Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Immigrants behaving .......

I like talking about the social issue that affect us and I'm not shy about it either , so bear with me if I may sound too crude/blunt /kuonea watu.
This is all true for most of the immigrant peeps in U.S and I always like to talk about Kenyans and the other Africans because I care and I have better experience with them more than the other immigrants. One thing I'm going to say loud is "What is wrong with us?". Why do we come to stato and then we feel like we have climbed a certain social status even more than the wenyenji themselves .

For instance, I know that feeling of being able to acquire a car on credit since when most of us left Kenya, credit for a car was not that accessible and trying to ask your parents for their car was something you would have dared not. I also do understand the need for car in most states as means of transport to and from work. However, why would one feel the urge to buy a $40,000 car is beyond me ands then you have to take 3 jobs to afford that car. Why would one want to punish thyself:-) that much really just to take almost 10 years to pay for it when it has depreciated to almost zero worth ?

Also, while we were in Kenya, taking a bus /matatu to town was a normal thing, you know the KBS bus packed with humans hanging on the door. Now, come to stato and to be seen in a bus for some Africans /Kenyans is such a demeaning thing ,they would not be caught dead doing it. The bus may be going to the same destination near jobo but the Mwafrika petho can and will not let him get in that bus to save a dollar or two plus gas. The complain usually that the bus is so slow or somethin like that . Now this is where the African -Americans go "nigger plizz", while we were in Kenya you could wait in that bus on Jogoo or Mombasa road and God forbid there was an accident ahead and you will be forced to stay in that crowded Mat or bus for hours or if you feel energetic walk home but here in Stato a bus is on time , and the traffic flows very well in comparison to Kenya and now it is too slow ,give me a break !. So what makes us feel such pethos when we get here.?

Another example, every sunday newspaper has coupons for sales in grocery store for instance you know save 50cts on this or that or buy one get one free but Mwafrika instead of taking advantage of free money, we feel ashamed that people will look at you like you've got no money. Infact when you do so that shows how smart you are or what I would like to call " Financial Management etiquette".:-)

This is another one..ahhh, okay I can understand if you have germ phobia and you care about what you drain in your intestines but I know some folks who go in the name of 'I do not drink tap water" but they can go to a fountain a drink the same water:-) The same folks while they were in Kenya especially if you happened to be in some boarding school in the slope on Mt Kenya like I was, there was nothing like "bottled water" It is either you drink the tap water or hit the highway. Also, most families in Kenya never budgeted for bottled water back then when doing grocery shopping, so why would someone all over sudden when they get here they vehemently dismiss tap water like the tap water is the worst thing that has ever happened since leap year:-) .First of , I personally think the tap water here is more purified and treated than the Kenyan water, I could be wrong but ati would rather be broke but buy tap water( ok bottle water is cheap but that money can be channelled elsewhere).

I also have noticed in some states in U.S , Kenyans are very good at holding bashes, drink away all weekend but if you ask them to contribute even $5:00 to help a needy child in Kenya, someone must just say something so smart to you , you will wish that you never, ever asked. There is nothing wrong with having one or two to unwind after a long week but should we be so ingrained in it such that it becomes a club with almost a membership fee:-) There is a full year calender of where the hang will be. Numerous websites too with everyone holding a bottle of heinken glorifying alcohol and the hero is the jamaa or chikdee who appears every month or is it every bash . I'm not going into details but can't we find other activities that we enrich ourselves with . Imagine if we formed an investment club and contribute twice a month the same cash we use to hang and drink away all weekends or even the flights we take on thanksgiving /labor day weekend in the name of "tafutaring where the hang are" . In an year, we would have some money to invest in real estate somewhere or even afford a fab vacation for a week in vegas with no money worries.
Well that is just a synopsis of how we behave , more to come when I get syke.....


sandman said...

enyewe that thing of joboing to death just to have a showbiz moti - that was me kabisa. but I learnt the hard way, these days I only drive what I can comfortably afford.
that thing of hanyes, I feel you on that but I don't quite agree.
1. it's part of kenyan culture (at least our generation). if we were in Nai, we'd probably be doing the same thing.
2. that's the main way we get together socially- hanyes and bashes
3. you need a release kwa ajili the stress involved can kill

it's easy to sema it's excessive but I think it's necessary

nick said...

hey there glad you are back u were always on our minds...usipotee tena

Irena said...

Sandman: I feel you on releasing stress and hanye is our culture but there is doing it and overdoing it to the detriment of ones' well being. Some people go to the extent of borrowing the dollars to hanye..now that I dunno

Irena said...

Nick the man: Thank you , and I plan to stay around for a while

s! said...

enyewe that is very true, all of it!! just cause jamaaz n' damez have fikaed out here then they start putting on all these airs, niaje na hawa watu!!

mutumia said...

"I also have noticed in some states in U.S , Kenyans are very good at holding bashes, drink away all weekend but if you ask them to contribute even $5:00 to help a needy child in Kenya"

So true mammie, so true. Your post was on point!

Joseph Walking said...

you have very valid points.having lived in kenyan and afew here in the states i have learnt one thing.let it go! i came to realise that some things were just meant to be and others were not .. i used to get angry but i have learnt to let go and live my own life. i catch a bus to work and have no problem ,ut other people cant. in kenya i drove to school others didnt,today i work one job normal hours ,others work 3 jobs all sorts of hours . kesho who knows i might be working 3 jobs. in life we all cant be sensible we have to have some foolishness.(but not in my family lol)

Poi said...

I'm on break again lol. Ok, I feel ur points on the post.

Good post!
@Sandman,lol to the confession

Stunuh Jay said...

You tell it like it is... three jobs all leading nowhere but a car that could land on the moon !Henging once in a while is sawa... but every friday, blowing through money like it grew on trees, you know you've got to appear on the scene looking like a 100 dollar bill...Look like you've arrived, but you don't got a pot to piss in!
I got tired of the friday saturday sunday partying...it get's old, Fast.
Finally it's been said.

Guessaurus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Guessaurus said...

Well said Wanjiru - I may not live in the states but I have heard similar sentiments expressed elsewhere - including people taking mortgages soo huge their whole salary is swallowed by it so they can live in huge mansions, and then have to work double or triple shifts and they never even live in those houses coz they are permanently at work! Why?

@Sandman - dude, good on you, at least you are honest!

Irena said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Irena said...

S: Let the truth be told!
Haidhuru:Thanks for trotting by neighbor and thanks for the accolades:-)

Joe: Yes sometimes it is good to live and let live lakini I feel it since these are ma people:-) and such a post is good for opening up a discussion of things we do not talk about.

Stunuh jay:Exactly when you party once in a month look like you have arrived!! True the 3 days hang is just too old not to forget time wasted during the day nursing hangovers and sleeping all day.

Gess: Yep that I have heard ..Manze I'm okay with my small apartment that I can afford comfortably and I actually use it for my money worth every month:-). Getting a house is a serious step as much it is an investment, it requires real money for its upkeep too.

8:01 AM

Acolyte said...

I feel you on that post kabisa!My roomies are akataas and I see one of them really gnashing coz of bad credit decisions.The jamaa is a baba but is bila car or place of his own hence y we are sharing an apt.For me he is a good example of how we miroos can mess ourselves up in the name of credo.