Ever since I got a job situated at the core of the Nairobi city centre, I have gotten to learn lots. This may come out as a shocker, but I was not really the “running errands in Tao girl”. I stay at a residential area that literally has everything and place I need. Hint: It’s along Ngong road. It is infested with enough churches to go to for spiritual nourishment. It has enough shopping spots; malls for my rare shopping craves and flea markets that offer you interesting clothes for astoundingly low prices; highly recommended for broke shopaholics. It has enough fast-food joints, cultural food restaurant and even high-end restaurants if you dare to insult the expensive menus.
Onwards… I had a bad day this Tuesday! I went to work at 10AM and when my boss tried to ask why, I just boldly told him, “I have my reasons.” I had no idea what that may have cost me at the end of the month. But, I was having a bad day.
I left work early as there wasn’t much for me to do. Walking along the busy Nairobi streets, I got even more annoyed when the sun decided to come out after a depressing cold day. I had on a whole trench coat. People looked at me like an Eskimo walking in the streets of Miami. Bummer!
Walking towards KENCOM, buses nauseating their dark fumes onto my face, dusty wind blowing my freshly baked hair, people rubbing against me from all sides, strange blend of scents and odors flummoxing my nose. The horror!
I quickly walked past the long line of idle persons sitting in front of Hilton hotel. Their travelling long stares are so intruding. As I crossed the road to get my ideal bus…More chaos! The Police and other guys in black suits shouting at bus drivers, hitting the metal on the buses, bus conductors shouting destinations in infuriating accents. Nairobi city madness!
I looked for a bus that has no annoying queue with strange people sandwiching your front and posterior for God knows what reason. As I got to the interesting purple bus that I know not to have much hustle and annoying Nairobi-city-bus-incidents, I found a temporary peace.
The journey begins with a head-on traffic jam. Do I care? Nope! After all, I was having a bad day! At a certain stop, some children, fresh from primary school noisily enter the bus with their stories and irritating jumpiness. One girl (class 4), two little boys (class 4 and 3) and the eldest who even had broken his voice (class 6). There goes my temporary peace! Five… Irritating rascals hailing an endless chorus of noise in my ears. Even worse, I had sat on the second-last row at the back. Oh! Just perfect!
But wait! I heard the most shocking line of words coming from the little holes on their faces. It happened to be their favorite song. In fact they said they sing it often in class. The gentleman I sat next to had a serious face and was analytically reading his newspaper as he circles his areas of interest. He too got disconcerted. More danger!
The children sang along to the nerve-wrecking song, *bend-over* Any Nairobian would know the decadent content it has. The little scalawags sang along to it as if it were a friendly kids’ commercial song. I thought it a slap on my already exhaust fumed face! They did not even mind loudly uttering the piercing vulgar. I tried opening my mandible but no words could come out. Luckily the gentleman I sat next to quickly admonished them and told them to shut up. Relief!
The little troublemakers now got a new task to achieve. I even feel awkward writing this. Petting!!! I got to wonder how they even got to know this. They were so quiet. Something was happening back there. Even worse, when the little boys got wind of what was happening, one loudly echoed, “I also want to touch”, which sounded worse in Kiswahili. Oh! Lord…
I thought the gentleman next to me was going to do something but even he shied away from the disgusting activities that were happening at the back seat. Suddenly, my destination was called-out! I felt so bad that I could not even dare to look at what was happening. I blamed myself for not doing anything, yet still, could I run away from the human in me.
I alighted in deep thought and conviction, but what startled me was the fact that the boys at the back seat threw cunning words at a girl their age and school (they had similar school uniforms). She was waking hand-in-hand with her guardian. She looked safe, but she had her face down. It made me wonder what that was all about. The boys seemed to know her and they were laughing as they pointed at her. It made me think… Are the little children we physically see still children in their minds? I made a pact with self that next time I will certainly do something.
Backseats are now as bad, poignant and dicey as they seem.
And I do not mean road accidents.