I envy men. Men are always relaxed and chilled. They don’t give a fuck about shit. They don’t give a fuck about sweaters, chargers, water bottles, applying lotion on their legs, getting regular checkups. Nothing. The world could be ending and they’d be watching football, a beer in hand. And for some weird reason, we still expect them to take care of women and babies. How? Are we freaking serious? These people don’t even care about handkerchiefs and umbrellas and nail cutters and dirty dishes in the sink.
One lesson we can learn from them though, is to travel lightly. To be unbothered by important stuff. Because as a woman, you are always concerned about everything. Even the things you shouldn’t be worried about. You are bothered about matching curtains, cutlery, designs, looks and whether people can notice if the right breast is twice the size of the left one.
If we were like men, things could be easier. No one would be hitting our heads off in a matatu and we wouldn’t be walking around with so much weight. When you see a woman looking tired and stressed, it’s not because of her job or her man. It’s the handbag dragging her down. Almost dislocating her shoulder. Even the ones that walk like a homo erectus, it’s not them. It’s the handbag.
Those things carry a lot of stuff. An extra pair of shoe. A change of clothes. A five liter water bottle. Receipts for things bought in 2010. A lunch box. Three bunch of keys. One to a house she is no longer welcomed to. Sanitary towels. An extra pair of underwear just in case she decides to leave her dignity at home. Three tops that need to be returned to a hawker. Antibiotics for a disease cured in 2016…
People complain about how unnecessary some stuff are. But they don’t know how important some of them are. Like vibrators. Have you ever wondered why women use the bathroom often? Why they are so happy when they come back from lunchbreaks? It’s the dildos baby. They are running the world. Silently.
Everyone is allowed to carry whatever they want to, but I’ve never understood why women carry some things. Like what do you need a hair spray bottle for, if you are not Naomi Campbell or work in a salon? An empty bottle of soda. Really? Five different shades of lipstick. Come on Linda. Three types of Nail polish. Wow. Another big bag inside the big bag? Are we losing it?
And if that’s not enough, some women will make sure the color of the handbag matches their outfit, it’s as if anyone cares. And then you wonder how we can’t move forward as a country.
I don’t love carrying handbags. They are too much work. And need a lot of attention. Especially if you are in town. It’s like carrying a baby. You have to keep checking whether they are breathing. Whether their head is not facing the other way round or if they have their socks on.
I’ve never been the type to have a lot of things to carry. Never been the type to carry mirrors. I can’t stand my face in a mirror. When I get a present, I always wish it’s a new face. So I just use them to confirm whether it’s me in the morning and that’s it. Make up? Never been a big fan, save for mascara and eye shadow. It’s also tiring. Like you have to apply this and then that, wait for the other to dry. Spray this over that, use this against this. Aiii. It’s too much. I don’t believe Jesus died for me to go through all that. He could have as well given me horns.
Lipsticks? They make my lips feel heavier considering they are quite big. Like really big. Eyelashes? No. They make me sleepy. And I think that’s the reason why God gave me enough boobs to store things in. And you’ll be surprised by how many things can fit in there. Lip balm. Coins. Wallet. Wet wipes. A handkerchief. Inspekta Mwala.
When I’m carrying a bag, I have to carry a whistle. Not for protection purposes or anything. I have a pepper spray for that. I use it to call people when they walk too fast in town and I can’t catch up with them. I’ll blow the whistle, and when people turn I’m like, hey Mark, wait for me.
I can never leave my umbrella behind. We are joined at the hip. You can’t trust Nairobi. It’s one of the most unreliable cities you’ll ever come across. It’ll be hot and then the next minute it’s so flooded, people are using boats in town. That’s when everyone starts selling umbrellas. Even the person you were seated next to. And you start wondering where they got everything from.
My reading glasses. We like living in denial, and I’m one of those people who has never accepted that they can’t see well. I don’t like wearing my glasses because they make me look uglier than I am. So I carry them around and use them when a guy talks to me, and I need to see what they look like.
Medicine. I believe I was meant to be a doctor. I carry around Panadol, Ventolin, ibuprofen, aspirin, and other painkillers. Just in case I, or someone else gets sick and there isn’t a doctor or a nurse within. Sometimes I help men who want to boost their libido.
Being a cold person, no matter how hot it is, I’ll always have my scarf. Sweater. Socks. And a maasai shuka, if need be.
And because people talk trash about people who use type C chargers, I must carry mine so that when someone borrows, I can give it to them knowing it won’t be of help to them.
In the meantime, I am learning how to fix things in my jeans. I don’t care whether my phone will have an effect on my sperms or something. We must travel light.