Over there, yes those ones

The white women taking a picture

Of the falls, merry and all

Yes, they made me come here

Dragged me, to be honest

I still don’t know how to feel

Embarrassed or indifferent

That I know less of my land

Than the foreigners, the visitors

That I don’t marvel in the beauty

God-given and a-plenty

That I take it for granted

My ignorance, my disregard

I still don’t know how to feel

But I’m here, glad I came

And maybe, maybe just one day

I’ll be the one showing our beauty

To other white ones, and their kin.

#nkima

A while ago (read April), I received an email from the lovely Karen of BonApp letting me know that I had won vouchers worth 200 RMB to eat at two fantastic restaurants I had never been to. I was ecstatic, and so quick to arrange the delivery of the vouchers. What I wasn’t so good at was convincing my friends to go with me to try out these places. My vouchers became a number on the list of places we could go to for the endless farewell dinners we were fixing in between studying for finals and packing for the summer. That is, until I forgot about them!

Fast-forward to my grumpiness on having missed out on the first Kampala Restaurant Week, and my having to pack a bag for a weekend trip to Guangzhou, and…lo and behold! There were my long-forgotten vouchers for meals at Singapore Kitchen and Pistolera expiring on 9th June!

I texted my good friend, who I’d been trying to make plans to catch a meal with amidst the crazy that is the first few weeks of internship, and we decided to hit both restaurants in one night.

First stop was Singapore Kitchen, which is actually at the Carrefour 大拇指 plaza area (surprise, surprise NYUSH students!). Being the #FailedFoodie that I am, of course I ordered a full Thai meal at a Singaporean restaurant. Hey, don’t judge!

Soup: Tom Yum Kung

Curry: Green Chicken Curry

Rice: 2 bowls of Jasmine Rice

Dessert: Mango Sticky Rice

Drink: House-brewed Tea, Coke

 

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It was such a wonderful idea that Alhan and I decided to share the meal, because guess what? We kinda couldn’t even finish what we ordered! The Tom Yum was such equal measures of spicy and heavenly, that the first taste was a shock to our taste buds. Living in Shanghai, where meals are almost never spicy enough…even at the Indian restaurants, unless you’ve specifically asked the kitchen to amp it up for you, it’s always a pleasurable shock to get “good-spicy”. The Tom Yum was so good; it reminded me of having a dish in the backstreets of Chatuchak in between bargain-hunting sprees. Yes, that delish! I’d say it was a tad oilier than usual, maybe from more chilli oil or a oil-base tom yum paste, but it was a lot better than what I’ve had in a while.

The green curry chicken was not a disappointment either. I could have had it spicier, but Alhan said it was perfectly fine…then again, he was still recovering from the Tom Yum hit. I was so busy stuffing myself with rice and curry that I almost forgot that I had my all-time favourite dessert waiting! The mango sticky rice with coconut was a pleasure to the tongue after the flavours of the soup and curry. Despite my longstanding discontent with the mangoes in China, Singapore Kitchen managed to source mangoes I had no qualms with, they were ripe enough and the dessert cold enough for the tasting. We both left too full, and with a promise to one day come back and maybe try actual authentic Singaporean cuisine as we’d planned!

Second stop was Pistorela, a Mexican cantina with such lovely ambience and lighting. We stopped by for drinks before we both called it a night, and because of the hour – 9pm on a Monday night, it was pretty much just us and a few patrons catching a late meal or winding down.

Hers: Pistorela Punch – Tequila 1800, orange, lime, granadine, 7up and aromatic bitters.

His: Pistorela Sangria with red apple, orange bits

 

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Alhan found his Sangria great with the flavour enhanced by the dark red wine the mixer preferred to use, I on the other hand found my cocktail too sweet. It was too much of a sugar rush that I only managed to take one to Alhan’s two Sangrias. We both however agreed on the fact that this branch of Pistorela warranted another visit, simply for the atmosphere of the place and it’s (kinda) convenient location in Xujiahui.

