I never in my life imagined that I would meet an African man, who is a chef, and was comfortable cooking for his wife. Those characteristics are very rare to find in an African man. Maybe an odiero, or an African who had traveled or travels a lot may at least have some sense when it comes to thinking straight about this issue. So meeting this guy who loved food and didn’t mind cooking for his wife, I must say, really made my evening.
I met Brian, (not his real name) in the line of duty. Cool guy, very friendly or was it because I was a guest and it was first impression. I don’t know. All I know is that he was very helpful and just maybe I might have had a crush on him. Well, I noticed this when I interviewed him and he told me that he had a wife, and a daughter. The lack of a wedding ring from my previous inspection of his left hand did not prepare me for the grand disappointing news when he told me about it. Team mafisi in action lol. He spoke of how he cooked for his wife, exuding lots of passion as he described how he presents the food. My goodness, I had to end the interview, shake his hand and tell him its a wrap. But little did I know that we would meet again. Not once. Not twice maybe if God allows many more times. It turns out he’s single.
So we met again, this time in a restaurant, out of his element. This is the second time we are meeting and unfortunately am always casual when we meet, in jeans and my signature sandals. he looks at me and gives this mmmhhh smile, and in my mind am trying to figure out just what exactly he is thinking about. I shrug off those thoughts and choose not to care. Once, I used to care about my looks, wear heels, look all girlish and pretty but after I discovered that men took women from the village as wives or those yellow yellow women whose only accomplishment is to put on make up and raise their skirts. Am callous about these things nowadays so I really didn’t care.
The restaurant was full. There were all sorts of people there. Some lovers, others discussing business and others, well were there just to kill time. You can tell by how they sip their fanta slowly checking out guys who enter the hotel, pretending to browse on their phones. We finally get a seat. It’s comfortable and intimate and we can see each other face to face and ‘discuss.’ The waiter comes in and gives us the menu. I let him take the order and him being a chef, takes me through the vocubs in the chef world. He looks at the sugar jar and sighs.
“This is what we call waste”, he says opening the lid and checking inside to see the level of the sugar.
“Why?”, I ask trying to check out just what he is seeing in the jar.
“These people should introduce sachets to conserve sugar. How can they leave sugar to just lie around and people to just waste.” He closes the jar. The waiter brought the juice that he ordered for me and the black tea that he craved for.
“I never drink anything using straws,’ he says looking at how lazily I drank the mango juice. “They are plastic and whether you believe it or not, they react with the juice and it can bring cancer. I never cover my food with plastic. And by the way, that’s not the real mango juice. I can detect by the concentration that these guy just added water and sugar.”
The news scared me. So scared was I that I stopped drinking the cold, now fake mango juice that I had ordered. The waitress brought the sausages. It took a long time before they came. They looked thin and burnt.
“So why are these sausages looking burnt,” Brian asked carefully inspecting the sausages with a fork.
“They just got burnt. We are sorry.” The waitress said, taking the burnt sausages to the kitchen. On my side, honestly, I had swallowed my two sausages, despite the fact that I noticed they were not in their usual shape and color.
“I love food Harriet. Food is my passion. When I come to the hotel I expect great service. Not a casual, sloppy thing like what these guys have shown me today. After all, its my right. I paid for it, donge?” He said smiling, his face shinning like the sun. It was then that I noticed his clean shaved hair and side burns. he looked smashing. Frankly, a desire arose within me just to kiss him but I didn’t. He cut me short.
“If you came to my house, you would never know, by the look of my food that am broke. I know how to prepare it in different ways.”
He went on and on about food and the different ways of preparing it. I’ve always had interest in learning recipes but not enough passion to enjoy cooking. I hate it. It reminds me of being forced to be perfect in it for a man to regard me as a perfect wife. Reminded me of the countless times I fought and argued with my mother over who was to cook or when, by mistake, I cooked raw ugali or burnt kales texting, browsing, watching my favorite show. And here I was, seated next to a guy whose passion was food, who didn’t mind whether I knew or loved how to cook or not, whose value system about women was what you can bring on the table and your availability to him. Kumbe there are such guys out there and not all of them are supposedly dogs! Pray for me my dear brethren that I hit this jack pot.