Thursday, 14 December 2017

WE QUARRELED THE DRIVER

EDWIN KIPTANUI CHIRCHIR edchirchir@yahoo.com edchirchir85@gmail.com

Anger, Angry, Bad, Isolated, Dangerous


PHOTO CREDIT: PIXABAY

Location - Kabimoi - Nakuru - Nairobi road, Year - 2008

It is every passenger's dream to get to his or her destination, not only safely, but also as soon as possible. let me of also make it clear that the 'WE' above does not necessarily mean that I was a participant in the quarrel, but I might have been part of the cheering squad, responsible for fueling the quarrel.

Now, this is how it began. I boarded some Eldoret Express bus at Kabimoi and for the benefit of those who might be tempted to think that Kabimoi is a kind of African sausage, I should clarify that the above mentioned place appears on the map of Kenya and it is between Eldama Ravine and Nakuru. Are we together? Good. Very good.

I was heading to Nairobi for some business which I cannot remember very well. My memory fails me these days. Psst!...Might you be interested to know what causes my memory loss? Of course you do. You see, there is this time I landed in Nairobi and met some beautiful lass called Kabindu from Ukambani. Since then Kabindu has occupied 90% of my brain, with the remaining 10% being divided  into two portions. 5% helps me stay alive while the other 5% helps me remember the names of my own family memebres. Are you happy now? I am sorry to tell you that I just lied in this paragraph. This Kabindu nonsense does not exist.

So, where was I before Kabindu roasted my brain? Oh yeah, I think I need to be serious now. I boarded the Eldoret Express bus at Kabimoi and sat next to a guy from Ukambani, who kept quarreling everyone along the road, as we sped off towards Nakuru. I was expecting to be at Nairobi in about three hours. I should know because I had tried it before, from Nairobi and I was at Kabimoi within three hours.

Those were my plans, but apparently, it seemed the driver of the bus was not in a hurry. He had other ideas like picking more passengers in Nakuru. So, we stopped for almost one hour in Nakuru, to pick more passengers. The guy from Ukambani took the opportunity to piss off a few guys in Nakuru town and to also sample a few delicacies. The only problem is, he took roast maize, fresh milk, yoghurt and coca-cola within the one hour we spent in Nakuru.

We thereafter left Nakuru for Nairobi but ...oops! the driver stopped the bus again somewhere around Lanet. He instructed us to take lunch, but we were so pissed off because most of the passengers had taken some snacks, as we picked more passengers in Nakuru town. A few passenger alighted, but the guy from Ukambani and the driver were not left behind.

Ukambani soon came back with chips and sausage take away, which he proceeded to munch unapologetically. By the way, how did I know the guy was from Ukambani? It was because he kept asking almost everyone,

"Mnajua mimi ni nani? mimi ni yule mbaya kutoka Kitui"

The driver on the other hand took his sweet time to eat whatever he was eating. In fact to be precise, he took close to one hour. You could tell that everyone (except Ukambani guy) was pissed off from the way they were angrily and impatiently peeping through the bus windows. Soon, strangers started talking to one another about the driver.  Everyone was boiling from within, but the steam was suppressed so that it allowed intense anger to build up to the extent that by the time the driver entered the bus, everyone's mouth was errupting with vulgarities and obscenities.

The driver became the recipient of unprintable words because of causing us the delay, but he said nothing at first.

Once everyone had released as much steam as possible, the driver spoke like a gentleman. He reminded us that he was the driver of the bus and he was going to teach us a lesson by moving as slowly as possible. True to his word, he engaged what I think was gear one and kept alternating between gear one and two for the entire journey. It was the slowest journey I had ever been party to. But on a positive note, it was also the safest journey ever, because the possibility of an accident was almost nil. In fact every moving contraption, including bicycles and huge lazy lorries took the pleasure to overtake us with a smile. A journey which I had expected to take only three hours, ended up taking six hours. Some point worth taking is that, I have noted most passengers prefer a driver who drives fast even if they are breaking the traffic rules. It leads to a possibility of an accident, caused by the driver, but fueled by the passengers' impatience.


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