 

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Geylan Geylan Singapore Kitchen:

199 Fangdian Lu, Thumb Plaza, 1/F, Room 40, near Dingxiang Lu
芳甸路199弄大拇指广场1楼40号, 近丁香路

Open Daily: 11am – 10pm

021 5866 0399

Pistorela:

838-2 Hengshan Lu, near Tianping Lu
衡山路838-2号, 近天平路

Open Daily: 9am – 1am

021 5461 0619

http://www.pistolera.cn

The old adage ‘We make plans and God laughs’ made so much sense to me on Sunday. And this time God wasn’t chuckling. He had that table hitting, tummy hurting, rolling on the floor kind of laugh at our plans to go to Kidepo Valley National Park. As you’ve probably imagined, this is about how nothing went according to plan.

Wait, what was the plan?
It was a solid plan. A plan that took one year to make. The group in Kotido was to meet the group of Kaabong and off we’d go to Kidepo Valley National Park. The plan was to camp at the camping site in the park. The plan was to have an early morning game drive, after all when else will you see the lions or the leopards for that matter? The plan was to take lots selfies and have the following hashtags #Kidepo #camping #excursion #mycoberssiteisbetterthanyours #Karamoja #funtimes…. I get carried away really easily when it comes to hashtags. However that was the plan. It was a solid plan, if I say so myself.
 
So, what went wrong?
Everything!!! Read the plan we had?  Now read it again. Nothing went according to plan. And when I say nothing I mean zero. Nought. Zéro. The plan started crumbling on Saturday. The Kotido group that was supposed to be in Kaabong by 3:30pm latest, arrived at 10:30 pm. It had rained so heavily on Saturday that the roads were almost impassable. I was told that on their way to Kaabong, the car got stuck on a seasonal river that had obviously started flowing and they had to push it out of the river. All this in the night. So the camping plan? It became a sleepover plan. However, we still wanted to catch the early morning game drive so we planned to leave our residence at 0400 hours. I was so excited I only slept for two hours! No kidding!! That 0400 hours plan? Yeah it didn’t work either. I tend to hate the phrase ‘African time’ because I try as much as possible to make sure it’s not applicable as regards to me but you know Africans and our pathetic time keeping? Eventually, we set off at 0430 hours. It was a smooth journey for only 25 minutes. Then, the  car just stopped. I really wish I could give you details but I’m lousy at car things. What I do know though is that we were stuck for 15 minutes in the dark in the middle of nowhere. Whatever it was that was wrong was fixed and our journey continued on, not too smoothly though. There were a few times we skidded off the road but got back on track. The third time we skidded, we weren’t too lucky. We drove right into a puddle and just like that, we were stuck! 
 
The sun was hardly up when we got stuck.
 
When photos were part of the plan you take them no matter what!!
It’s all fun and games till you see steam coming out of your car. This is what people who know about cars call ‘heating up’ I hear.
We were  told we were in a place called Kapedo that was only 7kms from the national park. Imagine being so close to your destination and yet so far. There was no Airtel network and MTN could only manage one bar of signal. I honestly have never felt so clueless and helpless about a situation. Right about this time we were holding on to the hope of a Good Samaritan. And as luck would have it a soldier passed by and promised to get us a tractor that’d pull us out. That was at 0800 hours and we’d been there for one hour. However, two and a half hours later there was still no sign of a tractor and still not one car had passed by us.
The place is beautiful though. And yes, this is still Karamoja.
1100 hours had better luck though. Some people on their journey to we don’t know where helped us out after reprimanding us for not being well equipped with spades and shovels. Spades and shovels!! They pulled our car out of the mud. And right after doing so the tractor came. That tractor reminds me a little of how in the movies the policemen show up right after all the hard crime-fighting work has been done.
 Pulling the car out of the mud. Yes people, these are the roads that have been making news all week long.
When the car was brought out, we realised that the hose pipe had been damaged and definitely required repairing. There was no one in sight and our Good Samaritans had left. All our energies were then directed to fixing the car. We eventually called the national park to send engineers to help us out. At this point time we were all hungry. We’d gone through so many phases of hunger, even nausea that the only option left was sleep. I think I need to describe this hunger better. You see because we wanted to catch the morning drive so badly we went without breakfast. We had packed a few daddies and biscuits that we finished way before the car stopped the first time. It was hours since our last real meal. While people were debating on whether to turn back to Kaabong town or to continue to Kidepo when the car was fixed, my stand remained the same ‘whichever got me food fastest’. And as though that wasn’t bad enough, the clouds were turning dark which basically meant that if it rained, the roads would be worse than they already were which would mean that we’d have to remain in Kapedo hungry and all alone.
My ‘I’m hungry, get me food now!’ Selfie.
So many cars past us by afterwards: NGO cars, personal cars, inquiring about the situation but nobody really helping. There is one car that passed by us that I remember vividly about. It was a sleek black car with a government registration number. I didn’t get to see who was in but just like the rest, he inquired and went on his way. The same car did pass by again about two hours later, however, by this time, the park engineers had already come. This time though I recognised him. He stopped to greet us and it was the Minister of Ethics and Integrity: Hon. Fr. Lokodo Simon in the flesh without any security detail. He did speak to us and he was really kind. He apologised for not thinking to bring us food. Apparently he didn’t expect to find us again, still stuck. So you can imagine his surprise when he passed by the third time and found the same fatigued faces of stranded university students he’d left behind with a messed up car that was still being fixed. He immediately ordered the one of the park officials to be drive us to the park in one of the pick up trucks the engineers had come with. So yes if you did see a bunch of overly excited uni students at the back of a pick up in the news that was us. I have never seen people so excited to be on a pick up truck. And as we were being driven to the park, I saw the sky change, it was clearing and at that point, I knew in my heart that our luck was changing.
How many times do you get too sit at the back of a pick up truck and be this happy about it? No seriously, how many?
 
