A few things about me

Archive for August, 2006

See ya soon!

I am going away for a few days. See ya when I get back!!

I am so happy!!

Interracial Relationships

I am going to put this out there.. this post is kinda piggy backing on my post about Shattered Illusions and Soiled Doves… as in … the post preceding this one.

I am in one i.e an interracial relationship. (if you had not figured that out, you are a danderhead kabisa, whatelse would I be doing in Denmark). I will spare you all the details of how and when we met, but suffice to say we have been together for 6+ years. Earlier in our relationship I was obsessed with all things interracial. I read everything I could get on interracial relationships (most which were America books.. so kinda gave on a skewed point of view) , in England it was all about Afro Carribean/White or White/Indian. I am yet to find anything written from the African male or female point of view. Anyway, my obession died around the 2 year into our relationship. The first 6 to 7 months, I thought was mchezo.. it was not supposed to be serious.. well.. we are still here.

When he finally met the familia…(again, not going into details) one of the concerns that struck home with me was when a family member said

“you know these relationships do not have a history of lasting long”

I was highly aware of that in the begining and through the years had kinda forgotten it. Though we did attend an accquaintance’s wedding in 2003 and later in 2005 they were divorced …yes.. it was an interracial couple. I am yet to meet a black and white couple that have been together for at least 20 years. I recently met a lady who had been in a marriage for 24 years and then he met his workmate and they were history. About a month ago.. Big Al comes and tells me that it was on the news that the highest number of divorces in Denmark were between interracial marriages. Interracting with the ladies at the Beauty Shop has sort of brought this issue to the fore front.

To be honest I cannot help but wonder if interracial relationships are doomed to fail. The statistics do speak against it… and I am yet to meet or even hear of any that has lasted long. What is long in my books……. well I used to say 20 years.. but now I have pushed it to 25years… .

So here is a toast to interracial marriages/relationships. I do not think the challenges down the line are any different from other couples. I believe initially there are challenges and in our cases most were external rather than internal. I do believe that Black male/ white female, find it more difficult especially when the man moves back home. But I also do believe that the same challenges faced in IR(interracial relationships) are the same face in any intercultrual relationships. The commonest stereotype ICR in Kenya is the Kikuyu-Luo relationship. In Uganda it is the Muganda-Acholi relationship.

In my simple thinking, I believe that the bottom line is culture and a willingness to work at cultural differences as well as protecting the relationship from “every frigging body else who has an opinion” about the relationship.. and let me tell you.. wako wengi sana….

I will end with an ancedote about these “every frigging bodies” with an opinion. Lets call him X.

Now X is a guy who I went to Uni with and I really did not know him.. got to know him through a friend and we were on hi-hi basis. He was one of the guys in the “Hot guys club” of my peer group at Uni. We finish Uni.. we all hang out more or less the same places and bump into each other now and then. (I say this to let you know how little I knew this guy)

So one day, I am surfing at a Net Cafe and he walks in while I am walking out and the nerve or the man he says something to effect…

X: Hi.. how you doing..

Mrembo:.. Hi.. I’m alright (thinking the conversation is over.. trying to pay my bill)

X: So what’s up with the hair…. you need to do something with it…(as he lift his hand to touch my hair…..)

Mrembo: Looking at him like he has lost his mind…”what is it to you”? baring my teeth at him and ducking my head away from his hand.

X: laughs a little uncomfortable.. “It could look good.. not this natural stuff… anyway, what is this I hear you’re with a muzungu.. you mean us guys were not good enough”

Mrembo: Looking at him like he has fallen and hit his head and baring my teeth at him…”Since when was it your concern, see ya around”.

I have always wished I had witty comebacks.. but that was the best I could do.

PS. When were are walking around in Nairobi or Kampala, please try not to stare.. I do tend to wave back!!!!!!!! or hiss something rude.

Shattered Illusions

I hate being disillusioned. Presently I feel like the last 8 months have been one dislluisionment after another and I am about tired of them.

Disclaimer: This post will not degenerate into a self pity party.. I am done with that.

Back on topic:

Remember my Beauty Shop blog…well ukewli umefanuliwa (the truth is out) and I am still not sure how to feel about the whole scenario.

The place is owned by a fellow country woman and I have been spending a good amount of time there..at least once a week you will find me there.. laughing, plaiting hair, listening to outrageous stories… but there is something about the dark and rain that seems to bring out one’s true self.. or at least a morsel of that true self.

So there we were last friday.. doing braids that went all the way to the butt, when it dawned on me that members of the beauty shop were “soiled doves” or should I say, women of dodgy pasts and presents.. women whom I had never had the occasion to truly interact with back home. Yes, I had met such women. Go to certain salons to have your hair braided.. and you get to hear things and learn things that let you know that these women are “women of the night”.

The topic at hand that shattered my illusions was “I am a gold digger”. However these “soiled doves” met thier “first men” who brought them here to Denmark is highly suspect!! Very highly suspect. One of the ladies has 4 biracial children all from different white men. Mr. Current is number 4 who has lasted 17 years…(and to think that I drew comfort from the longevity of her marriage). We were there when her latest Congolese catch, stopped by to chat, play us some lingala on his very hot phone (which looked like a small computer) and later drive her home to her husband in his “American car”. . I was left wondering how the hell she was going to explain to her man, who this man was dropping her at 12.00am. Earlier I had heard her introduce him to her son (who had dropped by) as her brother-in-law eh, ?&#!

