A time comes in a Nairobian's life when living on their own becomes unacceptable. When a man or a woman gets tired of eating at the local kiosk, or eating microwaved food from Naivas, they opt to settle down in an institution called “marriage.” In spite of reports about how deadly this kind of arrangement can be, the two rush into each others arms and start planning a wedding. With the probability of a guy losing his life for failing to give money to his wife to buy shoes, and the woman at risk of dying at any time, all arrangements are finalized and a wedding happens.
After a wedding, which can be a grand affair if wedding shows on Kenyan TV screens are anything to go by, next comes the honeymoon. Honeymoon is a traditional holiday taken by newlyweds to celebrate their marriage in intimacy and seclusion, a concept introduced to us by our colonizers and friends, the British. In that country, like in many others, the honeymoon involves the couple leaving their city, and going somewhere they can be alone for a while. Usually the destinations are near large water bodies where the couple can stroll along the beach as they bond.
Unfortunately, like any concept that has been introduced to us by foreigners, Nairobians mess up the whole thing. You would think that because most couples, during TV interviews, proudly say they chose Zanzibar, Seychelles or Mombasa as their honeymoon destination, it is the typical experience of newly married couples. Nothing could be further from the truth. For those who cannot do the exotic destinations, there are other options.
a) The Jack Mkenya Honeymoon
This honeymoon involves a typical Jack Mkenya who has married Jane, and they are now ready for their trip away together. Jack, will, of course, opt to have a final drink with the boys in Njuguna's bar as his lady removes tonnes of makeup that she had on for her big day. As they engage in a drinking spree, he and the boys get so inebriated that they forget they were just waiting for the bride. As they gulp down the alcohol, they collectively, suddenly, change their plans for the evening, and decide that they will hop into their cars and head out to Fisherman's Camp in Naivasha. With the alcohol taking effect, they drive to Naivasha and stop by Kikopey for Nyama choma before proceeding with their impromptu destination. They eventually arrive and drink some more with the new husband getting so drunk that he gets into an 'altercation' with a hippo in the wee hours of the morning, which land him in a hospital. Meanwhile, his phone has a hundred missed calls from his very annoyed new wife.
b) The John Msoto Honeymoon
Another option is the John Msoto marrying Carol honeymoon. In this honeymoon, the couple decides to start their life together at Pork House where they spent many hours when they were courting at the behest of the groom. While here, John accosts Carol with the bill of the wedding they just came from, reminding her the demands of his new mother-in-law, and her insistence that she receives some pricey products before blessing their union. Another item in the bill is from the aunties, who suddenly appeared and stated that they too helped bring up Carol and they need some form of token before releasing her to her new family. With the bill before Carol, Msoto produces his payslip and after monthly deductions that will go towards offsetting wedding bills asks how on earth they will have a life together and still pay for a honeymoon. It is at this time that our poor Carol figures out that the real reason they are here is not for sentimental reasons but because he couldn't afford more that Sh450 for a meal at the moment in time. With this, the ideal honeymoon is shelved until such a time when they will afford it. This end the discussion. After all, in not more than 18 months, there will be a new person in the couple's life who will need to be fed and clothed.
Venue review: The Courtyard Gardens, Valley Road
The end of the month came, and as usual, the city of Nairobi was at gridlock as every single jalopy was driven to the small spaces that are in the central business district. I was on Valley Road contemplating how I will survive the traffic when I espied a sign of the Courtyard Gardens opposite Nairobi Pentecostal Church. I checked into the place to see what it was all about after I spotted an executive salon, with a limo parked at the front. Also in the rather small parking lot was several high-end cars, including the Range Rover.
I was interested to find out what was behind the salon as I saw many chairs in the open courtyard. I settled into one of the seats with round tables, which were in a lush green environment. The guys who designed this place must have had some of us in mind, who like having their drinks outdoors. It works on a sunny weekend, but with this cold weather, I did not enjoy myself.
I ordered my cold Tusker from the gracious waitress clad in black jeans and a red T-shirt. It was retailing at Sh200. The beer was brought immediately and as I was sipping, I took looked at the people in this place. It appeared as if they were in meetings, and they were a mite older than your average Masaku 7s fan. The men and women in their late 30s or older were the people in the place.
The outer side had a small stage, which is handy. According to Facebookers, the venue hosts a live band called Sound Afrique band every Saturday.
There was a small building hugging the wall of the neighboring property, and I walked in, after a while, and ordered another beer as I couldn't withstand the biting weather. This building had a counter as well as a TV, where one could watch sports.
A quick recap of the venue;
Good: Convenient location, great service, decent décor, clean washrooms, emergency exits.
Bad: The outdoors not ideal in cold weather and inadequate parking space.
My verdict: Wait for the cold season to come to an end and check this place out. Very nice.