Size size

For your own safety- If you are ever in a Kenyan open air market- in Oyugis or Gikomba, Muthurwa or Ringa- and you hear someone say from behind, ‘size, size’, jump in any direction away from your original position. This very bizarre phrase means, ‘I am pushing a very heavy load, I can barely see where I am going, the size of my baggage is abnormally large, get out of the way’. No please or thank you after you barely escape with your life. Just a continued, ‘size size’ down the road and more people jumping out of the way.

This is the same way Kendi operates. Except, she can’t even say the obligatory, ‘size, size’. She will just ram across your hands, crawl over your outstretched legs, punch you in the face if she has to, very impolite. I will say, ‘excuse me’ a million times a day just so that she can learn to say it as she’s going about her business.

I think it may be working. Now, before, during and after she shoves past you, while pulling your hair, rolling her eyes and spitting on you (OK, not really, but it feels that way), she’ll say something loudly and forcefully. I think she is saying ‘excuse me’ as I have been teaching her. Only I have been saying it when I’m already annoyed at my toes being stepped on, again.

Chris, my cousin said one time, ‘she doesn’t know she’s stepping on you’, till Kendi very obviously looked for her feet where she had tucked them under her seat and stepped on her. ‘Ha!’ was all I could manage when Chris came to tell me about it.

Maybe saying, ‘size size’ is easier to learn. I will change my strategy and start teaching her how to say that. At least it’s authentically Kenyan.

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