Friday, 31 March 2017

TEA, TRAFFIC AND TANTRUMS

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

PHOTO CREDIT: PIXABAY

There are days you make tea and then you proceed to take the same tea like a  necessary evil, because the taste is just  not right. You feel that there is something missing. You feel like the tea still requires a little bit of adjustment of its ingredients. You frown as you swallow the contents of your cup, making you feel like someone who is taking poison (I have never tasted poison by the way, so I don't even know what I am talking about). Even the loaf of bread accompanying your tea is not excited about such a lousy beverage.

But then, there are days you make tea using the same ingredients and the taste is awesome. The blending of the ingredients is just mathematically correct. Your body tissues warm up and loosen up a bit as you swallow the tea. You smile and day dream. The loaf of bread giggles with excitement as you crush it between your teeth. The warm drink caresses your teeth and the sides of your mouth as it trickles lazily down your throat and into your stomach.

As you take such tea, your mind relaxes. You start thinking like a supposedly intelligent person should. You even remember the names of all your high school classmates. You start thinking of new solutions to life's problems, which in this case includes Nairobi's traffic jam. You cannot face that traffic jam if you have not taken well made tea because the jam will make you moody and grumpy. It will break your heart. You will feel like you want to cry (this applies to both male and female). Sometimes you might get out of your car to go and quarrel someone in the next car and some times people (strangers in this case) will exchange blows right there on Mombasa road.

Talk of Nairobi's traffic jam (anyone up there who still thinks this story is about tea?) there is always a police officer who controls traffic flow around Nyayo Stadium round about, even though we have traffic lights, which I think they should be turned into street lights. The problem is, he always seems to favour those vehicles coming from Lang'ata and Karen. He will stop vehicles from Kitengela, Athi River, Embakasi, JKIA, Machakos and Mombasa, then he will allow about 129 handsome and sexy vehicles from Karen and Lang'ata to join the highway and move beyond the round about towards the beautiful city centre of Nairobi. Then when our turn comes, he will allow only 9 vehicles to go past the round about, then we are back to Karen and Lang'ata yet again, while the police man gives us that look which seems to suggest that we should 'know people'

I am told that if you are used to tea every morning and you miss the tea one day, you become too moody for your own good. The policemen around Nyayo Stadium round about are always moody, but the guys from Karen and Lang'ata seem to take the trophy when it comes to moodiness.

There was this time I was in a matatu from Kitengela. Out of no where, a black eyed young male adult from Karen route, barely out of his teens, stopped our matatu (not far from Nyayo Stadium round about) and attempted to engage our driver in some quarrel. He was driving an intimidating car, which probably belonged to his mom or dad. His reason for stopping us? Our driver had refused to let him bully his way into the highway, but he should have waited,why was he so impatient anyway?

Our driver, a carefree fellow who seemed to have no worry in the world just looked at the fellow without saying a word. The guy kept on overworking his lungs, by engaging our mute driver in a senseless quarrel, while not even minding that he had parked his car right there in the middle of the highway, hence obstructing other vehicles. He was probably trying to please that young and beautiful girl inside his car. He probably wanted to show her that he was the King of Nairobi's concrete jungle.

Everyone in the matatu I was in, jostled for a better view. We all wanted to see this this big baby with 'bling' on his neck, a stud on one ear, a T-shirt, Open shoes and a trouser which looked like a hipster. His trouser (hipster I swear), was sagged so half of his underwear was out there, basking in the sun. We were waiting for him to throw a tantrum and cry while rolling right there on the tarmac.

I was pissed off and almost joined the quarrel on behalf of our mute driver. I actually have a whole library of obscene words in my brain, which are crying to be used. I wanted to tell him to take the car back back to his 'mama'. I wanted to remind him to show some respect to his underwear and hide it. I wanted to tell him to go and change into something proper, not walking around on a hipster. I would have loved to get out there, so that we could hold each other by the collars of our shirts or T-shirt and push each other around, with our noses about one centimetre apart -I am almost sure he would have requested somebody to hold him or he kills somebody (me) - but then I remembered that some of these kids from Karen route sometimes walk around with their fathers' guns and their fathers or guardians can afford seasoned lawyers, so I cooled my brain and tamed my tongue. We then allowed him to vent his anger. The only disappointment is that the beautiful girl in 'his' car was busy on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, posting things like #Friday Manenos or #I love my life, hence not listening to her hero or future husband(hopefully). Those tantrums should have earned him 1500 brownie points with the girl, to be redeemed in the near future.

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