|So, you think that gives you the right to judge me?|
I’ve had the most random misadventures with transportation personnel. The boda guys are so far the biggest culprits of this habit. The boda guy will ask you about your children. Then he will sound offended when you tell him you’re still childless. Then he will remark about how he’s about your age and yet he has three children. He’ll even ask you what you’re waiting for. And you’ll ask yourself the same question, forgetting that you actually know the reason why you’re single and childless, not in any particular order. So, you’ll tell him to be quiet and just ride along. For some reason, that instruction will only slip through his mind like water on the back of a duck. He’ll ask you about ‘Tubonge’. He will sigh with bemusement when you tell him you have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. He’ll then take it upon himself to educate your ignorant self about his political views. At some point, you’ll just give up and sit silently until you reach your destination. You pay him and delightfully see him ride out of your life. But that never helps when you have a designated boda guy. You can rest assured that you’ll continue that conversation next time you require his services.
Then there’s the taxi guys. Now, I tend to find myself in late night taxis with a disturbing frequency. There’s nothing you want more than to take the short trip from office to home after a long day, so you can relax and unwind, and munch cereal for dinner. If you’re a bachelor, the rules for nutrition are not written on the wall. Normally, you’re the only guy waiting for a taxi at the stage, and people are unlikely to be walking slowly at that time. It is my working assumption that people who are at taxi stages at night know where they are going. Therefore, I find it hard to understand why a conductor stops in front of a couple who are not even at the roadside, to ask them if they are going. The conductor will completely ignore the fact that the couple are lovingly gazing into each other’s eyes and whispering unmentionables. Of course the other passengers will point out the obvious. But upon looking at the 6 people in the taxi, the conductor will feel obliged to try and convince the lovebirds to continue in the taxi so he can meet his night quota. Having been rejected by that couple, the conductor will look across the road at a random guy buying roasted maize. He will shout towards him, asking whether he is going. I don’t know what gesture the guy could have responded with that encourages the conductor to wait for him. Because as soon as the guy gets his maize, he heads off in the opposite direction, at which point the driver will call the conductor names and drive off. The whole journey takes twice as long as it should, with the conductor repeating this error until you reach your stage.
Now, some people have the benefit of walking home from the taxi stage. That can be surreal, especially in the moonlight after a long day. You get to relax your thoughts and compose poetry. I’m not one of those people. I’m one of those that needs to get a boda to take me home from the stage, for it is not a walkable distance by my standards. So, I begrudgingly greet the boda guy, hoping for a swift and peaceful ride home. And that’s what it’s like for a few minutes until the boda guy says, “But you... Why don’t you have a woman at home so you can go home early instead of being out till late?”