I’m struggling with what to write here not that I do not see new things but I have had this struggle with am I sharing too much and telling things that are probably best not told because sometimes I meet people I have not seen in so long and they will ask things like ‘so what language did you speak when the Al-shabaab called you???? me thinking do you now work for the intelligence and are looking to trap me (blank stare), which AS are we talking about? I read on your blog (sigh of relief) ama
Person X: Somali weddings are epic right?
Me: Yes because although I do not look it my folks are actually Somali (or something close) and therefore we do Somali weddings.
Person X: No I mean that one where you ate a lot halwa and milkshake
Me: ohhhhhhhhh.Yes they are and especially if guys decide to do the buran-bur.
Then there are those who thought/think some post was about them and are pissed off at me (why I don’t know, I do not write offensive stuff but such is life people get angry at you for no reason and since they are your friends, you have to keep on apologizing and pull posts that they are angry about down). The weird part is that people I actually have in mind when writing do not think its them or maybe they don’t read my posts.
Some of my friends have inboxed, WhatsApped and after a lot of stories, they will always ask when are you back (I was home in March that’s like yesterday in relation to work so give this question a rest ) and we are waiting for those Garowe stories. Honestly this place is urban, I’m a village person so I’m lost on what to say plus I spend a lot of time sitting at a desk therefore nothing much to tell, you know we could like go travel to some nice place (at whose cost I do not know) and then ask me about say how is Abu-Dhabi because Trip Advisor thinks I would love it and sends me these e-mails on what is nice in Abu-Dhabi this week every week and I look at all those places and think I have travelled even if it’s through seeing pictures. If you need any info on Abu-Dhabi feel free to ask, I'm the expert tour guide based on knowledge gotten from Trip Advisor :-) :-)
There are tarmac roads here and a roundabout in town,there are traffic lights I have not been to the town too many times but the few times I haven’t seen them work but they are there………………shame on the GoK, no tarmac road between Garissa and Mandera and none in any of the towns after Garissa and yet we have been an independent state that is stable for over 50 years and have a very organized way of paying taxes therefore this cannot be an issue of lack of funds but maybe bad prioritization.
Mobile money is big here. Very few people carry cash and every shop even the really small ones have a pay-bill number so you just put the equivalent of your weekly/monthly budget in your phone account based on your level of financial discipline and just pay from your phone how nice is that? Registering for Sahal ( the equivalent of M-pesa) is a story on its own, first there is only 1 place in the town that you can do the registration and they take a picture of you,fill in your information into a computer,you need a witness and this person must be registered with them and they’ll need your four names(what if you have only 2 names like me??) people learn the name of your great grandfather you never know when it will come in handy.
Most shops in the town have glass doors and they are usually closed so if you are me you’ll think maybe the shop-keeper is busy praying, updating his books, doing his cash count or stock count,eating lunch..........but this is the practice here if you want something then you’ll have to push the door and get in.They have these banners for the hotels and it always something like Midnimo Bar and restaurant what is a bar? The story of inappropriate names reminds of the first day I reported to campus,we did the registration and everything and by the time we finished it was late in the afternoon,we went to the school mess and they had sold all the food, but there was this place around the corner and it was called the milk bar and we thought they actually sold milk so we go in and shock on us the place was a BAR aka alcohol joint which I later learnt was famously known as ''center'',you should have seen how quickly we walked out :-D
The government here is well organized like there is a ministry of everything so now if you need animal health stuff there is the ministry of livestock and animal husbandry, the ministry of agriculture and irrigation, ministry of planning and international cooperation(the headache of all agencies) and of course the big MoH. The assistant ministers here are called Director Generals in short DG in the event that you hear people talking about the DG of fisheries is based in Bosasso and you have to write DG down to go and google later thank me for you saving you that time. There are so many universities and like everyone at work studies part-time, but there are no Kenyan universities MKU (Mogadishu Kismayu University) has a branch in Mogadishu and Hargeisa but not in Garowe how??
'The MKU advert on Hapa Kule'
It is the capital city of Puntland and it’s a small capital city but I have been warned to say this only in whispers as the Puntlanders are very proud of it and rightfully so, there are some supermarkets small ones but yes supermarkets, a big vegetable market, a place for ice-cream and many eating joints and there are so many female drivers here.The houses here are very beautiful, I will generally not notice architecture unless it is very out of the ordinary, but I saw a friend last week and after the usual how do you like Garowe, he tells me about how he finds the houses here beautiful as compared to houses say in Isiolo (he says Isiolo because he is convinced it’s a village and I have to do this Isiolo pitch that I'm always doing as to how it is not a village) and later on we walk together and yes I notice the some of the houses are really nice and he keeps on showing and that one,and that one..................the glass shattered(This is an inside story for anyone who has watched HIMYM remember the episode where they noticed everyones' weird thing Lilly's loud chewing,Marshall and his singing about everything..........) now I see beautiful houses everywhere.
The place was/is peaceful(security is unpredictable) , the outside tea places are more vibrant at night than they are at day time, talking of outside tea places the miraa here comes from Meru as in!!!!!!! kuna vile wameru lazima walipishwe taxes by the federal government of Somalia they are making too much cash out of these people, you could find shops open at 9 PM and the town doesn’t really shut down until after 10 PM how do I know this, there was a day I was in town upto like 10.05 PM and it was open and people were just doing their stuff. Does this sum-up what this place is most definitely no, it doesn’t say the population, what people do to earn an income,when the town was started what clans live here and how they share power and all that goes into writing a profile of a place but this is for simpletons like me who judge new places by places to eat ice cream and ease of sleeping at night.