Friday, March 09, 2007

Childhood Trauma 2-Lunch Time

Ok so Spidey moved onto Beta Blogger and some posts got republished and one in particular made me laugh. Childhood trauma 1

Truth about returning is that I actually enjoy writing and a good laugh...and walking down the memory lane. So here's to doing this thing again amidst talks of literary influence

A highlight of a long morning's timetable. yup be it double maths, double the end of those long classes came lunch time.

1. Hot Lunch.

Now in St. George's there was pick-up van that would bring hot-lunch.Had good food.Chips and sausage were the hot favorites. Then Stew and chapo the second hot favorite.
Problem was the lack of speed and hustle. Poor little porky wasn't fast enough...nor was he sleek enough. Yaani, I'd end up with a chapo and a potato with a watery stew that was left behind by the better meatier stew that used to inhabit that sufuria. Your best pal, who was munchin on chips would offer a kind promise that he'd buy for you the following day. Same crap promise he'd made yesterday. So there you are when a hawk swoops down and takes your're left not only with a soggy stew but an empty promise of tomorrow.

Solution: Your mum organises with your teacher so that they pick food fro you.
Trauma: Other kids are now resenting you for this.
Therapy: Being alienated from the food camps that were so popular
Solution: Start carrying packed lunch so that you can belong.

2.Packed Lunch.

Damn right you don't eat Rice and fillet steak every other night. You eat food. If you have behaved you're lucky to even carry chips to school...if you have been good a sausage maybe thrown in.

So there you are with your thermos...that keeps hots hot and colds cold.
Now assuming that your thermos has made it safe and you haven't broken it.
Lunch time was a moment of quiet shame, solitude and meditation. There was the slow opening of the that the gases would escape without scaring the birds or the std 1 children. Insult would be your pal thinking you have opened a canned coke. PSssssss! Was the sound and a pal would dash over only to be disappointed.

There was the inner white compartment that carried rice...and sometimes would refuse to budge. As in that plastic punk was keeping you away from the stew awaiting. Trauma! A time I just fed rice alone as it refused to completely open. No amount of twist and shout was separating that evil white thing! You go home with a thermos full of nice stew...

Sometimes there was no need for a compartment cause it was Githeri! Yes Githeri had its own thermos taste and Lord have mercy on his children you would eat it and be full. Of course the spoon would remain sticky forever..but that was not the point.

Ugali sukuma was the worst.

Ugali sukuma was the worst when your best pal was you can have some of my chicken and chips...what are you having?

3. Lunch Room.

So at Consolata. We had a lunch room that was run with the utmost efficiency. Heck lower school would first feed followed by upper school. A nice change…there is equality so no need for shame. There was enough food and better yet there was seconds. So Monday and Tuesday was Rice and Stew. Tuesday and Thursday was the best Bread and stew of beef cubes or hotdog cubes or sausage cubes. Friday was fish …

Now for some reason unknown to me then was I’d always get food poisoning over the weekend. In the words of a primary school kid…I’d have a stomach ache and stomach problems…loosely translated I’d have cramps and diarrhea. Saturdays were a drag.

After abstaining from all things chili: chevra, chevda, sauce…the loose phenomenon was still a problem. A carton of Imodium later…some packets of Bisodol later…some sand dunes of Eno later…it was discovered that fish was the main culprit. So Friday it was back to packed lunch!

4. Small mercies.

-Carrying sandwiches to school. Height of advancement. This happened once in a life time.

-A pal of ours named Charles used to have his house help prepare buckets of Chips. Those nice, yellow, oily chips that you swallowed without chewing. She’d bring them at lunch time-hot. And our dear friend, Charles, didn’t just share the chips he made us earn those chips. Place them a good distance and may the fastest make merry. (Cue ‘best things in life are free now that I’ve discovered what you mean to me!”) Off we’d dash …cheap amusement-he’d laugh at us for we had no pride…some of had no pride nor speed...I think that’s where the phrase came from of real fun for real good food. We’d fine tune our rugby skills pushing and shoving for that box of chips. We’d get all ghetto, ending victoriously if you had yourself a handful of greasy chips. Afterward you’d returned to your disowned thermos was abandoned and emptying its putrid contents in a nearby dustbin. Later at home you would lie how you cleared all your food.

-Occasionally lunch would be brought for you from town. Yup cholesterol laden samosas, sausages, burger and chips. Note I did not use the word “or”. Yaani nothing spells over-fed like an only-child! Gulp! Gulp!...choke! choke!…Lord help me please… pass me some water...Glug! Glug!…munch! munch! … There is this one time I choked…and not cause food entered the windpipe, but because food was in the food pipe and not going down. (Perhaps more food was going in than going down.)You needed a wheelbarrow to take you to class. You needed Jesus to digest. Those afternoons would take a week to pass by.

-Sneaking in a ‘cool’ was a height of truancy. You’d have a ‘cool’ hidden in your sweater as you silently sipped at it during triple math. And the teacher was more impressed at your lips turning green than at your L.C.M/BODMAS skills.

-Asians used to have some interesting goodies. Perhaps cause your tongue only knew of githeri and rice. But if an Asian pal offered you food…you took maybe unable to pronounce it but it was a given it tasted good. That’s when I discovered cauliflower goes with anything: pizza, samosas, bread...I think cauliflower was the answer to everything. Asians were also the masters of deceit. You feed on that food, it tastes like a beef, smells like beef…but there is no trace of beef. Yaani Ndengu pekee! Ndengu solo. Ndengu could be so well disguised…and to think at home you kick and fuss.

5.White lies-that I used.

There was nothing as bad as going home with a thermos that was rattling. Note the rattling was not from chicken bones that you had left inside. Because trust me if you carried chicken those bones were displayed well or all to see you had chicken for lunch. No the sound was from the glass flask that was now just glass.

Woe unto you if it was the large thermos…which you had been bought for because you were now a big boy, and a responsible one!

-Er you see… another boy was running by like a madman and knocked over my bag and hence the thermos broke.

-A hawk was coming at me since I was carrying chapo(again_…I panicked and dropped the bag, running for cover…and hence the thermos broke.

-It’s broke? Let me see! I didn’t break it!

-Bryan pushed me and I fell on top of the bag…hence the thermos broke.

6. Juice moments.

Before quencher there was Tree-top. Before those unbreakable juice bottles that had star wars on them...damn those thing were cute, sturdy and jisty with a straw. Anyway before those were those Dog-like juice bottles that came in all colors. And dont forget the magic use of a polythene paper to prevent leakage.

Sometimes you carried milk. Sometimes you carried water with a drop of juice a.k.a squash. So dilute the confusion quenched your thirst!