Africans have a weird concept of time. We like saving time, but we almost never keep time. This perception of us became so widely known that someone coined the phrase “African time”. According to Wikipedia, African time refers to a perceived cultural tendency to have a relaxed attitude towards time. The next time your friends blame you for not keeping time, just tell them it is part of your “perceived culture”.
One reason why everyone loves life hacks is because they are time-saving, smart and efficient. Here’s 9 life hacks every Nairobian needs to know.
- The Soda Hack
If I’m ever having soda in a soda can, I usually dip my straw right into the can. What follows is 20 to 30 minutes (standard time to enjoy a soda) of frustration because the straw keeps floating away. How many of us are out there?
Put your straw through one of the tiny tabs to keep it in place and enjoy your soda with ease.
- The Sufuria Tip
You know how when you’re cooking you place your mwiko on the sufuria and it drips sauce all over? Well it seems we’ve been using our cooking pots wrong all this time.
Use the hole in your cooking pot to hold your spoon in place.
- Pouring your beer
Do you always end up with a foamy mess every time you pour your beer into a glass? Most people go about pouring beer the same way they pour soda or water. Nothing spectacular about it, just another drink to cool your throat right? Wrong.
What’s that froth anyway? Apparently it’s all just carbon dioxide. It gives the beer a subtle taste and is responsible for the tiny molecules of flavor released every time you smell your beer as you sip.
In carbonated drinks, carbon dioxide dissolves into the liquid so that when it’s sealed in a bottle or can, it creates pressure. Whenever you open this can or bottle, pressure reduces and carbon dioxide molecules rise to the top in form of bubbles.
The foam on beer actually plays a role in how we perceive flavor and taste. Tilt your glass almost 45 degrees before you pour your beer. Aim for the middle where the angle is shallow enough for your beer to travel smoothly down your glass.
Straighten your glass once it reaches the top.
If you want to foam it up, pour your beer from higher up to allow more air into your beer, thus more foam.
- Eating Tic Tacs
The temptation to stuff more than one tic tac into your mouth is huge! Sometimes when I’m eating Tic tacs I like to pretend I’m a junkie and pills are my high. Tic tacs are actually meant to be popped one at a time and the rectangular slot at the opening proves it!
- Peeling hard boiled eggs
Peeling an egg perfectly can be a struggle. It’s frustrating to get to eat the actual egg because everything is falling everywhere and your taste buds are beckoning furiously. But what is there was a way for you to peel an egg without cracking it? Check out how Tom Ferris likes his eggs in How To Peel Hard Boiled Eggs Without Peeling.
- Making new shoes fit you
I don’t know about the men, but whenever ladies purchase a new pair of shoes their own shoe size, but doesn’t quite fit, her only hope is that one day she will wear them repeatedly enough for them to fit just right.
There’s a simple technique to breaking in new shoes and it involves three unlikely things; a hairdryer, pair of socks and your pair of shoes.
Put on a pair of heavy socks and wear your shoes. Using your hairdryer, air at the shoes and focus on the tight areas as you wiggle your toes around. Don’t take off your shoes immediately, but wait for them to cool.
Repeat this process until you feel that your shoes are stretched out. Once you remove the socks, you’ll find that the shoes fit you more.
- Keeping your beer cool
Time for another lesson on alcohol. How do you hold your beer? Picture it. An ice-cold Tusker sitting right in front of you and the first thing you do is reach out for it. It’s ice-cold so holding it at its center will give you 2 to 3 minutes of pleasure before your hands get numb and it also ends up warming your beer faster. Hold your beer at its neck to keep it cold.
- Peeling garlic
What if there was a way you could magically peel garlic? This is usually one of the numerous questions crossing my mind whenever I am staring at an unpeeled clove of garlic. It can be hectic. You have to deal with pulling the cloves apart, the garlic getting into your fingers, clearing the mess the leaves create, etc.
However, this life hack is guaranteed to cut the time it takes to prepare your garlic in half! Watch How to Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds to find out how you can save your prep time in the kitchen.
- Playing music on your phone
Put your phone in a cup when listening to music and it will amplify the sound.
This is one of the most versatile life hack lists in Nairobi. More to come on surviving the city itself, but for now comment on which life hack here you think every Nairobian should already know!
(Pictures courtesy of Lifebuzz, Wonder How To and Lifehack)