Yes, it was a real pick up truck!
 
Denis!! No one beats him at being optimistic. No one!! 

The ride was a lot of bumpy it was so much fun. The entire experience of being stuck for over eight hours taught me a lot about myself and also about many of my friends. Like how Denis is literally the hope of hopes and me? I need food to survive. I learnt that about me. When we eventually did reach Kidepo Valley National Park, we forgot our fatigue, our hunger and our troubles. We had finally made it!!
I’d definitely love to continue, however, recounting the events has gotten me fatigued. Another day maybe?

‘Oh, you are going to Karamoja?’ They asked. ‘Make sure you pack light. It’s really hot there you know!’ That was last year. And I did pack a little light with a few heavy clothes and I got the shock of my existence. Kaabong, the place I’m at was colder than Kampala and it wasn’t even the rainy season!!!! I tried to pack better this time round but I won’t lie this weather never ceases to surprise me. It’s the rainy season now and gets as cold as 14 degrees Celsius. To you guys who have winter, that is pretty warm. However, I’m a tropical kid, that in my world is the definition of freezing.

I came to Karamoja expecting dry grass and thickets with naked men with spears all over the town. The very thought of it embarrasses me. However, if I were to play the blame game, I’d blame the media for showing us only what they want us to see. What I found here is not I grew up seeing on the television. Okay, a little is true but the negative parts were a little….scratch that too exaggerated. I promised an unbiased version of the Kaabong I’ve spent quite a while in.

This is my favourite hangout spot in this entire place. It’s the offices of an NGO called Mercy Corps. It has the craziest view ever!!! I’m obsessed, literally!! Also the offices have wifi. I’m a city girl!! You can take me out of the city but you can’t take my obsession with wifi out of me. Also, I insist the view is everything.

This is the view. Nothing like the gods must be crazy apparently.

 

While I’m still obsessing over the view, this swing, because no one ever outgrows their love for swings.
   

Whoever said that the whole of Karamoja is hot and dry definitely hadn’t been here.



Did I mention these adorable dogs? They are so likeable and this is coming from someone who isn’t a big fan of animals . Poor things were looking for some sun. I don’t blame them, it’s  that cold!!

   
And this is how Kaabong says goodnight.  

 

 

Well I guess y’all already know by now that I’m a medical student. Yeah I’m not going to bore you with how much I’m totally in love with pharmacology. One of the many perks of the programme at my university is that once a year we get to travel to a hard to reach area and actually see first hand the health situation of our country. Wait, this should be more interesting. Anyway, I’m almost three weeks in an underpopulated, extremely hard to reach area – it took us two days to get here – at the upper most corner of Uganda. Yes!! Get your maps out! I’m in Karamoja and making the most of this place. 

