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HELP, MY LANDLORD IS STEALING FROM ME!!!

I think the last I checked I was five feet five inches tall. A long time before I discovered there was nothing I could do to change things, the fact that I am height-challenged used to give me a headache. I used to wish someone would come up with heels for men. But after I discovered the truth I opted to accept to be 5.5 for the rest of my life. And since then, life has been a ball. I discovered one can't force themselves to be an inch taller, unless they are girls (but even in this case it doesn''t last long. A girl has to take off her heels at one point)

But I know one thing for sure. Though there is nothing you can do to continue your skeletal growth, you can grow an inch or so sideways. You can add a pound of flesh to the skeletal height you have. What is I mean is that one can grow sideways (mark you, I didn't say FAT!) but vertically, no!

I am telling you all this for a reason. Call it beating about the bush or anything. I am letting you know about my height so that the moment I start complaining about my landlord you may be able to identify with my pain. I want you to know how big the place I call home is. That is why I am telling you about my height. I believe it is going to help you figure out just why I think my landlord is stealing from me. But I am not alone.

Landlords along Jogoo Road in Nairobi are getting way too much from places that are way too small for decent human habitation. Te closer the house is to town, the smaller and expensive it is. I don't know if they borrowed a leaf from Geography lesson that states... "the higher you go the cooler it becomes!" If so then I think they are getting it wrong because in terms of housing it is exactly the opposite. This is how it sounds to me: "the closer you are to town, the more you pay for the privilege."

At the time I was getting into what I now call home, I was desperate. I needed a place to lay my weary head while my landlord was looking for someone gullible enough to be called a tenant. It didn't occur to me to measure just how small my house is. I pay a lot of money for this house. It is a city council house owned by the Nairobi City Council. The money I am paying in one month is enough to pay rent at the City Council offices, near the Makadara Law Courts, for a whole six-plus months. Just imagine that!

I know I can't complain to my landlord about the kind of money he is charging me for this small place. My hands are tied. House are hard to come by, this side of Nairobi, more so when whatever you can afford lies in the Eastlands of Nairobi. Besides, my landlord already knows a lot about me. What he knows is enough to amount to blackmail should I dare complain. I do two things which my landlord deems sacrilege. I pee outside the toilet bowl. I also throw waste outside the black plastic bag that serves as a dustbin.

At the time I was first settling in the house I didn't notice many things. It didn't occur to me just how small the house is. Being 5-point-something-under-6-inches tall it takes exactly three strides to cover the longest length of my house. To cover the shortest length all I need is a total of two strides. Though it a small room, I have divided it into three rooms. I am the only person who knows where one room starts and ends. To the other people who come visiting, it is just one room that has a curtain (that bears Fred and Wilmur Flintstone) that hides the bed from view.

My small room is divided into three. I have a kitchen, bedroom and sitting room. The kitchen area has a stove and stuff I use for whipping up a meal. The bedroom has a bed which tripples up as the chair (when the number of visitors I have exceeds one). The bed also serves as a table when I am having a meal alone. It also serves as my bed when I can loner stay awake. Those are the three pruposes that my bed serves.

The sitting room has a stool that has 'eaten a lot of salt.' This means it has been in existence for as long as it doesn't care to remember. There is also a box (laden with all sorts of books, manuscripts and old receipts). This is where Gloria is sitting. Gloria is a source of daily pain and heartache to me. Even now I am swallowing in anger. There is a bitter lump (the size of a medium raw Irish potato) bobbing up and down my throat as I look at Gloria and think of the pain she has caused me. I have not touched Gloria ever since she refused to accept the XP Pack 3 Service Pack in her Operating System. I have a stuck of untyped manuscripts and a looming deadline coming up. I am almost picking up Gloria so I can throw her out of the window and out of my life when I remember that I was telling you how small my house is.

Let me breathe in first. MMMMMMhhhh.... deep in. MMMMMMMhhhh..... deep out. Okay, now I can go. Creaaaak... that is the sound of my doo. I am heading to my landlord's house so I can let him know that I know he is stealing from me. Oh, I have remembered I cannot complain. I need help.

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Comments

nilima's picture

ohh!!

Such a great writer you are!! i am so much fascinated by the way of your writing. i must salute you for how beautifully you write and mix words!!

learning a lot from you and wanna read more!

lifesong's picture

THANKS NILIMA

hey, don't frighted me into hiding my pen (saluting sounds as if you are a soldier and girl, i am afraid of soldiers!) have you ever watched FULL METAL JACKET where these guys are shouting their voices off shouting SIR YES SIR!

i am the one who is learning here dear.

