I remember as a boy imitating Safari Rally cars that zoomed past our village every Easter weekend in the eighties. I loved cars then. I still do. And that is the reason I took up a parking lot attendant job in the City Garage.
â€œYou know I started right where you are ten years ago.â€ My manager told me on my second day of work. â€œIn another five years, Am gonna own my own parking garage,â€ he said with his head held high.
Well, these past few days have been interesting. What with seating in a booth for eight hours just making sure that the entrance to the garage is manned. I do not mind since I get to see different types of cars, local and foreign.
But I do not want to bother you with the mundane of my humdrum job. All I know is that am all set for now. With the little I am making, I will get for myself a cozy little studio apartment very soon.
Mr. Mukhwasi, my host is a wonderful man, God bless him. He has offered to furnish my room once we finish with the paperwork. Who knew that renting a simple room required all that paperwork? But, I guess Uncle Sam is very thorough with procedure and nothing is taken for granted.
And by the way, did I tell you that I passed the computerized driving test at the DMV? Mmm, mmm, mmm. Now I can drive Mr. Mukhwasiâ€™s car to get the feel of driving on the right side of the road. Of course he has to be there as my sponsor, otherwise I will be in very deep trouble with the law if I drive alone.
You see, I was the owner of a 1978 Toyota Corolla DX that crisscrossed the breadth and length of my county ferrying my fare as a taxi driver, besides my day job of cranking the accounts at the local tea factory. One would guess that my BA Econ and KASNEB section II would have afforded me a better life. But that was then. Now I wait in a parking garage booth. Life goes on, as it should.
â€œI will hook you up with college applications,â€ Joe Musa, a financial consultant with a big investment bank in town told me last week as we munched succulent mbuzi ribs and drowned our worries with Amarula at the local state park. Kenyans in Maili Nne had organized the summer party to celebrate one another. And these wananchi can party!
â€œWithout the proper academic guidance,â€ Musa said. â€œYou will fall within the cracks and be like so many you see around.â€
â€œWee, kwani you came here to read or look for the green bucks?â€ Alfie said drunkenly.
â€œMimi am a holder of a Masters Degree, Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi,â€ He continued. â€œNa siringi. This is America bwana.â€
â€œAlfie is a supervisor at a gas station,â€ Musa whispered to me. â€œHe also works overnight delivering convenience store supplies.â€
â€œBut anyway,â€ Alfie said, â€œKijana wewe soma, follow your dreams.â€
And so last Sunday Musa gave me his old Dell Inspiron Laptop. I proudly tag it along to the local public library where I can get free WiFi. He will come again on Sunday after church we begin finding schools. The days of small beginnings continue.
By Mkenya Mgeni
Previous Mkenya Mgenis Blogs:
- Mkenya Mgeni: A Conversation with a Senior Citizen
- Mkenya Mgeni: By Coming to America, I am not Rich, Yet
- Mkenya Mgenis First Day Out in America
- In His Second Week in America, MKenya Mgenis NaivetÃ© Exposed Daily
- Coming to America: Mkenya Mgenis Experience of First Week in America