Author Archives: Maria
I’m slightly disturbed after reading an article about the growing popularity of cosmetic surgery among Nairobi’s upper middle class. The article was full of horror stories of procedures gone awry which was bad enough, but one quote gave me pause. “And the most common procedure among Kenyan men was lip reduction— making lips thinner.” Whaaat? Before I jump to conclusions, how does this compare the most popular surgeries elsewhere? According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2010, the top 5 cosmetic surgeries for women were breast augmentation, nose reshaping, liposuction, eyelid surgery and tummy tucks. This lines… Continue reading →
I visited my old high school this past weekend. I walked through the old haunts and smiled at their jauntily ambitious nicknames: Bahamas, the 20-foot square piece of lawn where we’d sun ourselves on Saturday afternoons, and Infinity, the landing at the top of the stairs to our four-story dorm building. I’ve realized, my high school was unknowingly very Zen. The school was obsessed with simplicity and humility. We were allowed very few personal possessions. Everyone had a morning and evening task that taught us the value of manual work. We woke up early and went to bed early…. Continue reading →
Recently, I’ve been getting hit on by the watchman at work. I try to remain friendly – I could need his help one day – but it reminds me of when I was younger, and I thought that I was doomed to be hit on by sketchy types all my life. I wrote the following during that time. Thankfully, my prospects have greatly improved, but I’m always wary of this trend resurfacing. What do you think affects the type of people who hit on you? Can you change who you attract?
Early this year, I set out some goals for myself. I wanted to walk more. I wanted to learn French. I wanted to take care of my hair. I wanted to go out and do interesting cultural things in Nairobi. While these were all things that I knew would make me *happy*, sticking to them was the challenge. On a scale of 1 to 10, my attention span is … by the way have you ever noticed when you say a word over and over it loses meaning .. cultural. cuuulturall… Surprisingly though, I’ve had… Continue reading →
We all do it. A lot of times, we lie about it. I’m talking about mitumba. Sadly, the state of our local clothing industry is far from the point where I would be inclined to buy Kenya build Kenya. Well, I might be content with an abysmal lack of choice in tea towels from Nakuru textiles, but when it comes to things I actually care about – like my clothes, accessories and house furnishings – I insist on choice and creativity. And where better than in the second-hand clothes markets of Kenya, where even the… Continue reading →
It’s going on to March. That means that most of our New Year’s resolutions have faltered, if not gone down the drain entirely. Chips have won out over those healthy salads you brought in to work a few weeks ago. Your brand new gym shoes have been kicked under the bed and forgotten (on purpose). It happens to all of us, and each year, we forget our past failings and promise – this year will be different, this is the year that I will change my life! This is definitively the year where I will… Continue reading →