I plan to show you Karamoja the way I see it!! And come on I’m a dental student so heck yeah I’ll have photos of me in a coat! 

This is my Karamoja experience. 😊 

Disclaimer: I’m not good at photography. Only my selfie game is strong.

And I’m back to finish my descriptions of the trio. This time I will throw glorious light on my amazing personality. Yep, you read that right! I, Jeroline will use prose to paint a wonderfully truthful description of myself.

But, maybe if you know her just a little, you’ll already know by now that it’s not thing Jeroline would do. Talk about herself in more detail than the usual online bio requires? Nah. Maybe Angela, definitely not Jeroline. So, because Jeroline failed to complete her assigned task and introduce the three of us, in full detail, we decided to do it for her. Yes, we work that well together that we finish each other’s assignments. And because it’s Jeroline, it is only fitting that she gets the full (not spa) treatment.

Our relationship, the three of us, has very interesting dynamics. Angela is the go-getter. She is always pushing us to be better than our best. She follows her dreams however silly they may be. I am well me. I’m the awkward one. Jeroline though is the factor that keeps all of us sane.

When I think of the first encounter the three of us together, I remember three thirteen year old girls arguing on the first day of the school year over a seat. It left two girls in tears and two mothers consoling their daughters with words that proved that momma always knows best. And the third girl? Well let’s say she had selective amnesia because till this day Angela doesn’t (fully) remember the events of that day.

A relationship that began with tears changed so dramatically. That thirteen year old I apparently made cry has been one of the best things that ever happened to my life. Of course there have been more tears in the course of these 8 years but all the other situations it was either of us wiping them off each other’s cheeks.

Jeroline is one of those people that goes by many names, in many circles. She, somehow and still mysteriously to me, finds something good in everyone. If it’s hidden, she has the patience to dig for it. And if she fails to find anything she likes about you (yes, it’s happened), you’d be the last one to know! She’s so courteous, so charming, so totally likeable that she grows on you until there’s no way you could imagine never having been friends with her. She’s like an old soul or friend-in-a-previous-life, but for everyone! The best part about this is that she does it unconsciously, like it comes as natural as sneezing to her. (Yes, you’re always sneezing J!) Jeroline to me is love manifested. From her, I learnt to let go (kinda) and let the people that I love know that I love them. I wouldn’t want to ever lose someone I love and not have them know that I did. Because it’s not so often that you get to feel like you’d be there for someone through whatever hook, crook and cranny that exists on earth. It’s not everyday that you get someone tell you that they’d do the same for you. You can suspect it, but there’s something in knowing for sure. I personally like to know for sure because I believe in the conviction of the words we have the courage to utter. (Sidenote: Jeroline believes in the conviction of the written word, so she writes it out.) We are as different and as similar as Yin and Yang. In almost everything! And we’d definitely need more than a blog with finite storage space limitations to tell you all of them. But you know what all that is, in total? Balance. Jeroline is my balance. And God knows I’m grateful.

The thing about Jeroline is that you just have to love her. God put her on this earth to show love. Her heart is so big and it amazes me how she can have so many friends and be so nice to so many people. And in the words of the ever amazing Ed Sheeran ‘loving can hurt’ and boy do we all know this! The difference is that she just keeps on loving and it’s one of the most endearing things about her.

I fancy myself as a strong person. I do not break down to tears just anywhere. I might freak out like crazy when things don’t go exactly as planned but when I’m sad…no I’ll not let you see that. Jeroline is the breaking point for me. When she gets into the picture I usually figure it’s no point being strong for me as there is someone to do that now. If we each had a pound for the number of times Jero offered her hand out for me to hold on to and I ended up holding on too tight….too afraid to let my source of strength go we’d be Ugandan millionaires. 😉

Beautiful doesn’t begin to describe this girl. And I’m honestly not exaggerating. Okay maybe I am but just a little. She like everyone has a few off days but her off days are equivalent to my ‘I’ve killed it days’. (This is when Angela should interject and say that it’s not true at all, that I actually have quite a bunch of good days – you know what they say about birds of a feather T, I’m definitely getting my present-day beauty from osmosis through y’all!!). So you don’t really want to know what she looks like when Jero kills it….walking goddess. You want proof? Follow my instagram account I have 25 too many photos of her.

