HOSTEL CHRONICLES: Dryspell…

It’s 7am. My alarm has been on snooze for centuries now. I had planned to wake up at 5 am to go jogging and do some reading but it’s as if the Sky spirits and warm bed conspired against my desire to keep fit. I stare out of my hostel window; the Jacaranda tree is in bloom. Lord knows how much I love these trees; I must have one in my future home. I can see my old green room across the quadrat *sigh* I miss that room.

After pondering for about 5 minutes; I decide to go back to sleep. Besides, the lecturer for the 8 am class already said he wouldn’t come in; I had nothing to lose. So I pulled my duvet and managed to sleep for 30 minutes before my internet addiction decided to be little bitch and made me wake up. I make a mental note to buy my Jessica a “mulika- mwizi” so she doesn’t end up like me as I switch on my data.

Having 100mbs to burn and so many people to check up on (stalk) is an internet’s addict’s high. Time flies by so fast when you have something interesting to do. It’s already 9:30am and I haven’t showered. My class is at 11. Heating 3 jugs of water takes approximately 12-15 minutes, then there’s the hustle of looking for a shower.

I rush to the washroom to fetch water and the taps are dry. I assume it’s just our washroom wings that has no water since the taps have been behaving like a woman in menopause; never wet. I rush down-stairs and alas! There isn’t water as well. I begrudgingly go back to my room to get a bucket to go look for water in the water in the opposite wing. For those who do not know, hostels in public universities are massive and crossing from one wing to another drains all your energy. Now imagine yourself carrying a bucket full of water across those narrow corridors…sucks right?

Well, I finally reach my destination , I now relate to my grandma’s tales of how she used to walk 10kms to the river and back. I turn on the tap and nothing….you can imagine my disappointment. Another lady who was going to shower kindly tells me “hakuna maji hostel nzima, itabidi uende nje”. I hadn’t taken breakfast yet and going out to fetch water just to shower wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. Was showering really that important?

I rush downstairs muttering irritably how I wished I was a boy and I wouldn’t have to shower every day. The line that met me at the communal line dimmed my hopes for the day. Girls in T-shirts and baggy PJ’s with stockings on their heads to cover their precious hair; all impatiently waiting for their turn to fetch water. I suddenly realize that I was also wearing an old baggy t-shirt and I had forgotten to pull on some shorts in my hurry to go look for water. My hair is a mess as usual; my headscarf never seems to remain in place. Perhaps I should just shave and save myself from the drama. It’s a good thing men are not allowed into female hostels before 10am. I don’t want my future husband bumping into me looking like a street urchin.

I patiently wait in line for 20minutes. There’”s no hope. I wont make it for the 11am class at this rate. I decide to cross over to the laundry area to see if I can cut the line. Luckily, I find the friendly Mama wa Kufua is next on line. I give her my best smile. “Aki Jane naeza fetch bucket nusu pekee, nachelewa class” I ask. “Ni sawa mschana wangu”. That’s the best thing that’s happened to me all morning. Beaming, I fetch my ¾ bucket and rush up the 3 flights of stairs back to my room and to the showers. I switch on the kettle and there’s no power. Sky Spirits, why me???!!!. I resign to the fact that Lady Luck must be frowning upon me today for whatever reason, I really don’t know. A cold shower it is. I head to the showers and guess what I find…Water is back. Hujuma!!!

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