Chikungunya Virus

It is now one month since I was infected by Chiungunya virus. Symptoms have relapsed. I wake up and I cannot walk,stand or kneel. Living in Nairobi does not make things any easier because the cold weather only makes my symptoms worse. Yesternight it was especially cold as well as today morning so I woke up unable to move my feet.

I have my dissertation that I am supposed to work on in a month and so far these joint pains are not helping. The cold weather is particularly villainous. I just hope that the pains go away.


你好!我叫Zeinab,你叫什么?我很高兴 认识你。你很高兴,我也很高兴。

My Mandarin self-tutorship is going well so far. I have been using several apps to teach myself basic Mandarin. I had wanted to enroll in a language school and take up a certificate in chinese language and culture but the fee was way too high to be worth it. I mean , unless I was going to be taught by a native chinese tutor in a class full of native speakers with whom I would interact with, I did not see the point!

So far so good. If you read my profile you would know that one of my life goals is to learn chinese language and be able to understand when it is spoken and to be fluent in it(fingers crossed). I hope this is the beginning of the realization of that dream.

My interest in asian culture and language began with South Korean dramas or what they call “k-dramas”. After watching ” Boys over flowers” I was hooked. After some time I came across “Love me if you dare”, a chinese drama that was too good it was rated the second best most popular highly rated drama in China. I want to learn chinese first because it is arguably the most difficult language to master. Also, Korean actually came from pinyin; in fact it is a simplified version of pinyin because a king in Korea thought the chinese characters were too hard and came up with his own alphabet to simplify the language. Interesting right? I thought so too! So it only makes sense to start from the toughest nut to crack and go from there! Wish me luck!

Rich Kids Of Instagram?

What is up with money? Or rather, why is it that money and brains almost always never mix? Now I know why some people might think I am accusing grossly-rich kids of being flat out idiots or dumb dumbs but for real, I could not swallow another minute of the first episode of rich kids of instagram. I reached a point where I could not take it anymore. I felt repulsed, grossed out and almost nauseous to the point of throwing up! Please please if you are going to be too rich to spend thousands of dollars on a luncheon in an exclusive restaurant in Miami, kindly do yourself a favour, take up a language class in Chinese or go traveling with intent to explore the world, learn new cultures, meet new people, anything that does not entail taking selfies or show-casing your shoe collection. Maybe hire a life coach so you can learn how to have a meaningful, less superficial life! Mean? Yes I just could not help it! If I was a billionaire or even a millionare I would do so much for myself and the world. And none of it would have anything to do with the car I would be driving or the shoes I would be wearing! It does not make sense to own so much money and so little creativity. There is much more you can do with money and lead a more meaningful, fulfilling life. Hundreds of thousands of dollars for a car? How about a hundred dollars for a course in sign language, which is a helpful skill. Why not invest money in learning or research? Who needs all those shoes anyway? Not unless you have multiple legs. Personally I do not believe in owning something I do not need! I know for sure that I will always thirst for knowledge and a s a human being with a brain and intelligence quotient, I believe I was meant to need to learn and explore things! If I was a rich kid, I would definitely own the biggest library in the world! I would then spend more money updating my library! I know you are probably thinking who needs books when you can own Kindle! Well if you were a reader, you would know there is a huge difference between holding a book in your hands and holding a device with a screen! It is like an astronaut landing on the moon and watching a documentary about an astronaut landing on the moon!Even different does not begin to describe how different that is! There is no word currently that fits what I am trying to say! So rich kids of instagram, please do something soulful with your lives! Who made this show anyway? Let the kids go to school or something!

I Ran Away From The Gym

I went to the gym today to check what it is all about. I went inside and paid for a day because it made sense to see if the shoe fits before I bought a pair! I went into the room with heavy gear all around. From treadmills to heavy weights! I saw it all. Somehow I wondered if ever I was seeing myself lifting kilograms of metal and balancing them on my spine! What a way to disconnect your head from the rest of your body!So a trainer met me and the first thing he did was put me on a treadmill! Mind you, I had not exercised in like forever, and here I was on a moving platform that only kept going faster as the trainer pressed some buttons on the treadmill and I begged him to let it run on the lowest speed possible. I was scared! I remembered watching a hilarious turned not-so-hilarious video where a girl fell face first on the treadmill and was catapulted away like some potato sack. I was sure that was going to be me. Only this time, I was going to fly screaming, and probably, it would be bloody! The trainer said that a walking pace at the treadmill would not help me so he instead led me into a room with mirrors where he arranged some weights and asked me to run, pick them up one by one, line after another and drop them into a busket in the corner. I was supposed to do that in a minute and 36 seconds. He was way too ambitious! Haha! I looked at the weights on the floor and remarked, ” Wow, this looks boring!”. I could not help but feel like my experience at the gym was being short-changed! Gym is supposed to be fun, right?Like in the movies and reality shows. Where is the fun in running in a confined space picking weights and dropping them into a busket? Anyways, I was not going home without feeling the gym experience. So the trainer started the stopwatch and off I ran. I ran hard and fast, only to lose breathe gradually and I failed to meet his time. I had to run again and again until I finished in 1 minute 36 seconds. I had to do all that while he was shouting “Run, don’t jog!” or “what is that you are doing? Are you walk-racing? Stop doing that! Run!” . Going to the gym is probably the worst thing anyone can do for the first time! This guy totally ruined gym for me. I never thought I was going to be roughed up or thrown into rigorous exercises. I imagined gym to be a place one could go unwind after a hard day at work or school. I thought they would let me keep my headphones on. What about aerobics?I thought that was what gym was all about! Fun, awesomeness, cool stuff to do and take selfies to brag about with friends! I do not think I will be back there anytime soon.

