Apology letter to Swedish mosquitoes

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Dear Viking Mozzies,

How are you? Hope you are not too tired from the late night rounds from door to door trying to find a human to suck blood from.

My neighbour’s cat is using me

I understand that your job is not only physically but emotionally draining especially after some of us mercilessly murder your relatives in cold blood. I can’t even begin to picture how painful it is to walk into a room and see your relative stuck on a wall. That’s not something anyone should ever have to live through. I did it. Ok, I do it all the time.

But recently my sins caught up with me. A day after killing one of your own by crushing them between my hands and mercilessly turning them into a piece of art on my wall, I developed a rush. Yaani, I woke up the next day with pimples all over my body. Even on my scalp. And then I began scratching and then I concluded that some of you had attacked me in revenge for what I had done to one of you.

Swedish Mosquitoes tried to murder me

And so I ranted, cursed and told everyone about you. How, you, unlike your cousins in Africa bite and leave marks. Can you believe what I did to your reputation? I know you probably hate me so much. I can imagine how much pain and distress I caused you and ruined your otherwise…eer good..eer …whatever name.

I’m sorry because it turns out that this had nothing to do with you. That this was a virus. The second bout of chicken pox. I suffered chicken pox and blamed you and for that, I totally apologize. However, I would like to ask you for a favor. Can you please attach some weird doctor who could not differentiate between your bites and chicken pox? I will share details of his address once you accept this apology and get back to me.

Swedes are sad, I imported flu!

You don’t need to come to my house. Just write, use smoke signals, horns or any other form of communication you find appropriate. I will appreciate.

Yours truly,

Self-confessed serial killer of your relatives.

Mistakes we make as immigrants

Moving to a new country means that you sacrifice your status as a respectable member of the society and start over as a random human being elsewhere.

You are a nobody, at least that’s how I felt. I think it was even worse for me as a former journalist at the peak of her career.

No one cared and the few people I told probably thought I wrote newspapers in my native language. People out here don’t know what language we speak in Kenya.

And these things can break you and mess yourself esteem but you must always stay strong and remember who you are. Otherwise, you will find yourself behaving as below:-

1. Become needy and expect a lot

When I first joined Swedish classes I felt like I had traveled back to my childhood. There were people sucking up to the teachers and if the attention was not reciprocated they actually became cold and withdrawn. In a different class, there was a lot of attention seeking to a point the teacher asked the students to stop asking questions. I suspect if the sucking up had gone on one of the students, who was like 35 years old, would have brought apples for the teacher. Just like in Kindergarten. Some things require common sense so don’t always ask everything or expect to be spoonfed. And the hosts in your new country doesn’t owe you any sort of special treatment.

I want the world to know…..

2. Look for your countrymen.

This is something I learned the hard way. When I arrived in Sweden, naturally I just wanted some familiarity. I met a few good people but sadly through my connections, I bumped into some hostile individuals. I even changed gyms after bumping into a Kenyan who felt that I had blogged about her. She also misunderstood my goofiness for something else and suddenly became hostile mid-workout session. It was ugly. I stopped my work out and decided to go home. I quit that gym, disconnected any previous links with any Kenyan I knew (sad that I cut off everyone but I just wasn’t prepared for a second incidence). Since then, I’m a loner taking her time to make new friends. Just because we come from the same country doesn’t mean we are compatible.

3. Compare yourself with others.

This is directly linked to the above statement. The other reason I avoid Kenyans who have been here for so long is that they have already written their stories and while am happy for them I may easily get discouraged by their strides. Let’s be sincere. We are only human. Write your own story, find your crowd and you will be fine!

4. Sell yourself short

Just because you are starting over does not mean you are any less good.

Give yourself time, blow your own trumpet occasionally and showcase your skills. Be ambitious!

5. Stop old habits

This is the worst mistake you could make and it will destroy you. Keep doing what you used to do in your old country as long as it’s legal in the new country. The sudden change of habits can be very dangerous for your psychological behavior. Be yourself as everyone else is taken!

6. Misbehave

Most immigrants also tend to forget that they are a representation of their country and race. As a die-hard pan African I have found myself in situations where I have to bite my tongue because I cannot defend my people. Be a good brand ambassador!

The dog that ate underwear and other stories

Happy New Year guys!

Sorry I have not posted in a while because I have been busy settling in a new job.

I have dropped the pen indefinitely to pursue a career in customer relations at the Volvo Cars headquarters here in Gothenburg Sweden.

That, however does not mean that I have not been encountering the usual drama. As you may all recall, in my last post, I announced the death of our beloved Kisang’ule. Just to recap, Kisang’ule the loyal mongrel was poisoned by thugs.

