The Thing About

The thing about focuses on different topics and issues from an African perspective


"What Kind of cheese would you like on it?"


Ummm the regular kind? the one everyone uses everyday? the one for this burger?

I don’t know.

That is my least favourite question when I order food in America.

Why do you have so many cheeses? Cheesi? Cheese? (What is the plural of cheese?)

I know it sounds very strange but I know i’m not the only international student who feels this way.

In America everything is fast, in Kenya things are fast but they are not too fast. Everyone in Kenya knows the Swahili proverb, “Haraka haraka aina baraka” (Hurry, hurry has no blessing) That is basically my life motto. Here you need to know what you’re getting because there are five people behind you waiting to order and some of them will look at you like


or actually say something about how you’re being slow.

I always feel so intimidated ordering food in America, like do they have this here or is it in the other restaurant? Can I ask for that? How does one actually order from here?

But thats not the point of this story. My point is that there are too many cheese options! I don’t need that in my life.

In Kenya it’s simple. You ask if you can have a burger and they don’t  bog you down with mundane questions like what kind of cheese do you want, they just bring you the burger.
In America, they've  got American, cheddar, provolone, pepper jack, swiss, parmesan, shredded cheese, munster, gouda, mozzarella, and the list goes on and on.

I get it, cheese is nice. Cheese is delicious. For some people cheese is life.

Don’t get me wrong we have cheese in Kenya, but its not such a big deal. In fact this article in the Daily Nation states that “Cheese is not a very popular food here  in Kenya…” which is probably why we don’t have a proliferation of cheese waiting to be picked. However, according to the Euro Monitor Sample, Kenyans are slowly getting into cheese due to upward mobility, the rise of fast food joints and experimentation with cheese products. Maybe that will bring about an obscene amount of cheese to the Kenyan market. 

Maybe thats the key to becoming a first world country! An appreciation and knowledge of cheese. Knowledge so vast that you don’t know whats going on outside your country. ( So much shade in that one sentence) I used to get worked up about the fact that people could know the variations of cheese but not know that Africa is a continent or that Kenya is in East Africa. But hey thats just how cheese is sliced (get it? instead of how the cookie crumbles? No? ok) 

How do you feel about cheese? Is it necessary to have all these options?

Let me know in the comments!