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!

Sweetheart not so sweet!

It’s three months now  since I relocated to Sweden. And a lot has happened to me. So much that I feel like I have lived here for a decade. Infact, these activities are the main reason I began blogging again.

Most of it has been laughable but there are two incidences that have left me in shock.

Towards the end my first month here a man harassed me at the bus stop.  I had a meeting that went on to almost 9.30pm and on my way home I decide to pass through a store to get a few supplies. Some guy followed me out and asked if I wanted to go home with him to drink some vodka. I politely declined thinking he was part the notorious A-laget  (Swedish alcoholics).

Ambushed by a gypsy!

He was persistent  and declared he was from Italy. I could clearly see he was an Arab from looks and accent. I’m not sure why he would lie about that either. Not unless it’s cool to be followed home by an Italian. I walked faster towards the bus stop which by now was clearly empty. He followed me, inquiring whether my bum and boobs were real or if it had some silicon in it. Then he declared that he was willing to even pay me to go home with him so that I could ‘please him’.

I was very pissed off and was about  to beat the hell out of him then I remembered that I was in Sweden where shouting someone’s name in the streets is already frowned upon (I have been insulted for laughing out loud. Ok, fine! I laughed too much and frankly that could have annoyed even the wildest animal.) Where were we, guy followed me to the bus stop, tried to corner me but I swung my gym bag and walked away very fast to the nearest crowd. He shouted ‘Goodbye Sweetheart. I will call you’.

I had forgotten about that  until  recently  while walking to the bus stop from the gym. It was at 10am, on a public holiday, when a black Mercedes slowed down beside me. A middle-aged Arab guy waves and I look away thinking he was waving at someone else; perhaps two blonde girls walking towards me.

He then sped off and parked right ahead of the store that I was clearly walking towards.

He pulled down his window and shouts: “C’mon sweetheart, let’s come inside. Let’s talk.” 10 am?

Where do people get these guts?

I thought moving to a first world country meant that I was taking a break from sexual harassment. I was like phewks! No more cat calling and risking being undressed for a while but no. It got worse!

And the worst part is that I still don’t know how to deal with this. Normally in Kenya, I would have faced the man and gave him a piece of my mind. But now I’m in a new country dealing with people from different backgrounds. I have to be careful how I address some issues lest I’m tagged racist or violent!


DISCLAIMER: This post is just meant to highlight what happened to me. I mean no harm towards any race. We are all equal!