Waitresses. The service industry’s cherry on the top of a poorly cooked pie of doggy goulash.
Am I ranting? Not just yet. Is this a sexist post about waitresses? Nope. But they do have a role to play. Read on, you might end up understanding why the clouds out today are purple.
So we, I and my significant other, are randomly hotfooting through the streets of Nairobi when the *urge* overwhelms us. The urge to indulge in this heavenly pleasure that hits all the spots you never thought you had, or even existed. That which caresses the senses and takes you on a wild goose chase after your departing morals. In agreement that we both need to release our pent up energies, we head off to a certain locale just a spit-throw away from the National Archives.
In you go, through an entrance you might miss if not keen, past two guards flanking an old wooden desk, left onto a flight of stairs, then landing on a Mezzanine floor barred by a decent enough guy waving a magic wand that beeps each time he twirls it in the air. We walk past him and are immediately faced by the lavatories, the sexier alternative for the word ‘toilets’, smack at the entrance of the restaurant. Talk about pre-anticlimax.
City Space Club & Restaurant, I believe that’s the name of the place. Its built like one of those hangouts where Kenyan bandilleros choose to spend their Sunday afternoons chanting down Babylon. The ‘bouncer’ at the door seems like a nice enough, slightly tipsy fellow, though with the kind of action going on in his line of work, what with the beeping wand and pocket frisks, a slow death wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
The waitresses are what you notice first, that’s if you haven’t already noticed how dark the place is. Them, their name tags, and their really short skirts, showing off legs of a light complexion that my fellows at Ghetto Radio term “rangi ya thao” (otherwise known as ‘yellow yellow’.)
Almost every inch of the floor is specked by low chairs and wobbly round tables, though there are some lounge-type sofas around. Music plays in the background, music that I quickly block out of my mind, and that I advise you do the same to if you wind up at this joint. The air is somewhat stale, thanks to very few open windows and a generous amount of wide-mouthed conversation from the many heads seen around. But for now, none of that really matters. Because we’re both experiencing a hunger of morbid proportions.
Eventually, two plates of an order hastily made bring us into contact with our salvation. My eyes peel at a mound of ‘ugali‘, and a thigh of greasy, Maryland chicken covered in honey-coloured bread crumbs, while the other half of this dynamic duo was staring down a plate adorned with the most cliche meal to ever see Kenyan soil – chips and chicken…yep, sigh!!! In her defense, she had ordered for a plate of ‘pilau’ and ‘Maryland’ chicken, but I guess the waitress serving us saw it in her ‘best interests’ that she have a plate of chips. And so she cursed at the one we shall call “Teresia” as though this was the biggest fuck-up the world had ever seen since Don Draper told his sob story to the guys from Hershey’s. Which, in descriptive terms, means I was cringing in fear myself at the screech of her voice.
Yet and still, food paid for has to be eaten, at least for the two of us confessed foodies.
In the end, as pleasant as the food looked, I won’t be as inhumane as to bore you with the details on how horrible it tasted. There seemed to be more of the waitresses legs on show, than there were culinary skills being expressed from the kitchen. What was left of our *urges* were two distressed souls drowning in anguish, while clutching onto knotted stomachs that were all but floating away in a sea of cruddy waters.
I left the place with three thoughts, three thoughts too painful for one food lover to bear, in mind:
- What you actually pay for, in place of the order you made, was the view of the many waitresses legs and bosoms on display;
- The food was, things are about to get nasty, actually, and entirely, meant to be consumed with the rear end of our digestive system rather than the fore;
- If there ever was an award for the worst chicken ever made in Nairobi, this place would be a very strong contender. Or, might even win – thighs down.
And so, in honor of how utterly terrible the ambiance was, how perplexed I was at the criteria used to hire waitresses these days, and how lowly deserving of an Instagram moment the day’s food proved to be, here’s a random illustration – by our good friend Eugene Mandela – of a scenic building in Nairobi for your entertainment.
Total expense: Ksh. 700
#NP: Glitter & Gold – Rebecca Ferguson
Illustration copyrights attributed to: Eugene Mandela