It is the wee hours of the morning circa 5.30 am. Here at Progressive (a mtaa at Githurai 45) it is business as usual. Businesses are open; yes, even butcheries. Do these people ever sleep? That verse in Proverbs 24:33 `A little sleep, a little slumber……’ must be in BOLD in their Bibles. I pass by my mandazi guy and buy several. I am supplier number one in the office; well, at a fee. I throw them in my Tuskys paper bag; they must smell class. My colleagues must not know I bought from the roadside. Past that joint, there are all kinds of noises with a chorus `tao thirty tao thirty’ filling the air. I look at my watch, and its 5.36 am; time to refill grease in my legs and walk faster towards my favorite bus Rockers because when it hits 5.40 am, the fare will be 40bob. Here, every minute counts because fare hikes by 10 bob every 10 minutes until when it hits 6 am and it becomes a constant 80 bob. Those of us who are economists by life know that multiplier effect is real; you have to save time and money by being an early riser. That way, in 20 minutes you are in town and pay three times less than during rush hours. And of course the best part; you are top 5 to arrive at the job place and experience the fastest wifi there is before rush hour people arrive and downloading Jimmy Gait’s Yesu ndiye Sponsor (It was on my bucket list to use this song in my articles) takes 15minutes.
I thank God that the cold season died because now the miniskirts in my closet are celebrating; finally, they get to see the light. The cold season had made them lack vitamin D for way too long. During hot seasons, it’s not necessary to put on a sweater/coat since by 9am, the temperatures will be begging to separate us (that sweater/coat and I). I thus decide not to take the seat next to the window to avoid `baridi ya asubuhi’. I am counting down minutes to Nick Ndeda’s show on X Fm when I notice a lady at least thrice my weight coming in. When she steps, we all feel the steps’ impact on the bus floor. It happens that there are two vacant seats; one at the back and the other next to me next to the window. I pray that she is long sighted and cannot see the seat next to me. As I ask for forgiveness, (for wishing long sightedness on someone) I lean on the seat in front of me so that she fails to see this vacant seat and move straight to the back. I forgot that my height is wanting, and I’m not on a 16inch pair of shoe thus instead of blocking her, she gets a proper view of the vacant seat. Just like that, she takes that seat between me and the window.
That my people became the alpha of an unforgettable morning; a torturous morning; a Monday morning where tiresome is my MCM; a morning with this woman. It was the beginning of 28 minutes of `one-butt sitting’; very uncomfortable. Every time the bus swayed a bit, forces from her side would push me out of the seat completely. At one point she told me `madam, ukikaa na mtu mnono wacha akae kwa edge’. I had no energy to respond; it’s not like her words were doing me any justice anyway. I could neither listen to Nick Ndeda’s show nor text my crush good morning to show that I am wifey (read early riser). How now? Not when I’m struggling with space. Its vivid how when the bus swayed on my side her hand leaned on me totally and for a moment that aroused a memory of when I tried carrying a 35kg sack of layers meal. What made it worse is that she had two big shopping bags between her legs. As if this was not enough, her money was in her skirt pocket. The skirt pocket on my side people. She pulled a 50bob first before she remembered that these are Githurai buses and giving exact fare is highly recommended. She went digging for the 30bob; one 10bob and 4 five bobs. Can you imagine before she pulled all those 5bobs? Yes, I was busy standing and rolling my eyes very professionally you would think that was my major in college.
I just alighted at OTC haraka sana and pinched my ears. I better feel cold than let a packaged woman/man sit on the corner and I am left fighting for sitting allowance. You better learn from my story lest you will have a story to tell too and this time, you will be traveling from Nairobi to Kisii in a 14-seater.
Thank you Hellen for motivating me to write this story; you are a genius.