It is evening.
I am outside. Outside the multi-storey building in which the studio apartment which currently serves as my living space, is located.
I am hungry.
I’m walking about, thinking about what to do.
I come across a Cape Verdean neighbor. He should be in his forties thereabouts. He was born on a different island. Got romantically involved with a female european tourist. That should have been like in his twenties.
He spent a number of decades living in Europe as her boyfriend. Or maybe husband. I don’t really know – I’m not even really sure what the difference is.
They had a number of kids.
At some point though, the relationship broke down.
I think somehow, the legitimacy of his stay in Europe was predicated on his relationship with said woman.
And so given the end of the relationship, he landed back in Cape Verde, with like nothing. No partner, no kids, no means of sustenance – or at least none that I was aware of.
I feel like his general grip on life was through the aperture of that relationship, and so given it’s dissolution, life was pretty much back to zero for him.
I am hungry.
He is also hungry.
We exchange greetings and head out for a walk.
We were having a chat at his place a while back. For some reason he refused to believe that I spent a number of months living in Germany the previous year.
And so in-between puffs of weed, I began to regale some of my experiences of the general Berlin terrain. Talked about Alexanderplatz and Rosenthaler Platz and a number of other “Platz”es and stuff.
By the way, I don’t understand how or where these people get weed. Very frequently, they find themselves in situations where they’re hungry and have no food to eat. But somehow it seems like there’s always weed to smoke- I don’t get it, I don’t get it at all.
Ahahahaha!!! You was in the Germany, you was in the Germany!!!
He began laughing and pointing excitedly at me. At that point he was convinced.
There’s a guy by the road with a quad bike. Tourist, from the looks of it. Or maybe one of those initial tourists who end up setting up tourist experiences. Like renting out quad bikes and stuff.
The quad has a problem. I think it won’t start. We agree to help him push it up the hill.
We’re at the destination. The quad has been successfully transported. The quad guy offers his appreciation. We respond- You’re welcome etc etc.
The Cape Verdean guy looks like he’s turning to leave. I don’t understand what he is doing.
What the hell is he doing? Is he not hungry anymore? This is dinner right here!!
Bruh, there’s no time to grovel in pointless inhibition this evening. There is hunger.
I express to the quad guy that we would appreciate some units of physical currency in addition to his verbal expression of gratitude.
Bruh we’re very hungry. “Thank you” is good, but we’re going to need more than that if we’re to remain alive and conscious pls
He reaches into his pocket and extracts some euros.
The Cape Verdean guy begins to smile very widely- expressing relieved excitement at the emergence of an assuaging answer to the problem of his (strangely repressed) hunger.
We receive the euros with thanks, and keep moving.
I feel encouraged. This night has started off on a positive note.
We’ve bought some light stuff to eat. Some other Cape Verdean guys have joined us. I have no idea where they came from.
We keep moving.
Onde esta Galinha?
I’m not exactly satisfied with the relatively austere things we’ve been eating so far. I’m in the mood for some chicken.
He is laughing very loudly. He turns to the other Cape Verdean guys and tells them I’d like to eat some chicken this night. They also begin to laugh at me.
Galinha hahaha!! You have sweet mouth!! We in Cape Verde call it “Muta Sabi”!!
He turns to the other guys- they’re all laughing and making fun of me and voicing the expression: Something something muta sabi.
I don’t know what they’re talking about. I’m just in the mood for some chicken this night.
The closest thing to “Muta Sabi” in Nigerian Yoruba would be maybe “Oju Kokoro”.
It literally means “Eye of an insect”. It’s used to describe people who are generally perceived to lack contentment.
Nobody should even piss me off with these annoying traditional expressions this night. It does not make sense to be content with an undesirable situation, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting tasty things in your life.
We keep moving.