It's that time of the year. No, not the time when children are at home with their parents for August holiday – you know, when most parents have had to increase their budget on food with bread and margarine being top of the list.
Neither is it the time when streets of Nairobi are flooded with teenagers, nor the time when you find most shopping malls teeming with teens. Well, you may be so but it is the WEDDING SEASON.
In Kenya, most weddings are held in the last quarter of the year – perhaps to close it with a bang- and the season kicks off in August. I'm sure, you have attended quite a number already.
This is the time you will see Mercedes Benz, BMWs, Rolls Royce and other kinds of high-end cars garishly decorated with ribbons, shuttling married couples around different venues for church ceremonies, photo sessions, receptions and evening parties.
An interesting thing that most people do not notice about these weddings is that they follow a certain pattern. Most ceremonies involve a bunch of friends getting married over a period of a year or two.
This tendency confirms that peer pressure is not a reserve for teens only; you can bow to pressure in whatever age you are in, and especially when it has to do with marriage.
No one wants to remain in a bachelor club when all their friends have tied knots in lavish wedding ceremonies. You don't want to miss out on the fun. It is a fact that marriage, as an institution has its numerous challenges, and getting into one blindly to keep up with the Jonesses is not a good idea.
Away from peer pressure victims – we should empathise with those who missed the boat and are stuck in singlehood. It is heartbreaking to see your age mates all married with families, and seemingly happy when you are all alone.
Albeit this drives you to want to settle down within the shortest time possible. Having to spend a whole weekend out of town taking shots of tequila and dancing until the wee hours of the morning while your friends spend Saturday afternoons bonding with their children makes you feel weird.
You get even more desperate because your married friends are no longer there to watch your back after having one too many or to take selfies on Electric Avenue in Westlands, Nairobi.
Sometimes, this loner may decide to look for new single friends who probably see the world the way he or she sees it for consolation, especially when he or she learns another friend has decided to quit bachelor club yet he or she has no plans of settling down anytime soon. Not a good situation to find yourself in. It is even worse when close family and friends gang up against the poor Nairobian and probe his or her marriage prospect. Do not panic. Here are some of the suggestions on how to deal with this predicament.
a) The Sour Grapes Approach
We have all heard about the monkey that tries to reach for grapes up in a tree, but upon failing to reach for some, it says it didn't want them and that they were probably sour. This defensive approach comes in handy, especially when in a situation where you are asked questions you do not consider friendly. Some of them include: When will you settle down? At times you are approached indirectly and a family member tells you stories about your age mate whose child has cleared secondary school and is about to join university. Your answer should bring to the fore the many marriages in shambles and how the institution is undesirable for any right-thinking person. Many cases abound in our society so you should find no problem highlighting the challenges – murder, incest and infidelity. You can borrow a comment made on Classic 105's breakfast show with Maina and King'angi.
b) The 50s are the new 30s approach
When people remind you that you recently turned 50, and that you are not exactly a young fellow, then you need to remind whoever is asking you that we are in the 21st century. In this century, people are living longer so there is no need to rush. You may remind the questioner about a grandmother in South America who was the surrogate to her daughter's child so the issues of child-bearing and rearing shouldn't be too much of a problem in this day and age. The 50s are the new 30s nowadays.
c) Holding out for the right person
The questioner will be reminded of the 'mad' people out there in the dating pool. You will remind the person who dares ask you that they married because of peer pressure or an unplanned pregnancy, and you will not be caught up in the same mess. You will meet the perfect man or woman who will make your life complete or you will not settle down. Settling down is simply not your style.
Venue Review: The Shisha Corner, Laico Regency, Uhuru Highway
Shisha is a smoking product that has become very popular in recent times with many clubs allowing its sale. So what is it? It is a syrupy tobacco mix containing molasses and vegetable glycerol smoked in a hookah or bong.
The hookah, for the uninitiated, is a waterpipe through which water or vapour passes through when smoking it. Shisha comes in various flavours including apple, grape, guava, lemon, mint, as well as many other fruit-based mixes.
The anti-drugs body Nacada and the Ministry of Health recently proscribed 19 Shisha flavours that were found to contain bhang, heroine and cocaine. Even with this, the other flavours are still legal and extremely popular.
I recently sampled The Shisha Corner at the Laico ground floor to see just what this shisha hype is all about. The joint is on the Uhuru Highway overlooking Uhuru Park. The entrance to Shisha has a no smoking sign but customers are allowed to smoke shisha available at the place.
The set up of the hotel is similar to an Arabian joint with carpeted floors and pillows for people to sit as they smoke shisha. A young gentleman, whose uniform was topped off by a tarboush, a red hat with a black tassel hanging over the side, was serving customers. I settled into a seat in the corner.
On one side was a stand with well prepared chicken kebab. Forget the misshapen, ugly-looking sausages you are used to in Nairobi. These kebabs are made from chicken or beef staked on a piece of metal. It is then cut off by the chef and put in pita bread. At the time, I was eating chicken kebabs.
I was told smoking shisha would cost me Sh1,000 for one session.
The crowd in here was predominately male and older with an eclectic mix of gentlemen of all races. They seemed to enjoy shisha. The joint has a few TVs for sports lovers to watch their favourite matches.
The hotel has washrooms. It also has several emergency exits.
If you want to enjoy shisha as you watch a game with your men friends, this is a good place to be.