Monday, August 18, 2014

'The eye tends to trust that with which it is familiar'...

Taxi trips are awesome. You get to sit for an entire 20 minutes with a bunch of strangers and not feel even the least bit obliged to interact with them, at all. Strangely, I look forward to them. But 20 minutes is just about my threshold these days. More than that and I could find myself chatting with the random passenger next to me. There should be a drug for this. I'll find out later.

Now, there's a specific kind of passenger I strongly dislike sitting next to. You know them. The mother with a heard of kids. From the looks of it, the mother wants to share the one seat with her unruly brood of 4. Most of the time! And then before you know it, you've received a fistful of saliva-soaked bagiya in your face, a muddy shoe to your knee, and a scornful look from the mother wondering why you're not so welcoming. But that's not all. The youngsters decide that it's about time they had the space/respect argument. The bigger kid wants to sit and carry the other one, but the other one is older, so refuses to be disrespected. You squeeze nearer to the window and gasp for fresh air. All the while, the mother's pleas for silence are falling on inattentive ears.

Man, the times I've felt like taking a child's discipline into my own hands are too many to count. But I can't mete out justice to a perpetrator that isn't under my jurisdiction. As such, I tend to watch hopelessly as my joy and composure are stripped away from me bit by painful bit. I'm not saying I hate children. I like children. I like them when they are at a distance. I can smile and wave at them, tell them stories, and listen to what they have to say. As for a stranger's kid pouring simsim all over my jeans, that's a different story. And the bu-kids can look none the wiser, so I tend to spare them the foul gaze, choosing instead to mutter quietly to myself, "Hold on. Hold on just a little longer. We're almost there."

Suffice it to say, I've never had a pleasant trip next to kids. There have been uneventful trips, and that might have been because I was praying so hard for it to be uneventful I almost popped a vein. The mother could have thought I was in pain or something. And when I do end up having to share a seat with such, I make sure the kids are facing away from me. Having a kid suddenly pull at my ear and 'accidentally' poke me in the eye once was enough.

Alternatively, I just don't sit in the corner and trap myself, choosing to be where such drama can be easily fled from. Or, you know, i could just use bodas.