Keep your hands to yourself
Travelling can be fun, especially when you cannot get enough of the beautiful sceneries outside your window. It can also be a nightmare, as my friend Nancy found out last week. Most of us never have the pleasure to choose who to sit next to. And aren’t we are all different in our own special ways? You can sit next to a woman nursing a wailing baby while balancing a bowl of pounded avocado. Or a Rihanna obsessed fan whose music is so loud, it won’t let you sleep. What about the old man who uses your shoulders as his pillow, drools and snores while at it? Even worse is the loud mouth who keeps spitting saliva and does not understand the contortion on your face. Feels like hell, I know. Wait until you meet the one with the ‘touchy man hands.’ My friend met an all rounded one – Mr. Know it All with touchy man hands, and she had the worst day of her life.
She was travelling from Nairobi to Eldoret (going back to Moi University) and she wanted to get as comfortable as possible. So she sat at the back, sandwiched between two well fed African men. Her first ordeal, air circulation inside the packed matatu was terrible. Her only consolation was the fresh rush of air into the matatu, albeit periodically.
Still, she could take that. But somewhere near Westlands, her seat mate decided that he had to know more about her. He ranted about this, and about that, pointing at those buildings mushrooming in Westie, indulges in a little background history about them and not once did he slow down. He talked a little about himself, his work and HIS AGE! Yes he did…I am a 30 year old bachelor blah blah blah. I say it like she described it; a scene out of KTN’s Tujuane Show.
Don’t get me wrong, striking a conversation on a bus or matatu is not a bad thing. In fact it can be the inception of a long lasting friendship or relationship. And travelling can get lonely, I know. But sometimes people just want to be left alone with their thoughts to torture them in peace. You are on your way back to school – assignments pending, a CAT coming up, a research project that you cannot seem to get past the topic and the biting cold of Moi University awaits you.
Trust this man to never leave you alone. Come on, you are only past Limuru. He then asked for her phone to make a call because his was off. He made a phone call alright, but to his phone which blared with Busy Signal’s Missing You. He now had her number. Smooth maybe, but treacherous nonetheless.
When they made a stop in Nakuru, he pulled the gentleman trick and offered to buy her lunch by pushing a 500 shilling note her way. Declining such offers is not just an African thing. Besides, he had put her through so much, it was the least he could do. She pocketed the money and headed out to get her lunch. My friend came back 10 minutes later to find him waiting patiently and smiling between his teeth.
Now he was smiling, woe unto her for accepting that money! The nightmare continued until they reached Eldoret. Then he pulled a new move. She felt his hands sneaking up on her thighs. Yes, his touchy man hands were slowly climbing up to the no go zones. This is the point where she contemplated giving back the money. Then like a miracle, she spotted the conspicuous Moi University sign board at Cheptiret. Free at last, free at last, thank God, she was free at last. Martin Luther King would be proud.