Good people, January is imminent and the vagaries are already all around us. Well, here are some pointers for some of you who are still pretending that you’re still in December festivities.
You know it’s January when you check your phone for every beep, hoping that someone has taken pity on you and sent you some money; only to discover it’s a promotional text, asking you to participate in this or that game to win a million bob, or asking you repay a debt!
Did I say winning a million bob? Who wins that kind of money in January?
You know it’s January when you invite your pals for a drink and nobody bothers to respond. Then you send another text informing your pals that you will foot all their beer bills, and pay for nyama choma and boiled goat head, and your phone almost ‘dies’ because of all the people confirming the date.
You know it’s January when half the neighbourhood leaves their cars in the parking lot and walks to the bus station. And when you ask one of them why they are walking, they will lie to you that one of their New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight!
You know it’s January when you go to Mama Mboga to buy vegetables slightly earlier than usual only to be told sukuma wiki has run out. No type of vegetable is in higher demand than sukuma wiki around this time.
If you ask any of those fellows lining up for sukuma wiki why they have suddenly taken a liking to kale, they will tell you it is one of their resolutions to eat healthy by cutting out red meat and go big on greens!
You know it’s January when all the calls you get from friends are not about warnings of a traffic police crackdown on a certain road but requests for soft loans. Of course, the reasons for being broke are explained by many excuses but nobody mentions wasteful December spending at all.
You know it’s January when you see school children coming home at lunch hour. Still in their uniform, you will see them walking around the estate like zombies; they have not come for lunch, they have been sent home to come with school fees.
You know it’s January when the car park in the neighbourhood is full by 6pm. The men have not made a New Year’s resolution to be arriving home early; the dynamics of the first month of the year are fully in force. You know it’s January when the security guards in the estate are asked by the caretaker to remind you to pay your service charge or else open the gate for yourself.
Last January, you remember, they put up a list of shame and your house number was among the first ones. Invariably, your name features prominently on the list at the gate.
You know it is January when there is little talk in the house. People watch the evening news lost in their thoughts, and then afterwards one by one they all drag themselves to bed and hope for a better tomorrow.
You know it’s January when you look up at the calendar and the days seem to move so slowly; slower than instant replay in a televised football match.
With January pay having hit your account in mid-December, January is practically a six-week month of depression, anger, anxiety and frustration all rolled into one. Take heart good people, it all comes to an end, eventually.