Thoughts & REFLECTIONS

Matatu Chronicles

She sat at the first seat. I had been behind her in the line as her older boyfriend kept her company. So many people go to upperhill…or rather to visit sick people in Kenyatta because there is always a line on that Citi Hoppa route. I wondered why the owner decide to give his business such a queer clandestine name. It’s like a grasshopper that never settles…always hopping and traipsing around in Nairobi. So this girl was really entertaining her guy. I assumed he was le boyfriend coz he kept leaning over probably to smell her long ass hair. She was quite the looker…freezing up in that line because she looked like she had had a night of debauchery and dint carry a change of clothes. So the Citi Hoppa gets here and on we hop and because I’m a sucker for following up stories I decided to sit nect to her. Why she chose the first seat baffles me considering her short dress. Everyone lighting the bus was met by her caramel toned thighs and she dint bat an eye. I loved her confidence. Immediately the bus left the waiting bay she calls her friend called Mwende and they launch into full on Kamba. I’m glad you can’t tell the Kamba on me otherwise she wouldn’t have said half the things she said as I sat there. I think she used it for anonymity in the full bus to give Mwende the juicy details of the night before. So I took out my book as I always do and pretended to read but my ears were all on her. I know….I know it wrong to listen in. But by Jove. I couldn’t help myself. I can’t even translate the things she told Mwende because as many know…mother tongues have a way of making such talk to border on obscene….especially Kamba…I would know. I left that bus thinking…poor guy probably in love to the point of waiting on her to go not knowing he is only good for the goodies he provides like the pink S-4 she was rocking

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I really hate going for interviews in a matatu but what can you do when you are financially challenged? You squeeze up in the back seat coz you can’t wait for another mat as you will be late and the only seat left is the one at the back where because of your tallness you sit tilted. You console yourself that its better than the front middle seat which overheats your legs. Plus the awkwardness of getting in and out in your heels and tight fitting official skirt is too much as the top of your head knocks the roof of the matatu and ruins your perfectly combed hair. You are a bundle of nerves and this is not helping at all. The mat gets on its way and as you leave Moi avenue those bumps do more damage to your hair. Some professor looking character seated next to you exclaims at how “a matatu with no shock absorbers is dangerous”. I almost laugh at his ridiculous observation but then he is old and looks like he will cry from the pain of being thrown up and down. I’m so glad to get to my destination. That matatu was three seconds away from killing us on the road.

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I got into a threesome a while back in a matatu. Before you jump and exclaim at my lewdness..let me explain. Travel for long distances is not a joke in a matatu. Even before you have left the CBD, your legs and ass are already cramped…probably from the anxiety of what awaits you. And eating before is usually the worst. My nausea comes to the helm and keeps threatening to break out of my poor mouth. But for the most part, you end up getting acquainted with your fellow passengers despite the fact that you dont even talk. It’s because of these huge ass touchscreen phones.  You don’t even have to struggle like when people carried around those huge brick like Motorolas and Ericssons that had a screen the size of a matchbox. Nowadays you see everything someone is doing on their device without even trying too hard. Just a tilt of the head or at night you read through the window. So if someone gets dumped the whole matatu joins in the dumping. So it was with all this new generation phone funfare that I witnessed this poor girl have a most disastrous journey home. The boyfriend kept asking why she went home and why she couldn’t spend Easter with him. I think he was being overly sensitive. A girl should be able to go see her family without being made to feel like she has committed treason. So she started off with very angry messages which seemed to only anger this guy more. Talk about stocking the fire. She finally had enough and put it on silent and into her bag from where she fished out a packet of tropical heat crisps. Thin girls get away with munching on anything and the waistline remains intact and no love handles hang about when you sit down (that is what I call blessings). I think she got bored again so she decides to take out her phone to scroll instagram or snapchat (these apps are too many to keep up with by the way!). The boyfriend had gone all dramatic. He apologised then got angry then dumped her…in 10texts and 15missed calls). Her whole mood changed. Suffice to say…she left the matatu a very sad confused girl

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Matatu mugging is like a fad in Nairobi. Especially in good old Githurai. They watch you the minute the matatu stops to pick up passengers hoping you grip the phone a little less tightly then they move in for the kill. More often than not. The phone ends up in their hands. But there are some rare occasions where these muggers mess with the wrong ones. I once sat next to a man who was very small and looked like he was bullied in high school. You could smell the being a target on him from a mile away. He was on his phone from the minute he sat playing this candy crush game that never ends (what’s up with that? I want to get to the end and feel that sense of accomplishment but I’m stuck at level 219!) I was sure that phone was as good as gone. The matatu was just getting into town at Ngara. Some lad in sagging jeans thrust his hand in and attempted to take it but small guy was not having it. He poked the guy’s eyes! With his middle finger! The guy left screaming obscenities. That was a lesson in not judging a book by its cover

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