One of the other volunteers is leaving next week so tonight was going to his last night at the British High Commission ‘pub’ so if figured it was a good excuse to go over and join in.
When I arrived I found that they had a new system in place and unlike before where you had to sign in now your name had to be on the members list before you can go to the bar. Considering I have been going on and off for the last three months, I have a drinks card at the bar and all the other volunteers are members, I was suprised when the security guard told me I was NOT a member. After a brief exchange of polite words, I was finally let in.
Upon entering the bar we were met by a dog!! I and another volunteer are terrified of dogs so we were a bit hesitant. The owner of the dog, who is an expat High Commission staff member and for that night was working behind the bar turned to me and said
” You will be ok the dog is African too”
I can not comment on his reasons for making that statement but I fail to understand the logic behind it. Irrespective of the dogs nationality, ancestry, surname, blood group or whatever we are not the same species and to expect me to feel at home with this creature on the basis that it is African made me feel as though he was implying that we were of the same species.
I finally got to the actual bar and was about to order a drink when the other expat type lady apologised to me about the issue at the entrance, she said my name was on the list (and my she should have shut up right about here!) but she did not know my surname (rubbish because my card behind the bar has both my names) and she went on to say it was hard enough remembering what my first name was and then went on to make funny noises and odd variations on my name.
Now I accept to a non-Kenyan person and in some cases non-Kikuyu people the name Kui can be a bit tricky to grasp because the u is pronounced as an o but other than that I do not see what issue anyone would have with a three letter name especially when people in Engalnd are able to spell and pronounce the name Siobhan (pronounced Sheevon!). And even if you find it difficult to pronounce my name I doubt making fun of my name is the best way to go about.
I got my drink and sat down and no sooner had a taken a sip the telephone at the bar rang and African dog man picked it up. It was the security guard asking if I had got in ok (??) and African dog man was relaying the message across the bar. Apparently the guard was asking for a lady with dreadlocks and African dog man shouted out;
“Is there a lady here with dreadlocks? Bob Marley”
I can clearly say that going to the British High is like trampling on my ancestors’ grave and I never want to return.