After Easter; It’s back to reality.

10 Apr

I thought it’s Mondays I hate; but I guess Monday blues- have nothing to do with Mondays. It’s the first day after holidays that make the first day at work seem longer than all the others. If it was not for my wife, I would still be rolling in bed finishing my dream. I didn’t even hear her leave the bed; leave alone make coffee. Anyway; I’m already awake and out of the bed; why not go to work?

I had a wonderful time in the shags with my parents not forgetting I have spent every dime I had reserved for the Easter celebrations with my kids in the village. Going to work is not an option; it’s time to recover. But luckily the kids are home for the holidays. My mother wanted me to leave them in the village but this thing with education nowadays!!!? They are only home for a week; they have to resume for tuition next week.It was not like that when I was in primary. When schools closed, that was the end of books; we would stay home for a day or two and then mum would park our bags and transport us to Kiambu kwa Cucu. My grandmother had a very big coffee plantation and she always looked forward to those extra hands to help picking coffee. All my cousins would also be there; about seven of us.  It was picking coffee and playing games; and in the evenings, my grandmother would tell us stories about Mau-Mau and the white colonial settlers who she blamed for killing my grandfather. She would allow us to take tea which was out of question in our respective home; we would wet the beds and then carry our mattresses and spread them in the sun to dry the following day.

I wish my sons would get an opportunity like that and get out of the house for a change; this Computer games only makes them lazy and soft. How about forming gangs and challenging other gangs from other villages and fighting it out in some streets. I bet that is illegal today. I have bought all cartoons {pirated of course} Kiliku, Ben-10, Tom & Jerry, NSF Most wanted; and others I can’t remember their names. Well time changes and so do people.

It is 5:30 when I finally leave the house, that cup of coffee always does the magic; the Toyota matatu is not in the parking; the conductor must have gone to get passengers. I wish he does that every day to save me the hustle of checking water and oil, although I prefer doing it myself. The brake fluid needed topping up the last time I checked. The rush hour has just began and the price is right-“ Wambururu kalia Ndai iko sawa” the conductors tells me as we exchange positions, he is carrying excess passengers but it’s okay, there is no cop on the road at this hour. I’m still concerned about the brakes but the pedal assures me everything is okay. I have missed the sound of this work horse. I don’t need to tune music so I have one trip to listen to the 5L engine push the load. The owner must have serviced the vehicle over the long weekend. The passenger in the front seat next to me has smelly shoes and the heat from the engine is not doing him or us much justice. I hate smelly shoes, so I have to drive with my window opened; How do you put on the same socks two days in a-row that is not even good for your own feet. But I guess that’s none of my business; he is a fare paying passenger and has the right to sit wherever he wants. The guy in the corner is back in the dreamland, he must have missed his cup of coffee; or may be his wife doesn’t care or he is not married.

I love driving early in the morning as there is no traffic jams at this hour. I’m back where I started in less than an hour, but the story is different this time round; there are passengers everywhere, I don’t have to go all the way to Tuskys main stage to fill the car; “Nyonga hapo” my conductor shouts hitting the roof of the car. I do as he wants and in less than five minutes, he is hitting the roof again- “Twenda na hio itha”. It’s some minutes to seven- the traffic jam has already started. I hate this trip as breaking traffic rules is un-avoidable. I can’t drive behind people going to work while I have already started mine. Kenyans have no respect for their cars; I bet the only thing they don’t do in cars is bath. I watch them in the morning traffic combing hair, shaving beards, taking breakfast and even fighting. They have all the time to do all those stuff and even throw some insult to a matatu driver. But I’m used to them; insults don’t stick in the body. My conductor gives them the finger salute but I can’t do that; I’m too civilized for that. I have a better way of making them feel the itch. I will flash them my head lights on my return trip even before they have done ten kilometers on the jam and watch their wife’s point at me probably telling them to let them take the matatu the next time.

The third trip starts around 9:30 and this is the one that determines how the day will end. All the cops are in their respective spots, no excess passengers and no overlapping; it’s time to be in uniform and hang a badge- safety belt locked, a portrait hanging in the windscreen and follow the right lane. It will take forever to beat this jam, but its better I obey the rules today; I need something on top of my pay. The fewer bribes I give the better chances I have. The passengers at this hour don’t care when you get them to their destination as majority are not going to work. Maina Kageni and Joseph king’ang’i  are doing the entertaining for me with the morning show on classic FM.

It’s the same routine every day for a matatu driver and I’m already bored by early afternoon; sometimes I wish somebody will just hire me to take them somewhere else. But not today; private hire has a fixed income, and the owner has the figures; that does not go well if you want some extra pocket money. I have enough for the owner and half the fuel I have used; two more trips and I will be done with the expenses. No cop has touched a dime today and I bet it will end that way. Today is my lucky day- what with all the blessing my mother poured on me?

I skipped lunch to make an extra trip, the owner does not have to know about this- the bible says a donkey does not have to be muzzled when treading on the corn. Well; this is where I tread corn and since I’m just a casual in this job. Every cent counts.

1 Comment

Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Matatu matters



One response to “After Easter; It’s back to reality.

  1. wakaranja

    April 10, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Good one mate!


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