On the Road..

I lied to myself that I would find it easy to wake up despite knowing of the long journey that awaited me. I hadn’t finished packing. There was still time, I convinced myself as I nursed my headache yesternight after coming back from Safari’s idea of a road trip. I was beat or maybe it was from hunger as I hadn’t eaten anything substantial all day. Given the fact that I’m ovulating, I need more food. I’m eating for the hormones too. Basically I’m feeding for two.
The alarm had been set for 4:10am and when it rang it took all my nerves not to snooze it. There was still a lot to do. I was supposed to arrive at 5:00 am and the bus would then depart 45 minutes later. Luckily, I got in to the bus 5 minutes before departure time. Honestly, I was surprised when they took off at the exact stated time. I was not prepared for that at all. Some lady was left behind and she was calling the conductor every other minute. His response was that the bus isn’t scheduled to stop so she should get a taxi and chase us.
Such an incident happened to me around 11 years ago. I was travelling with my dad to Kenya. At one stop, passengers got off to purchase food. Dad asked me to go back to the bus and wait for him as our order was taking a long while. He wasn’t back and not being in the know, the driver drove off. I didn’t know what to do so in my seat, I began crying(stupid child!) and that’s when the woman next to us noticed my dad had been left behind. She informed the driver. By then we had covered quit some distance. Dad spent around 6k on the taxi-chasing-bus just because I couldn’t speak out. .
I got to my designated seat and was horrified. For the first time in my travel history I wasn’t getting the seat by the window. Some girl was already there sleeping. I wanted to ask her if she would like to switch but I let it go. She turned to say hi. She looked around my age but even as we departed she went on sleeping. Hey, I thought we would make good friends!
Soon enough we were already at the border and a cop came to check our passports. We still had to alight and pass through the immigration offices. The queue was extremely long. A lady guard told us that yesterday was worse, so many people travelling. I liked her, she was doing her job really well and calmly too. She was directing people when they questioned her and dispatching information. I haven’t met a nicer guard. I was reciting Ayatul Kursi as many times as I could. I was nervous. That particular verse from the Quran is my remedy for anxiety or uncertainty. It works everytime. I haven’t had a good experience at immigration before hence my jumpy state today. Once bitten twice shy.
We were back in the bus. Everything went well. My passport was okay. Or my prayers were answered. I took the initiative and started engaging my seat mate in a conversation. She is a real black beauty. Her name is Gabriella. She asked if I was Tanzanian and I realized we were crossing borders. She told me she wasn’t Kenyan. Gabriella is Ghananian. That explains her big eyes, I thought silently. That country has the most beautiful dark skinned people with their characteristic big eyes. I can tell a person from Ghana by their eyes (kidding😂😂). She studies law at Kwea University and lives in Karen. She only goes to her home country during the December holidays.
Gabriella is used to flights. She found the journey too long and she explained to me that’s why she was sleeping. She is prone to motion sickness. She then asked me if I thought Kenya will have chaos during this election period. I looked at her. This was a really sensitive concern. I told her there was a high possibility and she agreed. There is this air about it that is just uncomfortable.
“I can’t die in other people’s country. Back in Ghana, no one is much concerned with politics as much as Kenyans are,” she finished. I wanted her to take me with her to Ghana. She pardoned herself and travelled to dream land yet again before I could pitch in my request. I must have fallen asleep because she taps me. We are at Arusha and that’s her stop with her family’s friends. She waves goodbye as she alights, I didn’t wave back. She had implied we’d be together for way longer than that.
Sharifah, we met on the queue at the immigration office. We are in the same bus but she’s several seats ahead of me. We became instant friends. We could even label each other girlfriend right now if we wanted. But we don’t. She’s cheerful and we’ve been hanging out at every stop we have taken. She asked me when I would go back at some point, I think she wants us to travel together.
I got another seat mate and again I’ve been beaten to the window seat. I’ve been sleeping throughout the journey as I can’t get a good glimpse out of the window from this side. I haven’t gotten her name. She’s been sharing her foodstuffs with me but everytime I offer her mine she declines. I have learnt to decline hers too. We can’t live like this. She’s constantly on her phone as well. I’ve kept the seat belt on throughout as taught by Mzangila on our way to and from Karatina. I’m learning to love my life.
My second seat mate has also got off at her destination. I’m getting the window a tad too late but I’m using it but it’s too dark already. I’m so tired at this moment, I can barely see what I’m typing. I can’t wait to get to the house, shower and have good food. I’m literally starving, damn these hormones!
Abiria, tumefikia mwisho wa safari yetu ya leo..
That’s the only cue I’waiting for me to get off this bus. I hope my uncle and cousin are waiting up as she had promised they would. If not they will find me beside my luggage, sleeping.

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