I was given advice on how to “dig” and I would be fool not to “dig” and that love is nothing.. what happens when love is finished.. “diggiging” was the best plan because when the love died.. at least I would have “dug” kidogo. To a certain extent, the part of me that is product of a broken marriage, entirely agrees with this sentiment. Build your nest while the going is good cause you never know. . Ever since I stopped working, I have become a FIRM BELIEVER in ALIMONY believe you me…… I will take half of everything you got and more if I can.. thank you very much!!!! Ivana Trump was on the money!!

The snob in me says I should not hang out with them, we have nothing in common with except for the fact we are from Africa. Their lives and values are on polar opposites to mine. Yet I cannot begrudge them because it is there that I have also met a decent woman “like me” with whom I hope to develop a friendship. When I am there, I do have fun , I laugh, I learn where to buy things and more or less get to know all the other black women around and it breaks the silence of Denmark and reminds me it isn’t all soo bad.

So if you ever stop by our beauty shop and happen to hear things that let you know that the ladies are “soiled doves” don’t be to quick to judge, soiled or not… ..

Food, Glorious Food!

I am dreaming of mandazis and a cold fanta or mandazi with milk tea sporting a hint of fresh ginger.

Sis, do you remember the mandazis we used to get in shags (village). Remember when Wawa(grandma) would send us to the kiosk in the market near the matatus and to buy mandazis for 4.00 o’clock tea. Straight from the pan, wrapped in newspapers and on the way home.. I would be dying to one…..

I am dreaming of masala chips from Wimpy.. soggy masala chips…

I am dreaming of Mum’s pilau, Auntie’s chapatis and beef stew with cabbage.. woi….

I am dreaming of matooke and groundnutsstew with dried fish…(I would give an arm to have some of that right now). Nice hot matooke, straight from the leaves steaming soft… Lord help me..!

I am dreaming of home food!!!!!!

Soon I will be eating British chips, wrapped in flimsy paper,  soaked in vinegar sprinkled with salt, a dash of Sainsbury’s Ketchup completes the dish…..soon… soon.. I can almost taste it!!!!!!

I have not found a single place in Denmark that does chips from scratch.. it’s all the pre frozen french fries.. it’s just not the same….. time to buy a deep fryer!!!

Israel, Hezbollah, Hamas- what the f…k?

I have only one question about this mess,

“what the heck does Israel have on America and  Western Europe that no one can touch them”?

 Hilo tu ndilo swali langu? (that is my question)

As we used to say in Kenya “Kwani ni how huko?”

Help…….please!!!

I have been job hunting for about a month. This has involved trolling the papers, websites etc.. you know the general scenario.

Anyway, so now I am embarking on my next phase which is sending out “unsolicited applications” to a list of companies I have short listed. I am about finished with my research on them and ready to go… thing is.. I am a little stumped as to how to phrase my cover/application letter especially when I have to state what I have to offer the organisation.

I have already done the whole cheesy thing and I think my letters are a little crap.. given the negative responses I have recieved so far…. ….

Sooooo….. I thought I could enlist help from y’all who read my blog and ask you thus…

“If you were recruiting what kind of answers would you be looking for from a person you have asked “What do you have to offer our organisation”??

My career background is a little crap and never really kicked off…..(really).. so I have plently of admin experience, research, Customer Service and Account management from a public service point of view.. My education background is  Business Managment (still waiting for that to pay off)…….

Anyone willing to take a dive?

Thanks.

Beauty Shop: Beer & Camaraderie

We all share one one thing in common; we are here by virtue of our attachment to Danish men.

Its a small little place, one sink, two shelves, a few hair products and my pet peeve; skin bleaching products. Open only 3 days a week, it is a sanctuary. A place we come together to talk, laugh, share and learn and boy have I learned.

By virtue of my longevity in Denmark I am the youngest and have been assured that I am going through the worst of the settling in period and it gets better with time and 5 to 6 beers a night!

Our stories are sad only two are happy. All of them so far are on to thier 2 or 3 partners…they give credence to the prevailing belief that interraicial relationships never last. We come from all over sub saharan Africa and the Carribean. The stories are the same and returing home.. for some strange reason is not an option. And that is something I do not really understand.

I made peace with the whole returning home thing. I know that many Africans in the diaspora shudder at the thought of returning home WITHOUT anything to show for thier years away. I have heard of suicides and people sucumbing to mental breakdowns are a result of returning home, either willingingly or in most cases unwillingliy. It is alright to return home with nothing, believe it or not IT IS alright. If your head is screwed on right and you have your health, you can make a go at life one more time.

The beauty shop is my new local. I have met women from all walks of life, women embittered by broken love and dreams, women trapped by children and lack of finances, women without hope and amongst all this, I have met only ONE woman, happy, inlove and 17 years old in Denmark… she was my beacon of hope until she assured me that 6 beers a night did the trick.

Have one on me tonight!