So we can all make the conclusion, first, that women are too organized. You see on Tuesday, I was having my own happy time in a matatu, KBS. Traffic on Ngong road past 5pm is unbelievable, and it needs a messianic calling to be patient with. So when you’re in a KBS and nothing is moving, headphones are your savior along with some book. I can’t tell you which book I was reading, but you should try Stephen Price’s books, such a humorous guy.
So the lady who sat next to me was all bubbly, and made calls every three minutes to everyone. You probably know one of these mamas who call you at 2:47pm to tell you about how she thinks her house needs a new table, or why she’s stopped taking tea and might change jobs. At 2:47pm when you’re from lunch counting hours to 5pm while on Youtube. She’s the calling type, because I heard her call like five people telling them literally nothing. But she was organized like a library… Once in her conversation she picked a diary, flipped pages to a date she had spoken with some guy and told him exactly what he said. Ladies love being right so… yeah.
But here’s my problem… She was too organized. Very organized. In traffic when I get bored, I walk out of a matatu and start trekking. Of course I’ll regret this ten minutes later when the same mat vrooms past me, but I like feeling like an entrepreneur. Now, this lady does not get bored with matatus, because she has something in her purse. Not a water bottle, no… That’s for mere mortals. It’s not an earphone, that’s for average women. Not a make-up kit, that’s for regular chics. This woman had a pack of grapes, in a beautiful plastic casing which she just forked out and started chewing. Do you have any idea what that does to people like me who can only carry headphones for pastime? Yaani, this lady while at home was so ready for traffic, she remembered to pack grapes for herself. Not oranges, mangoes, mapera or other normal fruits… She is an Independent woman, she ‘does’ grapes.
Me… I couldn’t. So I did what normal people do. I walked out of KBS and left them to their traffic. But y’all know I was just jealous this lady had grapes. I see those things everyday opposite Taj Mall but it has never hit me that they can be bought, that I can draw money from my pocket, give it to that Boy with a William Ruto cap on, and he hands me grapes. Eastlands will be the end of me. Thirty minutes later, that bus was probably still at Yaya Centre, but I had walked to Kenyatta. You do look broke in Nairobi when you walk that long. All that sweat, your skin turns to some other colour that isn’t in ROYGBIV… So at Kenyatta, that’s where the story is.
I took another matatu, now not a bus. KAV blah blah blah… It looked tired, it coughed tired, but it was the only matatu that was almost full. I sat next to the tout. Inside was the usual sight in Nairobi matatus,: three or four guys, five chics, two elderly women, hooded kids, looking busy, leaning over like monks or druids, their eyes fastened to the smartphones held in front of them. Then that old thing coughed its last just before upper hill… And stopped.
I love a fracas by the way. I’m the type who runs to see why a baby is screaming on third floor despite me living on sixth floor. I consider shop attendants actual friends, and I shout at touts when they pretend they are looking for change; why should I give someone a hundred bob and they conveniently forget to hand me back fifty bob until I ask them. It’s worse when it’s more than 200 bob. I love a fracas. So I started with the donda… Issuing all types of threats. ‘Do you know I don’t know Waiguru’. ‘Ulinunua hii matatu na Eurobond’ etc… Even so, the good old days vanished in my eyes. Long ago in a distant Sosiot, there were two matatus. Sosiot Coach and Chemororoch. Hii matatu ingekwama tu, every male being walked out and pushed jovially. Women looked on happily, celebrating the effort the men in society had shown. You would see any crowd of men getting ready to push a broke-down car and would happily jump in. No complaints. It was your duty and you understood it.
But this is 2016… The men in the car were doing hashtags. #MatatuGaniHii #WachaUfala #CantBelieveThis #WhereIsUber #SitakiUjinga. But nobody walked out. This is 2016. Kama uko na haraka, shughulika. Of course yours truly, by virtue of having sat next to the donda, stood by the door, at least I looked willing. But the tout had to pay four bystanders thirty bob each to give this mat a jerk. They all sat there… All men.
Sigh. This is 2016, my head is too old school maybe.
Enjoy your weekend when it comes.