It is 7:33PM and I just stopped at Nakuru. I am going to Eldoret where I will not have to carry my backpack on my tummy, in fear that someone might cut it off. Literally disappearing with it. I have three
more hours to go and I realize I do not have enough money for a taxi to take me home. Also,I have not eaten anything the whole day. And I am seated in the most uncomfortable seat ever.
On my immediate right is the driver. See, I never sit on that seat – 1X. Never ever sit on it. It has no cushion to lay your head as you sleep. You also cannot lay on your forehead. Neither can you lay on your temples because you do not want to breath on a stranger’s neck. I would also not want a stranger blowing warm moist hair on my nape.
I also do not want a stranger poking my shoulders telling me,” Pinduka, unanipumulia.” That is something you want your sister to tell you. It does not get awkward when she says that. But when a
stranger does it, there will be an awkward silence. You will see their side eye judging you all the time.
You will not know how to tell them to close the window because the wind is too strong. It is hitting your nostrils too directly that you cannot inhale.
I have pretty long legs, or body. So sitting at 1X meant that I had little to no foot space for myself. The lady seated beside me is big bodied. And has square glasses with a brown rustic frame. I like them. Her
bag is yellow and made of fake leather. It has a snake’s scale print on it. She has no noticeable knee. Her knees stick together all through. She sits with her feet spread unintentionally. That does not even give
me a chance to share her foot space. Only one foot can fit.
As we leave Nakuru, the car now smells of fresh French fries, yoghurt and diesel. The driver is half bald headed and cannot stop touching his crotch. I figure that maybe he peed and did not wear his underpants well (if any) and now they are causing him great discomfort. So he keeps adjusting whatever
is beneath it. The woman beside me takes out a book. It is about prayer and speaking in tongues. I admire anyone who can do anything on the road. All I want to do is lay my head, sleep and not be talked
to. See, right before we left, I made an actual prayer that the driver would not be a talker. I do not like talking drivers. They ask if you are a student and where. Are going to school or from school? They ask which of your ears is bigger than the other. How many hair strands do you have.
Sleep is all I want at the moment. Something that is not possible in the freaking 1X seat.
The driver adjusts his crotch again and lightly brushes his fingers along his nostrils. I do not know how I notice this since I am not directly staring at his nose (or crotch). But I do.
It is now 9: 34 PM. And I am roughly an hour from home. I have the habit of always having my bag with me when I travel, since I always have space next to my foot for my bag. And also because everyone is a thief in their own way! But 1X was in the way today. I did not even have space for my own foot, let alone a bag.
Several people alight before reaching town and the driver has to stop, alight, open the door and boot every single time. He developed an attitude at this moment. Fatigue perhaps. And also because they
alighted pretty close to one another.
We are now at the Junction to Poa Place. Which to me signals the grand, or not so grand entrance into Uasin Gishu. (thanks to 1X).
It is now 10:40 PM and I call my chauffer, (read very kind neighbor). I am in town. I am home. I can now lean my neck on his car seat. I have enough foot space.
As the driver turns off the engine, he adjusts his crotch one last time. This time, he does not sniff.