Dog Kebabs and Madness

Dog Kebabs and Madness

The main characters of the book “Tram 83” written by Fiston Mwanza Mujila have an interesting nightlife. There is a quote on page 176 saying “Not all nights had the same chronology of beer, music, dancing, single mamas in the first flush of youth, dog kebabs, and madness.” This quote explains that their nights usually contain those events, but they don’t always happen in the same order.

So let’s talk about these events. The first couple seem pretty normal. Beer, music, and dancing are all typical events that can be found at any nightclub or bar. Beer to get you feeling good, music to get your rhythm going, and then comes the dancing. We see these activities around us all the time. Nothing very out of the ordinary so far.

The next couple activities is where things start to get weird. “Single mamas in the first flush of youth”. Single mamas are pretty much prostitutes looking for sex for money. “First flush of youth” pretty much just means young, or young adults. So this is saying their night usually consists of including young prostitutes.  This shows that the characters like having sex, but don’t really care about doing it with someone they love. That may not be common to most people in our society, but may be for some. It is extremely common is this book however. One of the most common lines are the single mamas asking “do you have the time”, meaning do they have the time to have sex.

Lastly “Dog kebabs and madness”. Being Armenian, I have eaten quite a few kebabs in my life, but never dog kebabs. In our society, that is disgusting and inhumane. In the book’s world, it’s normal. Dogs here are often found to be pets and “friends”, where to them they are just food. It shows how different life is for them, which is a little more raw and ruthless. Madness be common after a night of beer drinking for us, but it is a lot more common for the characters of the book. Their nights typically have some wild stories, which is what makes the book interesting.