James Ouma

James Ouma,

Life's a Song
Sing it, dance it, live it!

nilima's picture

ohh!!

heheh.............

no no i hvnt watched full metal jacket. is this a movie or??

lifesong's picture

FULL METAL JACKET MOVIE

it is a movie. i just have forgotten who is starring, besides it isnt anything i would advice a girl (all pun intended!) to watch. i advice you go see for yourself waht i mean.

James Ouma,

Life's a Song
Sing it, dance it, live it!

nilima's picture

ok

thank u :) i will try to find out the movie..but not sure is it is available in nepal

nilima's picture

ok

thank u :) i will try to find out the movie..but not sure is it is available in nepal

lifesong's picture

HOW IS NEPAL?

the movie is directed by Stanley Kubrick and it stars Matthew Modine as Private Joker, Adam Baldwin as Animal Mother and my favourite... Arliss Howard as Private Cowboy. if you don't get it then i will have to try something so you can watch it.

by the way what do you do? and how is nepal? tell me more about the country, its people, your favourite food and sport over there. i look forward to hearing from you. James Ouma

James Ouma,

Life's a Song
Sing it, dance it, live it!

nilima's picture

ok

Well i went to the market last evening and didnt find the movie. i will have to search more, but the probability is much less to get it.

I am a student of mass communication , doing my masters and i am involved in rotaract. I am also doing a job as communication officer in a local NGO.

Nepal is the small country yet is the second richest country in the water resources! its multi cultural and adventurous nature makes it so beautiful. yet the literacy rate is ok and there are still lots of changes to be made socially.

I like simple nepali food, we call it DAAL BHAT TARKARI (rice and curry). besides that i also like some junk foods which i eat occasionally. Well i dnt play any sports. I live in the capital city of Nepal because of my study.

temme about you james. would love to know about you:)

lifesong's picture

ABOUT ME

Together we will figure out how you are going to get this movie. But in the meantime... I appreciate our chatting very much and also insist you should start eating a full plate of daal bhat tarkari.

I am an Assistant Producer for a TV children's programme in one of the local TV stations, here in Kenya. I am yet to go to college (in September) but I am one who believes all is possible is you focus on what you do best. I remember telling you that I am the one who is learning from you, it is true. You can teach me how to become a better journalist.

I write a lot (humor, poems, short stories, children's stuff, and novel) I like making friends (but the question is do I keep them?) People say I am funny but I have never made myself laugh. I mean, I look myself in the mirror and I don't make myself laugh, which convinces me that I am not funny. I work with a group of girls and other primary school children in a project meant to make them like reading, writing and critical analysis of life's issues.

I live in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. I jog, twice a week. Now its your turn again.

James Ouma,

Life's a Song
Sing it, dance it, live it!

nilima's picture

hmmm

Well a full plate of daal bhat in the day time makes me so lazy to work a head so i dnt take much of it!

huh! you are yourself a great writer and a journalist..your writing are just awesome and its not me but its you who is teaching me a lot:)

if you dnt mind then i would be happy to read about how you are working with them. the way!

lifesong's picture

WHO IS THEM?

I enjoyed chatting to you. It was like I have known you for a very long time. Who is them? as in working with them

James Ouma,

Life's a Song
Sing it, dance it, live it!

olutosin's picture

LOL

You are not serious friend.
Come to Lagos LOL.
I love your style.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

lifesong's picture

TO LAGOS, WITH LOVE!

Olutosin,

My friend i asked for cell phone credit and you didn't even respond (why?) anyway, how are you? i am good. thanks for your comments. so waht do you do apart from running the centre? i would like to know.

James Ouma

James Ouma,

Life's a Song
Sing it, dance it, live it!

olutosin's picture

I WRITE AND LEARN AND TRAIN FOR NOW

Hi thanks so much for your interest in what we do, I write, train people on NGO Management, this is where we get the funds for what we do training on prevention of sexual assault and Gender, Violence against women especially and I write books, I have written two books now and I am learning...I have 12 months training in South Africa now, 2 months in OCT AND NOV, TWO MONTHS FROM APRIL 19 2011 TO JUNE 15, 2011. In case you have anything for me, just reach me ad I will be there in a jiffy.....
Loads of love

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

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