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The Misadventures of The Working Girl

Monday morning, 5:30am, my alarm went off. I snoozed, at least twice, so my actual waking up time was 5:50am. Fortunately, I’d already packed my breakfast and my lunch the night before. In my head, 5:50am was a pretty decent time. Right? Wrong!!! Lang’ata road traffic would prove otherwise.

At 8:24 am, I was stuck between Galleria and Bomas for approximately 45 minutes. I kid you not. Surprisingly, I was not even panicky, I was relatively calm for a late employee (I absolutely hate how this has become working girl’s outstanding trait).

For the first time on this road, I saw a fleet of private cars turning back. Must be nice being them, maybe they discovered an alternative route, which I highly doubt, because matatus could have been onto them. Matatu drivers probably have a hint about where the narrow road to heaven is, seeing as to how no route is impassable to them.

They make a way, even where there seems to be no way. Bad joke, Nka, bad joke. Allow me tell you about the first matatu conductor earlier on today. I boarded a Kenyatta matatu from my home stage. It looked promising. I’d heard the conductor quote the standard price, Ksh. 100. Upon getting to Tuskys, he quoted an even higher fare, Ksh. 150.

The passengers were not having it, myself included. There was a mini-riot where we all protested against his blatant robbery and trickery (and greed, honestly) and we all agreed to pay the price he’d told us initially.

They turned back to where we came from, after he and the driver had a discussion. Had he quoted that price from the word go, we’d have had a trouble free ride. The principle is not the money, the principle here is the truth. One man stood up and said, “Hii pesa hatulimi, tunaifanyia kazi.” I felt really bad for him.

Some passengers outrightly told him, “Turudishe mahali umetutoa!”. We had to alight. That saw me walk to another stage, where I boarded an honest conductor’s matatu. The transportation fee he quoted is exactly what we all paid.

I made a walking buddy after alighting the first one, by the way. We walked as we talked. She was fortunate enough to get a vehicle that plied her route on the way. I soldiered on, alone, to the next busy stage where I was sure I’d get matatus in plenty.

Back to being stuck in traffic at Galleria for forty five minutes. Two people alighted and started walking after we made it past Galleria, my first guess was that their destinations were along Lang’ata road and not town, like the rest of us, in that case, it was faster that way and I wished them well.

Allow me rant about the guy-girl besties (or the couple) that boarded the matatu too. The guy missed the public transport etiquette class where we were taught to use earphones, he watched TikTok videos without his. I am a huge TikTok consumer, so most of those rhymes were too familiar. I possibly can’t be the only TikTok lover who hums those tunes randomly as they go about their day.

I called in work, to say that I was stuck in traffic and that I’d be really late, they understood. The unexpected happened at 8:50 am, we were transferred to another vehicle, a moving one. It was quite scary. What if I lost my grip? What if I fell? I can confidently say that I can survive Nairobi, yes? I hoped on a car that was moving guys.

Here’s what happened, mid chaotic traffic, the conductor decided they won’t go to town, so they changed cause and ‘abandoned us’, leaving us in the hands of a terrible driver who refused to stop and kept driving as we boarded. So inhumane! At 9:04am I was at Wilson Airport.

My day was off to such a dramatic and chaotic start, my week, even. I chose to rely on the Lord’s word, that pain may endure at night, but joy surely cometh in the morning. The chaos was my night, my joy would eventually come in the morning, which could be anything from later on that day or throughout the week.

I kept thinking along the way that my tardiness is something that needed to be addressed in my life. Had I woken up earlier, maybe I would have had such a smooth ride to work.

I changed my alarm to 5:00am to avoid all the drama for the rest of the week. I might have hurt my arm from hoping onto the matatu. I was also poked by a loose silver lining (so ironical) as I alighted. Yes, it left a mark, and it was painful.

I got to work, my work computer was a tad bit problematic, so that saw it undergo repairs the whole morning. Couldn’t my day get any worse??? All in all, I was grateful to get home to my parents and talk to them about my day. It was comforting, they were comforting.

5:20 am, Tuesday morning, you were up, working girl. 7:50am, got to work. Well in, working girl.❤️.

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Published by NKATHA MUTUNGI

Hi. Welcome to my makeshift blog (I'm saying this because I'd like to start a professional one - not sure when). I consider myself a good writer, I have a way with words. Welcome to my mind, it's a great place to be in, most times... P.S - If you feel uncomfortable around necessary truths that involve hard conversations, I'd not recommend... If you're here to support your girl, peep at what thoughts linger on her mind and maybe just get your mind off of things (because it doesn't always have to be that deep) I suggest you stay, you'd like it here... Love, light and a creative space, fam, Nkatha.

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