Why Things Go Wrong

It was time to go back to school and somehow I felt so sad because I would have to adjust to hostel life all over again. Being a boarder is tough. Having to share living space with people you do not know is even tougher. I am a stickler for privacy and personal space not to mention I am a claustrophobic genius who gets easily overwhelmed by pointless stress!

I got into a plane and off I went to Nairobi. I got an uber to take me and my bulky luggage-which I hate but was completely necessary since I was coming to stay for close to five months- from the airport and to hostels where I began hostel-hunting for a nice room and friendly roommates! I left my bags with my friend and left to find any vacant good room to make it into my home for the next five months. After disappointing “no vacancies”, I finally found a room but it meant I would share it with nother girl. She The room looked nice and decent except for the bank bed I was supposed to sleep in! Its springs were sagging and the metal columns which acted as the bed’s frame were dominantly taking charge poking my entire body: chest, hips nd my back! The matress that was given to me was so thin you could wrap a sausage with it! I felt defeated since I had already paid for the room and there was no way I could get a refund! I slept the first night and it was the most painful night of my life because the metal frame dug into my ribs, my backbone, my boobs and my hips were sore by the tie it was morning. I complained to the matron hoping that she would help in any way she could. Nothing! Nada!

I started asking around for where I could get a new mattress but somehow this entire Ngara and its environs had no mattress. Now I began hunting for a mattress online instead. I saw a used high density 3 by 6 mattress selling for three thousand shillings and I contacted the seller for directions to his house so I could go and take it. I was relieved that this time I was solving my problem without parting with too much money. So I set out on a motorbike and left to buy my mattress. Once I was there, the seller was so courteous and she even let me inside her house nd I thought wow she is super nice! I humbly entered her home and she offered to let me inspect tve mattress. I was desperate for a mattress and I knew at the back of my mind that I would have to come bck with a matress somehow because tonight I was not up for another agonizing tossing and turning. So I paid the good woman 3000 shillings and called the motorbike dude to help me tie up the mattress and mount it on the bike so we could leave for my hostel. I was already picturing myself npping peacefully with my organs thanking me profusely for saving them from another attack by the gnawing metal bed frame. Tonight I was going to payback sleep I lost before.

From my sheer excitement at my new mattress I almost hugged it as I helped the motorbike dude carry it to the bike, and it was then, in the daylight outside, that I noticed a rather gruesome affair happening on the mattress: Huge pea-sized bed bugs from hell strated scampering all over the mattress and I almost died with shock! I quickly called the seller to beg her to let me return the mattress because this was not a matress; it was a kingdom of disgusting bed bugs that I was carrying back to the hostel! I was never ever going to take that thing back home and suddenly the prospect of sleeping on a painful metal bed frame became much better and preferred than nesting on a feasting, biting bed of bedbugs! Once the matress was returned I jolted out of there with such speed that would put fast and furious to shame! That was a close save! I almost transferred heaps of bedbug colonists to my new hostel! I started imagining that my hostel would look like the virus-infested planet in Alien Covenant with the virus attacking everyone’s bodies and turning them into monsters except this time the parasites are biting bedbugs and while they do not kill their hosts, the students at the hostel would be as pale as vampires because the freaking parasites would have sucked them dry. At the hostel I stripped down outside before entering my room. I did not touch anything inside the room. I went and scrubbed myself in the shower, washed my hair and then got into my room. I could not believe what a day i had had.

I had not yet solved the bed problem and I was this close to bringing a new problem into my current state of affairs! I was sad and angry and this made me miss home even more.

The next day I set out to buy plywood because I felt it would help with the bed frame. I went to a hardware store nearby and while they confirmed they had plywood they somehow could not sell it to me because and I quote, ” I cannot get the plywood from under all those huge pipes that are put on top of the plywood.” I wanted to hit hi where it hurt the most! Had this guy known how despearate I was he would remove a damn mountain off of the plywood! I could not take it anymore! I broke down and cried in the room by myself! I just could not understand why I have to fight twice as hard as other people in order to get what I want. It seemed like the entire universe was out to get me!

I got out and took a bus to town. I said this time I was going to come back with a mattress or go back home and cancel the semester! I was ready to pack my bags and leave for home if I was not going to bring back a new mattress! After visiting a few supermarkets in town, I found my perfect mattress! It was expensive but like I said, I was coming back with a mattress this time! It was one of those go big or go home scenarios! I am happy to inform you gubys that tonight,I will sleep like a baby!

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