I haven’t met anyone else who actually doesn’t mind taking a gazillion selfies with me and doesn’t think me vain. Wait, there’s Angela but she’s not around. But Jero and I use photos as therapy. Like “Wait you’re sad? Lets take selfies!” and just like that an anatomy paper ceases to be an issue. I know that as long as I live and I’m still friends with this girl I’ll not never need a shrink!! This girl listens and doesn’t judge. Like I said when God was making her He knew she was a gift to this world.

So every day as I count my blessings I never miss to count Jero and I always remember my mother telling a crying thirteen year old me that something good might come out of this situation. Like I said momma is always right.

(This piece is written in response to Of Becoming A Man by Shawn posted on a Ugandan blog.)

When I was a child

I was a big one, but a child I was nonetheless,

I questioned everything

But never how I came to be, I was me:

My mother’s and my father’s and my brother’s and my cousins’

I belonged to them much the same as my body was my own

 

It was normal for me to sleep on my own bed

To have siblings in other houses with other mothers

I recall moments of lots of cousins and neighbours

Filling our house with the sound of children and games

So much so that by the time my sister came along

I had more than my fill of that dreaded good-for-your-health glass of milk

 

But before then, I had learned to walk and dominate

I was excelling in childish kickboxing by age 4, and had a brother to fight

I mastered the pouts for ice-cream, fishing trips and days “stuck” in the house

I knew nothing of team sports but enough of Power Rangers and Supa Strikas

And, surprisingly, too much of The MacGyver Show and WWE Wrestling.

 

Of how I grew older, I do not remember

But I can to this day recite most Ladybird Books as if I just read them

And while I learnt of that dark terror that can visit us early on

I never once doubted that I’d reunite with those I loved that’d gone

And those that loved me were surely still aplenty on this earth

 

The affection was assured, however implicit

But the reprimand was never shy for an appearance

Whoever had raised my mother had left an imprint

Never was an error spared of a sharp rebuke

Yet still, never was an achievement of virtue or hardwork

Forgotten nor gone unrewarded for its good

 

Years, yes they seem so flimsy now, passed on quick

Amidst the whines on the banality of primary school

The boys we teased had grown taller still, the girls prettier yet

The newly-minted men and ladies marvelled in the thrills of courting

And no sooner started in relishing in the spoils of the game

Than did we realise that we had to bid adieu to the roost

 

So Mama, the alpha and omega of the family she reigned over

Wished me well with making my own calls in life

Telling me: darling, now you’ve grown into your own

Decisions I have made for you, and now you’ll help me with mine

Knowledge, virtue and self-love you have, a lady you surely have become

 

I shall joyfully see you leave mine and start your own

For the world is yours, anytime you choose to claim it

You can undoubtedly speak our tongue and those of other men,

And I am proud to say that I have raised you right from feeble chick

Please, stride on and be glad for you are now a lady become!

Many people complain about everything they don’t have so much that they completely ignore everything they actually do have. I was one of those people for the longest time until it got old. Because it’s pretty surreal having not one, but two people who think you are smart, beautiful and cool- especially when those are the last adjectives you would use to describe yourself in that moment.

We make an odd trio, my girls and I. To the outside world, we seem… Hell I don’t know how the outside world would look at us because we can’t quite explain it ourselves. The oddest things make us happy and the silliest things tick us off. Our relationship is not anywhere near obsessive as many might think. We actually do have lives outside each other. Fulfilling, happy lives. But it’s always a party when we do link up. Our definition of a “party” being the occasional laugh when one of us finds something hilarious online and making fun of it for about all of three minutes before going right back to it. Or meeting up for lunch and airing out all our dirty laundry, only to be reminded by a quiet chuckle that we had company. Said company would attest to the saying that “Being a third wheel to lovers sucks but there’s nothing worse than being a third wheel to best friends” (or in his unfortunate case, fourth wheel) So you might now have an idea what I meant by “odd” trio. Leticia, Angela and I.

