Friday, January 27, 2012

Are you a Somali woman bored in Hargeisa? Take your white male friend on a 'local tour' and watch the magic unfold!

Took William on a 'local tour' around Hargeisa today. We got so many stares and comments and I even got hit by some weirdo hussling for money! The comments were interesting tho: "is she Somali? Why is she with the gaal (Christian)? Hey lady, is he your white cousin? He must be a German. Hey teacher, how arrrre you? Hello, where is your SPU (Special Police Unit that guard foreigners)? Are you single or married to him?"!! Then a nutball comes out of nowhere and shoves a paper with his phone number on William and asks him to send him money! I tell him to leave us alone and he hits me on my shoulder! A guy driving by stops and shouts at the man to leave us alone and that he is totally out of line and tells us not to worry, no one can touch us! I was in a bit of shock by the violence and touched by the driver's courage to stop and defend total strangers. Who needs live concert when there are this many mad people in Hargeisa? Now I know what to do about boredom, just walk around town with a white guy, lol.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The baby who was nearly born in Hargeisa central market!

Nadia, the cook, kindly offered to show me where she shops for grocery for tonight's bday party. She told me last week that she just started her 9th month of pregnancy and was expecting her 2nd baby late Feb. We left the house at 2pm and 10 minutes after we arrived the central market, she said she felt a 'pinch' and was in a bit of pain. I told her to sit down and rest while I did the shopping but before we could find a seat, her water broke! I called our driver to hurry back up and take her to the hospital. She only carried her phone with her and all her personal stuff were at the house. Worst, she worked the whole day to cook, clean dishes and the kitchen and didn't even have a shower! The driver picked her up 5 minutes later and picked her mom too and dropped them at Edna Adan Hospital. I took another hour to finish shopping and when I got back in the car, she called to say she has delivered a healthy baby boy!!!!! I am still in shock and thinking, damn, she nearly gave birth in the hot, smelly and loud market! And amazed by how quick and easy it seems....Am thinking, is it that easy to have a baby?! Getting ideas here.

We went out to shop for my bday but now going to celebrate 2 birthdays and welcome Nadia's baby boy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pre-bday blues!

I am usually slow to notice a pattern in my emotions and only last year it hit me. I got back from an amazing holiday in Nairobi and Mombasa with a dear friend and her little kid and had a wonderful time. Then I went back to a life I was very content with in Maputo, Mozambique, working in a dream job presenting my own breakfast show on a music radio station.

It was early Jan, 2011 and the 2 weeks leading to my bday were totally weird. Out of the blue, I wanted to quit my job, leave Mozambique and just cut ties with everything and start a new life elsewhere in the continent, bizarre! My boss then could tell I came back from the holidays a different person and I couldn't explain to him what was going on coz I had no idea myself. Then I started retracing my previous bdays and I thought, f*ck!!!

The previous 2 bdays, also celebrated in Maputo, were not any less weird. Jan 2009, I had just decided to close down my first business and sell it, I broke-up with my boyfriend, had to move out of his house, and was living out of my car for few days before a friend offered me her place for the 3 weeks she was on holidays! All that happened in the 2 weeks leading to my bday!

In 2010, same shit! After giving the relationship a second try, I realised it wasn't working and again 2 weeks before my bday and after only returning from 3 months roadtrip in South Africa to see if we could work things out, another break-up and this time in an ugly way. Homeless again and this time with only $200, no car and no job.

So in 2011, I was determined my bday was going to be drama-free and a happy affair with my girlfriends in Maputo, lol. I didn't anticipate my emotions to hijack the plan and get me in this deep blue that led me to quit my job and pack up my life in Mozambique. Less than a month later, I was in Johannesburg, starting it all over again.

This year, I was confident nothing strange would happen and I had made sure to return to Hargeisa where nothing dramatic can possibly happen. Somehow the blues followed me and it actually started towards the end of my holidays in Zanzibar. Despite the fun, parties, beach and good company I was enjoying, the blues started creeping up every now and then I ignored it. I arrived in Nairobi on the night of the 8th and next few days, I couldn't shake off the heavy feelings. And things got a bit worst once I got to Hargeisa! On the outside, nothing new happened but on the inside, it is like all hell is breaking loose and I can do nothing but watch in total disbelief, again? WTF?!

This is how it goes: I get a sudden urge to move countries, quit job or sell business, shave my hair (one less item on my list), change my wardrope, spring clean dead weight 'friends' and any other time-wasters in my life and just go hangout in the jungle for the whole month of January, Lol.

It sounds totally mad, I know but I am just as unsettled and amused by these feelings as you might be and if there is anyone out there who experiences something remotely similar, please tell me am not alone, lol.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Leave our husbands alone: Message from women in Somalia

Dear Diaspora Somali women, do us a favour and stick with the men in your hood! You bring nothing but trouble when you show up after years living abroad and you come back home to find husbands. Thing is, most of you return home when you have established yourselves (in other words, got divorced twice or never managed to meet someone interested in you), which means you are at least 30 years old and you are looking for men your age or older to settle with. Guess what? Most men this age are already married with few children so you are basically, husband-snatchers! How can we 'locals' compete against you when you offer our men financial rewards for leaving us? You promise them a life of comfort, free from responsibility with housing, car and all bills paid!! You show up, snatch them, put them up in a hotel, pay for the wedding and the dowry and after few weeks in honeymoon, where he spends his days avoiding phone calls from his wife and kids, you go back to your adopted home in the West. Back to your council estate, job or business where you continue to financially support him and promise to take him away from this land of hardship and poverty to the promised land with golden pavements and easy life.

We are kindly asking our sisters to please leave our men alone and stop destroying our families! There are enough Somali men in the Diaspora, aren't they enough?

Monday, January 16, 2012


Who on earth invented "gorgorad/slip"? I am sitting at a public space trying to work and there are lots of men around but can't focus, not because they are gorgeous, no...The gorgorad and bra are driving me nuts! I want nothing more than burning them in public and walking out with a transparent dress and dangling twins. Whoever said respect cultures wasn't wearing a "gorgorad".

Friday, January 13, 2012

Prison break

Sitting in a bar on a Tuesday night in Nairobi with my third glass of wine, country music playing! Suddenly, balloons in all colours, confetti all over the room, people dancing to 80s music, it is an amazing place to be, far from Somalia, work and the bloody tuk tuk flight…Then I look around and there are only 3 other people in the bar! Composed and nothing like the people dancing in the party taking place in my head.

Coping mechanisms against Somalia, Tuesday and religion. I think I am going to apply for extension to my prison term in Somalia, tho. I am not good with freedom, doesn’t come with instructions. I fear and love 2 things in life equally, freedom and choice. As much as I dislike (learning not to abuse words like hate) hijab and the pretentious religiosity, Somalia takes away freedom and choice…Just what I need right now.