Block B is an apartment in Upper Hill that hosts male final-year medical students. It stands timidly amid tall cityscapes that define this part of the city in the sun. You can view the city from the rooftop, and Ngong road looks remarkably beautiful. The rooftop is a viewpoint and also the designated smoking area. Most of my classmates squeezed themselves there to inhale a blunt or two of ndom, away from the constraints of the library and the shame of the public eye.
Life in Block B starts at 6.55 am when we all scramble to the bathroom to get ready for the 7am class, Therapeutics, by the one and only pro who fesses knowledge, Prof Omonge. The don was known for his high-charge lectures. We usually complained with Ndonga that some of his classes were at 40000 amperes, too much for a junior doctor!
The bathroom would have a little commotion; Manu’s girl had just popped from the shower, and guys were not taking it easy. That single event would delay the whole ground floor to the morning class.
Ground floor people would cause chaos at 7.35am; in the lecture theatre, walking majestically, some to the right, some to the left but none to the middle. At that time, Prof Omonge would be midway through the antihypertensives lecture, stating significant minor differences that were more often forgotten than remembered.
“And these ones just want to be Medical Officers and stop there, you see; what’s the time?” Prof Omonge would say, whispering clearly over the microphone. Some mouthy guys from the back would not have captured anything from his classes without the microphone.
The wards and their daily routine would carry most of the day. We had a class at 1pm, and someone decided to put a class for finalists at 1pm! And they were given a seating allowance for that!
The next big wave of events that would storm block B would be at 6.00pm. Destination kwa Gatiba. Gatiba is a soft-spoken man; he has a kibandaski near the bridge along the road leading to KMTC headquarters. Everyone went for supper except those who had managed to pair themselves with our campus girls or the nearby KMTC Hub. KMTC is a well that never runs dry. Those people either came earlier or later, just before Gatiba closed.
But block B had hawk-eyed people, and they all knew who each one was shagging; because in block B, there was nothing like shagging someone who your buddy has shagged. Those were the unwritten laws that governed our home. Some people broke that law, much to the disappointment of many. In that case, we would raise a glass and say, “Labda ilikuwa turn yake, acha agonge ilale.”
Collo admitted his girl, so he told me to carry him chapo mandondo take away. Take-away is never the best thing to do. No ugali saucer or supu extra. On that night that Collo had admitted, there was no music. People were eavesdropping, waiting for the sound of his girl. I remember once when Obanyi had rested his ear on Silvern’s door to listen to him at his weakest. That event alone almost split block B into 2. You were either pro-Obanyi or pro-Silvern; there was no sitting on the fence. For personal reasons, I would be on the side of Obanyi, of course.
The night would retreat into silence. Another day, lived in Block B. Each of those days built on each other until we all became doctors.