Scene: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi- Kenya

August 8, 2014

I walk over to the “Kenyans and Other East Africans” counter at Immigration and hand over my passport. Of course I know my passport has put me into trouble a lot of times. It’s either I am not truly Kenyan or that it is not my passport. I am always impersonating someone. For some reason, I am not really panicking this time like I usually do. The woman behind the counter asks for my fingerprints. Then she asks me again. Then a third time. In my naive mind, I imagine that perhaps it is the machine. You know, this is Kenya; sometimes things don’t always work. Ten minutes later (by now everyone on queue is starting to stare at me), this woman passes my passport over to another official. They both look at it. They look at my passport and look at me. My passport then me. I am beginning to feel dizzy. They both ask me to take off my glasses and look into the camera. I oblige. Then they look at my passport again. I am getting impatient. “Do you have any questions?” I ask. “No”, the woman behind the counter responds. The other woman then says (in my face), “You know these days they take medication and then they become men”. I am tickled. For many reasons I want to laugh but I actually do need to go. I get my passport back after almost twenty minutes. I get home to realise that my passport wasn’t even stamped.

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