chang’aa will kill you too soon. I must add that I put Vodka, Whiskey, rum, brandy, agave, gin and other spirits in the same evil list with chang’aa. They are all bad.

I see how some men here sometimes take nothing else except busaa for supper; but they still wake up strong the next day to go to work, year in year out- not that I encourage that either. Try the same with the chang’aa list for a month and you’ll be gone.

Anyway about this couple that Anto and I took interest in; they were sitting on the same rock on which we were patched. It’s a very large and flat rock that’s good for sitting. It’s like God knew that mighty busaa would be brewed here one day, and so placed it strategically to accommodate the thorough sample of second and lower class Africans that gathers here daily.

A busaa joint like this contains all kinds of people. There’s the mzee who works in the civil service and is soon retiring. He comes here with his old but well maintained Nissan sunny- I bet this is his most precious asset; one that he will remember he bought from a government loan that took the better years of his career to clear.

There’s Wazimu the mad man- at least that’s how I call him for I haven’t found a chance to ask him his real name. He comes here every evening before returning to his bed- a sewer pipe that sits adjacent to a swamp near Maraba slums. He always pays for his drinks and I wonder how he gets the money. God works in miraculous ways.

The swamp where Wazimu resides is filled with sewer and the only plant that unusually flourishes there hyacinth. Every morning, a white mass of froth forms at one section of its edge, so white it looks like real cloud. I once took a picture near this cloud.

This joint also harbors criminals. I once had a “close” friend who was a criminal so I can easily tell when I interact with one, especially when they are drunk. Most of those here are harmless; the ones that will still chicken or harvest your clothes from the line when they get the chance.

A few that I meet once in a while however look like they would gladly slice your throat on a dark night for your phone. Whenever I visit I always ensure that I don’t show off and that I leave earlier than 5:30 pm.

Other people that you will meet here include Boda boda riders, beggars who don’t beg, prostitutes who would give you goodies for credit if you had the slightest convincing power.

We also have old grannies who hold their kasukus (drinking tins) close to their chests after a sip and look at you as if they are pitying you for drinking at such a young age; a father who slept with his daughter according to the prevailing rumors, unpredictable weed puffers, and bubbly, chatty men whose personalities always remind me that the world is not so forlorn.

Oh, I was telling you about the couple on the rock. From a casual glimpse nobody would notice that the two were not really in sync. Allan Pease however had taught me the ways to know if two people talking are actually listening to one another; the lady’s feet and knees were deflected towards the guava shrubs on her right instead of pointing at the kasuku in front of her; or towards the man.

She sat up straight; it is the guy who leaned towards her but their bodies did not touch. She kept looking at her phone after 5 or 10 seconds. Her eyebrows were raised. I told Anto that these two were not really close as the man wanted people to think, and that the guy was trying too hard. I personally wouldn’t try too hard; it’s not my thing.

As if the damsel heard my words, she stood up and went straight for the guava shrub which is close to the perimeter fence. She left her frothing kasuku from which she had not taken a single sip since I started watching. The man’s face registered something between surprise and bitterness, even though your normal eyes couldn’t have noticed it. He let her go without further pursuit.

On the other side of the fence there was another man waiting. I had earlier seen him unsaddling a bicycle boda bada which was still packed inside the brewery compound. Both trekked through tiny paths and disappeared behind the bushes- the woman first, followed by the man.

I hear there are mad thatched rooms on the other side whose owner charges 20 shillings for couples who wish to explore their world. I hope they had a good time.

{{size:3}b}My Name is Philip Fulu. I write content to websites for a living. During my free time, i swim, watch movies, listen to other people's stories and write mine. If you ever need writings for your site, feel free to drop by my inbox

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