Meanwhile, here in Sweden one of my confidante’s dog had a close shave with death. The dog had stomach issues for close to a month and eventually had to be rushed to emergency.

Guess what was ailing him? The damn thing had swallowed a tennis ball. Tell me, what hunger can lead a ball to swallow some furry plastic object?

REST IN PEACE KISANGULE

I was really trying to be empathetic while listening to this sad story and could not keep a straight face anymore when my friend shared other examples. Like the fact that another dog swallowed socks and underwear. Guys, pause for a moment and imagine a vetinary surgeon inform you that your missing boxer or red thong has been retrieved from your dog’s intestines.

I swear, I don’t make this shit up so don’t look at me like that.

In other news, am entering this blog for nomination Bloggers Awards Kenya in May. You can also submit it on this link: https://submit.bakeawards.co.ke

I fit in creative writing, new blog and topical issues categories. Don’t forget to enter url as: http://catemukei.com

I hope we get nominated and hopefully win. I am really counting on your support!

Why the Vikings don’t clean their shoes


The Vikings will wear a pair of shoes without cleaning them until they wear out.

I’m not at a point where I might start a voluntary services to clean random people’s shoes in this country.

I have tried to get a solid explanation from for this behaviour but none of them can really explain.

That has forced me speculate the reasons below.

It’s fashionable

It’s probably fashionable to wear dirty shoes and no one has told me. People probably wonder where I come from since I’m always in clean shoes. Has Kanye West and his zombie models tried this yet? Can someone update me please!

Types of Kenyans you will meet abroad

Nutritional value

If it’s not fashionable then probably, people boil their shoes when they are old and drink the soup from it. Probably rich in Calcium? I don’t know, I’m also trying to research. So don’t look at me like I know everything!

Points for dirt

There could also be a probability that the person with the dirtiest shoes will get rewarded during summer festivities. Probably rewarded with a Volvo and if they are immigrants they will be excused for mis-pronouncing Hjalmar Brantingsplatsen.

What dirt?

On the other hand, I may be the only one who notices the dirt. Come to think of it, apart from my Kenyan friends, no one else has told me about the dirty shoes. Are Kenyans paranoid?

Soap is expensive

I have tried to find cheap detergent in this country and everything is damn expensive. They don’t even have Panga Soap and Ushindi. I have suffered my friends. OMG! This might be the main reason why we have so many dirty shoes in this country!

PS: If you can’t take joke then probably this blog is not for you!

Types of Kenyans you will meet abroad

As you may have read in my previous blogposts, my last four months in Sweden have been very interesting.
I have met all types of humans. I won’t talk about people from other countries because I write for my Kenyan audience.

In four months I have met these types of people:

The know-it-all

I appreciate advice but there is a huge difference between advising and patronising. I have spoken to people who imagine that this is my first trip outside the country and that I’m very privileged to have boarded a plane here. Yaani, they almost made me go through how many stairs I took to get on board and how I should address the air hostess next time. And why do people want to know how much others are earning? For what purpose? To renegotiate my salary for me? Such people are the reason I chew on my sweater whenever I hear or meet them. I will ask for your advice when I need it.Chill and allow me to write my own story!

The hater

Then there is that one Kenyan who hates everyone. I met this family at a bustop and recognised them as Kenyans because they were speaking Kikuyu. I aproached them and this is what the woman told me: “Nilikuonea mbali. Lakini mimi sisalimiangi wakenya. Mnakuanga na maringo sana!” She then lectured me against wearing Kenyan affiliated attires because I will be easily spotted by other people. She then asked for my number and said: “Nitaona kama ntakupigia.” That, my friends, was the day I stopped looking for Kenyans!

Lessons from Kenyans in Sweden

The compasionate

So far most of my friends fall in this category. Patient, willing to help and very supportive of my dramatic settling in. These are people who have mostly lived here for ten years or less. I don’t want to write much about them coz I might start crying. I have never been this happy about meeting new people. I simply wuv them!

The curious eye

These one just want to know how you got to Sweden. Where you live. Where you work and how much you earn. Is your cat vaccinated? How long do you fry your onions? Do you chew sugarless gum? I’m the only one who meets such people? Just me? Ok, my bad!

Size-up queens

And then there are these ones! The ones you meet in a group of other people but they won’t even make an effort to greet you. They just stare at you blankly. When having conversations they will not look at you in the eye just so you know that you are not welcome. They don’t like you. End of story. Move on. That’s not your problem. It’s just an inferiority complex!