LETICIA:

She has a flair for drama although she denies it every chance she gets. But it’s why we love her. She’s also as loyal as it gets. She’s the kind that will tell you you’re prettier than your ex’s new girl, even if said new girl is Jennifer Aniston. Recently, she’s had a lot going on and I’ve, well, not. So naturally, I felt a tiny bit ignored until I mentally kicked myself for being needy. On Valentine’s Day eve (apparently that’s a thing these days), I wasn’t feeling too great- I had just had a tooth hacked (yes, hacked!) out and it hurt like a bitch- so I was depressed at my lack of Valentine prospects (HA!) and feeling sorry for myself because of the pain, when she just showed up. Out of the blue. Unannounced. Unexpected. I was moved almost to tears till I reminded myself that this was Leticia. That she did this kind of thing. And that I was a fool for doubting for even a second that she’d always come through for me- for anyone that’s lucky enough to call her friend. She was content just sitting with me and explaining to me all the processes that were currently taking place in my mouth (Note to self: In next life, convince her to stay away from any course medicine related). The girl can drive you crazy with all her medical jargon. But I didn’t really mind this time, because she was here! My best friend was with me and that in itself was therapy enough. Which is only fitting because the moment she left, I went right back to counting the hours before my next painkiller fix. That’s what Leticia is. A balm. She has that presence that automatically soothes. Her clumsiness that we give her constant hell for, her dancing (refer to previous comment) , her speech that sounds like rap song to the untrained ear, her sometimes indiscreet comments that earn us disapproving glances, all add to her natural charm and to the darn near perfect package that’s her.

Being a Physicist myself, I’m in no position to disagree with the experimentally proven statement that “like poles repel while unlike poles attract” that people seem to have adopted into their lives and relationships. But Letty and I prove otherwise because we are like two sides of the same coin. Granted, we do have our differences like (thank you lord!) our taste in guys, but for the most part, we like the same things and people. Usually, if I have taken an instant dislike to someone, I will not be embarrassed to discuss it with her because more often than not, she’ll feel exactly the same way. We have the same taste in music (and this is not a very good thing because my music is what sets me apart from the rest of the world), the same celebrity crushes, even the same taste in clothes we’ll never wear -as of yesterday (ok maybe not never, we’re on the right paths to being stinking rich). When I feel low, it’s almost a given that she won’t be having the greatest day either. It also helps that we were born 13 days apart, a fact that she never fails to rub in my face because she turns a year older a handful of days before me. It’s easy with Letty. We don’t have to try too hard. Most times we don’t even have to try at all! And that fits right in with my latest motto that says “Take the path of least resistance”.

 

ANGELA:

Angela and I are a bit more complicated. As she said, we are different-as-night-and-day-yet-overwhelmingly-similar. She has a plan for her entire life while I wing it. Uncertainty is terrifying for her while for me, it’s an inescapable part of life. She wants to travel and see the world and she’s already making good on that while as much as I want to see the world too, ain’t no way I’m doing it alone. She will say what she feels, the consequences be damned, and I’ll try to spare everyone’s feelings. She’ll think every situation through from every angle before she decides, and I’ll dive right in. Her favorite song on Ed Sheeran’s album “X” is “The Man” while mine is “Thinking Out Loud”. Our similarities may not be as glaringly obvious as our differences but subtle as they are, they exist. Take our commitment phobia for one. Mine comes from previous bad experiences though, while hers stems from living vicariously through me. So it’s safe to say, we’re so alike, we feel each other’s pain (or she’s just a wuss). We complete each other’s sentences. Or thoughts. It’s scary how much this girl knows me. She will see a smiley that “seems out of place” and know that something’s not right. (Who does that?) I can confidently say that this girl knows me better than I know myself sometimes and also that she was the first person I called my best friend and meant it. I read somewhere that every tall girl needs a short best friend. I am glad this one is mine. She has seen the pretty parts of me and the nasty ones. She’s seen my mom go off on me (and that is some scary stuff, trust me) she’s seen me heartbroken, irrational, petty, she’s seen it all. And still thinks I’m beautiful or as she puts it “a 10”. I look in the mirror and I see a far cry from it, but she looks at me and sees Shakira.  One of my fondest memories is a night we had a sleepover at my place and we alternated between reading novels and watching “Veronica Mars” and only came out of our bubble when my mom woke up to prepare for her day the next morning. That is our idea of a good time.

