I love those moments in life when you unexpectedly have a back-in-the-day experience or reminder. Those are good moments especially when the memory that comes alive is a positive one. I had one such experience last week. Quickmart have opened a new store in my hood. I’m happy with that because its open 24 hours so some of us can buy milk and bread when going home from self-induced night shifts. The biggest setback I see now is the tight and few parking spaces that are evidently causing traffic snarl ups at the entrance of the supermarket. The store is walking distance from my house though so I’m glad we can walk to the shop and back.
Last Saturday Mummy Shark was visiting her cousin who has moved into our hood to check out her new crib. At about 5 PM I was bored of seating in the house so I decided to visit my local, Explorer tavern. It’s been a while since I was there and the friendly barman greeted me with a huge smile and said, “Boss, umepotea sana.” I told him it’s the 46th of January and coming to the local often was a luxury. He made me my favorite dawa cocktail and I sat at the counter for some me time.
Barely halfway through my drink Mummy Shark called me and said in her sweet voice, “Please come and get me.” Those of you who have been married for a while know that voice that is for asking for a favor. That call cut short my recharge session. Being the good guy I am, I finished my drink and went to pick her. I figured I’ll earn some Bonga points from this move.
I think it should be double Bonga points to chaps (and ladies too) who do good deeds for their significant others on the weekend. It takes more effort to be selfless then because most folks are wired to have the weekend to themselves to do as they please. More like patting yourself on the back for surviving another week.
I picked Mummy Shark and set off for home after some banter with our lovely cousin Anna. She gave me a tour of her new crib, fed us crisps and water (bachelor tings) then we got on our way. We decided to pass by Quickmart for a few supplies (read milk, bread and diapers). I remember being on the till once at Nakumatt Junction paying for about 20 packets of milk. The lady behind me in the queue commented, “I can see someone needs to buy a cow.” That tells you how much milk is drunk in my household. For that reason, anytime I’m at the shops I buy milk. There’s nothing like too much milk at home.
I was impressed with the layout of this supermarket. It had a cozy feel meant to ease open the wallet. It must belong to my tribesmen from Central Kenya. The fruits at the entrance are laid out on crates stacked on a tuktuk pickup. I thought that was very creative. The grains are in wooden barrels with a steel spoon on the side to serve yourself. There is something in the center that looks like a bread fountain. I wondered if they allow customers to taste the bread before buying it. If so then I can just be carrying my tea in the morning and passing through there for breakfast as I do the school run. The shelves further in are a bit squeezed but neatly arranged. It took abit of time to figure out where stuff is so they would do with clearer labeling but it’s still early days I suppose.
We made our way to the till at the back of the store and while our stuff was being run through the scanner I glanced at the sweets and chewing gum section and something caught my eye. It was the BIG G chewing gum, the original pink gum that always stuck to the red wrapper whenever we tried to open it. I was fascinated. It even showed on my face. The guy packing our stuff noticed my fascination and confirmed it was the original Big G. Obviously I bought a few to chew with my kids as I explained to them that this was the equivalent of some tamu tamu they call gummy bear.
My 40s people, do you recall back in prymo and high school when we would relish the sweet taste of Big G and then repeatedly blow balloons from our mouths? Sometimes it would burst into a small loud sound and our mates would be impressed. Other times it would backfire and burst sticking onto ones face. Kids would fall over themselves in laughter because it would be difficult peeling gum from one’s face. That would be a selfie moment if we had cell phones back then.
Finding Big G at Quickmart was a small pleasure that will make me shop there again. I actually thought they were not being manufactured anymore. That small occurrence reminded me to smell the roses along the way of life. Happiness seems to be an elusive destination, like a mirage. Maybe happiness is the SUV or bodaboda that gets you to your destination. May we be present in the moment that we have now as even the good book tells us not to worry about tomorrow because tomorrow has enough troubles of its own. I know it’s much easier said than done coming from a guy who’s been eating three meals of anxiety a day since he turned 40. But with such small but significant reminders it’s getting easier.
The more we maximize on every stage and situation in life, the better the memory will be when a reminder pops up. And as you can see it could pop up anywhere folks so be on the lookout. Maybe next time I’ll come across a radio cassette being rewound with a biro. Haha…