A Ratchet in Brixton, London
Updated: Apr 3, 2019
A ratchet, quick searches on Urban Dictionary (the ratchets dictionary of choice) and these two interesting definitions pop up:
We'll most likely instead of what other people say rachet is a rude annoying person trying to act ghetto I would say its a nasty dirty girl who doesn't clean herself making guys run to find a hiding place
Definitions be damned and luckily-my feminism has me in no way desiring to distance myself from what societal norms consider ‘other’ and ‘unsavory’. I am in no way averse to associations with poverty, struggle and sex workers or women who embrace their bodies and sexuality in agency. Hence my comfort in referring to myself as one.
My favorite definition of the term ‘ratchet’ though is by Issa Rae "I think everybody has to have a little ratchetness in them. The yin and the yang between ratchetness and righteousness. I think when you have just the right amount of both, it's a great balance. Last night is a perfect example: I went from a strip club to a charity event called Girl Power, all in the span of two hours."
So live your life, young, wild and free-in ratchetry!
1. I left my hostel, that smelt of Marmalade, butter and toast. Something that I inherently associate with ‘Britishness’ as per my Kenyan imaginations of what Britishness is. Basically milky tea, rain, red bricks, toast, butter, marmalade and Enid Blyton.
2. Wandered the streets, smiling at old women (I find old people super cute and that’s the best part about visiting countries with aging populations-old people are plenty) Headed over to the Brixton pop up for a concert and other shenanigans- I ate a pulled pork sandwich so moist, flavourful and well-seasoned and washed it down with a delicious ale as I watched a band from Mexico begin to prep their set for a gig that evening. A drizzle began, no one really cared and neither did I, it was refreshing considering the summer heat
3. The music gig kicked off and a close Kenyan friend who also happened to be there at the time joined me
4. At some point that evening I separated from my friend. I am not averse to my own company, so I decided to explore Brixton’s artsy and vibrant streets on my own.
5. There is something about walking through ‘living’ streets where people still mind their own business but are happy to connect if you click on a vibe. That is essentially how I would describe Brixton. As I walked on the streets eating some street food, I met two men, one Vietnamese and one Jamaican. We connect, essentially because alcohol tends to make me an 'Aki wewe' meme of a Kenyan woman. Which could be said to the be equivalent of an LA 'OMG like totally' type of version babe. I tell the Vietnamese man I have been to his country and love it so much. I tell the Jamaican man that as a Kenyan, my love for his country and his country's music is as natural as winning long-distance marathons. We bond over that and a lot of other nonsense drunk people vibes. Party all night together.
6. I remember them walking me to catch a train back to my hostel, with lots of bants and laughs. And I remember the train ride feeling super balmy and warm-because Summer. But one bit of that night is one I cannot recall to date. I woke up back at my hostel in St Pauls with a half-finished bottle of rum and bananas next to my bed. Trust, that this is a miracle because I used and coordinated trains from from Brixton and did some walking alone all the way to St Pauls. To date I have no recollection as to how the rum and bananas situation came to being. Totally recall one of my best nights ever with those two men. If they ever read this by some twisted coincidence of life. I thank you both for one of the best ratchet nights of my life!