Angela lives on another continent but she’ll know about things happening at home before we do. So it’s no surprise that she was instrumental in planning my 20th birthday- From China. Who ever said out of sight is out of mind? Where Letty soothes, Angela reasons. She’ll find an explanation for EVERYTHING! It’s one her many talents. Just like she can wriggle out of any situation, the slippery little thing that she is. Put her between a rock and a hard place and she’ll bargain her way out of there.  She also stands for what she stands for and she will not go against her principles for anything or anyone. She has impartiality down pat. Many times I’ve wanted to scream at her that I’M her best friend, like, woman, take MY side for once! But level headed as she is, she knows that I don’t mean most of the things I say when I’m mad so she refrains from feeding the fire. And although she’s usually always right, she has never once muttered the dreaded “I told you so”. So granted, her love may be tough at times but it’s just the love that I need. The love I love.

 

ME:

Well well well…. Me. That will be a story for another day.

What’s a given though, is that I wouldn’t be anywhere in the vicinity of where and who I am today without these two. My best friends in real life and on social media. People with whom I share everything. Laughs, sorrows, food, icecream, family. People who take me as I am and don’t try to make me reflections of themselves. Because I already am. My soul mates.

While some people are out buying roses, candy and mouthwash, and others sulking at the lack of romance in their lives, I will be doing neither because as long as I have these two, my heart is as full as can be. So here’s to my valentines. Today, and always. (Of course until I find a suitable replacement. Y’all are pretty great placeholders though!;))

It’s a favourite pass time especially if you have unlimited wi-fi and a subject you are terribly interested in. It’s hobby but other times its downright necessary. Yes, cyber stalking. It’s an art and science. It’s a new field that you can’t afford to be sloppy at. If you are going to do it, do it right. So this is me giving rules to cyber stalking.

The first and most important. You do not for any reason whatsoever like or favourite the said person’s posts. That is a rookie error and there’s no room for sloppy here. That is evidence that you’ve pried around.  It’s basically the same as screaming ‘pardon’ when eavesdropping on a conversation. Rule number two. Be calm. Like really calm. That way you’ll avoid previously-mentioned slipperiness. Here’s what to do especially if you are stalking cute guy or cute-guy-you-liked-and-dated-and-ended-up-breaking-up-with-but-you-still-adore’s current girlfriend. Put emotions aside; this task requires you to be devoid of emotion. Focus is the word. Make sure you don’t have sweaty hands that you’ll blame for errors. If your happen to have them, powder them. Or have tissue nearby.
The third rule of the game is to be in a private place mostly because most people do not understand the art of cyber stalking or stalking for that matter. You’ll be considered a freak which we all know is not the case. But you see, doctors don’t discuss confidential matters in public neither do detectives -which you are at that time- discuss a case in the full hearing of everyone. So here’s what to do. If you have a favourite coffee and cake shop, sit at the corner table where no one will bother you. Or you could do it in your bedroom – all locked up away from the rest of the world. Do I hear someone say mobile data is expensive? Well nobody said privacy came cheap.

The fourth.. Shades!!! Very important mainly because well, detectives always wear shades. This is on because of the cool factor. And everyone feels cool in them and it creates an air of privacy. PS: They should be dark… Nobody bothers anyone with dark glasses. It’s just how the world works. Then for those with glasses…I feel you especially because I belong to this family. But here’s the thing we get away with so many times because we give the impression that we are geeky and serious and don’t want to be bothered especially when we are working on our gadgets. The rest of the world thinks we could be changing the world on our gadgets and so they don’t even think of bothering us. So we are good without shades. 🙂

And lastly and this is very important: you do not EVER write anything down. Not even to show your best friend. If you don’t have photographic memory, create it!!

PS: If the person you are meant to be stalking has nothing on the internet; say has no social media accounts, not even a Facebook account at the very least then they are downright boring. The world has moved too far ahead and embraced social media for one to not be on any. You are better off not knowing anything about them.