It’s that time of the year when the country gets to accommodate a different kind of ‘tourists’ in town, known collectively as the ‘summer bunnies’.
For the folks here at home, the idea of having family or friends in the diaspora coming over for Christmas is always refreshing as we get to have the much-awaited reunion. The ever caring loved ones will go out of their way to be good hosts, they will not mind driving or taking a cab all the way to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), the varying time zones notwithstanding, just to pick up their kin and take them home.
Some will even give up their rooms so that the visiting “Watu wa America” (loosely translated to Americans) can get a room for themselves, not because they need to be treated like kings and queens but just because we care.
However, the summer bunnies always import some cheap attitude and some exaggerated, lavish lifestyle from back at home, something that leaves a lot to be desired.
There are those who, as soon as they land, will forsake their friends and family back here and will be out and about hanging with their click of friends who are also visiting from the diaspora.
A good number of them will even refuse to put up with family and instead insist on booking some expensive furnished apartments to reside in during their stay.
Summer bunnies will take over all the social circles and joints, acting richer than everyone else around, and when they turn up, everyone must know that they are present. This they will do by either overdressing or underdressing for the occasion, donning tonnes of bling on their necks and filling their tables with all sorts of liquor just because they can. And lets not forgett their fake accents and annoying mannerisms.
IMAGINARY CULTURE SHOCK
More often than not, they will be speaking in dollars, a topic that will dominate the better part of their conversations, with their popular statement being; “you know in America, we dom’t this and thar blah blah blah”. Well, we don’t care what you do or not do in America, now you’re back home (Africa), so while you are here, act like Africans do.
Even more bizarre is just how much the summer bunnies will display some real or imaginary culture shock. Some will be totally perplexed to see that the folks here are abreast of the times, and in ownership of the latest gizmos, fashion items and music collections currently trending abroad. Some will even be astonished that the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) is still there, like we were supposed to have lend it to Uganda or something.
SOMEONE TELL SUMMER BUNNIES
They will almost be in disbelief when they spot a posh car on our roads. Well ,someone tell the summer bunnies that there are people living large in Africa as well, and in case they forget, an African billionaire made it on the top 25 list of the world’s richest in the Forbes 2014 rankings.
Lastly, a reminder to summer bunnies, we have city by-laws that govern our county and if you are not abreast with them, you might just find yourself in trouble. For instance, it’s a crime to cross the road while on the phone. The crime attracts a fine of Sh 7,000 and you can bet that your fake accent will certainly make you an easy target of the city council Askaris.
Last summer, a friend who had come home for Christmas learnt this the hard way after he parted with Sh 10,000 for the offense. Sadly, he thought he was just paying a ‘small’ bribe kitu kidogo as we call it in Kenya, to get off the hook.
Well, someone tell our dear summer bunnies that spending one term in the USA does not make them foreigners and that Africa is still ‘home sweet home’, so cut us some slack and tone down on the offensive mannerisms.