‘kumi kumi’ on the rocks

My heart throbbed with excitement as we made our way to the land of ‘Kumi Kumi’. The journey seemed to take ages but we finally got to the small dusty village tucked neatly away in Central Kenya. I was immediately taken aback by the first sight. Men’s bodies were littered on the streets and lay strewn in basking positions. For a moment I thought I had taken the wrong bus and had ended up in the sandy beaches of the Coast. I was later told that they had been unable to reach their beds and had opted for the cold floors. Just stirring from their drunken stupor, they looked groggy. It seemed I was in for a treat.

We met our guide at the post office and made our way to the local watering hole. I was struck by the state of the structure which looked like a crossbreed of a hovel in Kibera and Mathare. I mumbled a silent prayer and hoped the ‘building’ would not come cascading down. Not letting the dilapidated structure dampen our spirits, we made for the rickety door. I was welcomed at the door by a smell which attacked my nostrils with the ferocity of a flying toilet smack on the face. I almost choked and my eyes instantly turned watery. I should have carried a gas mask.

The ‘bouncer’ whose stature suggested he may just have escaped a refugee camp tied our ankles with sisal rope holding our trousers firm. It was their way of ensuring that bowel deposits would not inadvertently litter their floor should the relevant muscles become incapacitated. This measures whet my appetite for the brew which had become a sensational hit countrywide. We made ourselves comfortable near what resembled a table. My guide immediately summoned the waiter and ordered for a drink on the ‘rocks’. Never mind that his ‘r’ was substituted by an ‘l’ and his ‘l’ with an ‘r’. This was turning out to be better than I thought. They even had ice cubes!

I rubbed my hands in glee as we waited for the drinks. The emaciated waiter with bloodshot eyes staggered back and served us our drinks. When I saw the drink on the ‘rocks’, my excitement plummeted faster than a hurriedly built building in Nairobi’s Eastlands! The drink on the rocks turned out to be a filthy looking liquid that smelt like raw sewage mixed with the intestinal remains of a constipated goat. The ‘rocks’ turned out to be the metallic tins in which the drinks were served in. They were rusted tins which were had faded stickers of ‘Kimbo’ and ‘Blue Band’. My eyes darted back and forth as I tried to locate the exit. I was about to beat a hasty retreat that would have made Bolt look amateurish until I saw my guide gobble down the drink like it was cold soda. Maybe it was not that bad after all.

It was a Herculean effort but with trembling hands I managed to bring the rusty tin to my lips. The fumes hit my nose like a punch but I took a sip. The fumes got me high and the sip got me even higher. It tasted like rotten porridge mixed with raw eggs and lemons. Two sips later it begun tasting like a normal beer and a tin down it was of superior quality compared to the best beer I had ever tasted. Ten minutes later I was ordering for another drink on the ‘rocks’. The mood in the room was jovial and there was vivid camaraderie. I immediately regretted ever having spent money on the so called ‘known brands’ of beer. This here ladies and gents, was the better option!

We cracked jokes and made subtle insults at each other. My guide had been overcome by the excitement and his pants were already wet. I touched my ankles just to make sure that my bowel muscles were still alert and had not made deposits down South. We were now into the third tin and it tasted heavenly. The best part of it was that it had effects previously unknown to man. A myriad of colors begun to manifest when we got to the second tin. The first colors were red, blue and yellow. By the fourth tin the colors were becoming darker and darker and I could see violet and brown. My friend asserted that he was seeing “dim dim” and we had a ferocious laugh about it. It was awesome! The final color in the spectrum was black.

Much much later, we crawled out. None of us could see a thing. Subconsciously i was counting down the hours to dawn just to be sure my sight was intact. It was an hour to dawn.

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