I’ve been wondering about the whole blogging thing. I average around one post a month, which I’d penalise if I was the Blog-Keeper, but I blog about the past (which is static) so I guess I can get away with it. In any case, there’s only so much reminiscing that one can do. I keep meaning to set up the ‘memories database’ with all kinds of useful and interesting information about Nairobi, info that – you never know – might be used by some history grad (majoring on “new world cities”) 57 years from now. Maybe I’ll set up that database someday, gradually.
It’s the 1 year anniversary of this blog in a few days, and it’s hard to believe that it’s been one earth year – which, in internet time, is like three years at least. Time really is a relative thing.
Initially, I planned to blog as myself, and to blog about mundane thoughts, rather than directly about the past. At the time it seemed like a blog – or a blogspot – was a tiny, unknown minute fraction of the web, like those obscure lonesome geocities webpages that average 1.5 visitors a week. There’s something quirky and cosy about them, - like that site “nicecupoftea" or something.
Within a couple of posts, my blog alter ego Memoire took form, and I censored stuff that revealed info about myself per se, preferring to make anecdotes more general, and to opine less than I would have. I liked it that way. I like to think that it’s a unique writing style, revelling in the mix of three languages (English, Kiswahili, Sheng – although don’t ask me what 70% of Sheng words mean nowadays, I have no idea).
I also like the way that people stumble upon my blog and write that it’s really made them laugh, or that they’ve spent the whole day here. It makes me smile and I hope that new people keep stumbling on this blog as long as blogspot.com exists (how do blogspot gain revenue? What’s in it for them, hosting thousands of blogs? Do they ever read our blogs, and what do they think of them? Hey, blogspot.com people thanks for blogspot.com)
In actuality, backintheday Nairobi wasn’t all that, neither is backinthedayanywhere ever all that (“nostalgia aint what it used to be” quipped someone). People revel in childhood memories because the past is static and safe. Memories change into technicolour, through rose-tinted lens and complete with a sickly-sweet melodious soundtrack. But imagine that today is someone’s ‘backintheday’ – they’re out there, living it, breathing it, and they’re not necessarily having the time of their life.
I couldn’t wait – just literally couldn’t wait – to grow up. When I turned (X yrs) phheew I was out of there in a flash and have lived independently ever since. To this day, not love, money or anything can convince me to get into a time machine and go back to being a non-adult. Adulthood is underrated. Heck, you can do whatever you want to do. You can pack your bags and become a communist in the wilderness. You can say whatever you want to say, be whomever you want to be, without those silly playground rules and those vacuous people in school (and their followers) with their vacuous pursuits. I still have disdain for that whole culture (precursor to “celebrity culture”) and I instinctively prefer things or people that don’t conform. I love those people who just up and leave and go teach English in Papua New Guinea or something. It’s so fabulous. Being an adult, you don’t have to withstand anyone, or put up with or tolerate anything.
The first time I said “this is my place, I pay the bills, and if you don’t like my rules there is the door” Oh yes, it was as sweet as sweet can be. First time I unplugged the phone, ‘cause it’s my phone and I’ll unplug it if I want to; first time I had a bubble bath with sips of red wine and the bathroom door wide open and Miles Davis blazing out of speakers in my lounge. Oh yes, sweet as sweet is. The first time I painted the walls, the first time I signed a lease … all little but priceless memories. Reminiscing doesn’t stop just because you’ve stopped growing bones, and growing doesn’t ever stop at all.
I’m people-phobic in many ways – I never was before boarding school, and I see myself as a rebel in many respects, riding a cart into the sunset. Freedom is the sweetest thing ever, and when else to be free but when you’re an adult? Choice is a beautiful thing too and you can’t make your own choices until you are an independent adult. Memoire is somewhat of an illusion, though backinthedaynbi.blogspot.com is a little cosy place in one small corner of the zillions of gigabytes that are the Web.
So, keep reading if this is your first time (“karibu and siti downi”), and for regular guests, extra-thanks for your comments and interest in backinthedaynbi (special thanks to Adrian, what a top-notch guy). Bloggers, keep blogging for as long as you want to. I wonder which blogs will still be active a year, five years, ten years from now. Some? Most? A few? I wonder if I’ll do an anniversarial blog post one day. I hate it when people disappear from their blogs bila explanation (worse still if the blog disappears), and it’s always nice if there’s some kind of conclusion if a blog is coming to an end. Asanteni for your interest in my posts, and werocamu anytime you want to reminisce. Cha Cha.