Thursday, 12 September 2013

Types of matatu passengers

This morning when i got into the matatu, i was my observant self and i was able to distingush various characters and types of passengers, here goes.

The nursery.
    This is a woman who will enter the matatu with her seven children. One on her back and six others in tow, they are usually very young and the eldest is like nine years old. The conductor will ask if she is paying for any of her sitting children, that question is often answered by the mother making her little army stand up. Woe unto you if its a Nissan matatu, you will begrudgingly carry one of the kids and your designer pair of trousers or skirt may end up as a urinal during the course of the journey.

The newspaper man.
    He is the one who reads a newspaper throughout her journey even if he falls asleep, he will wake up and continue reading it. They are usually very touchy about their papers, some will refuse you when you borrow. On Sunday, they will wrap their Bible in the newspaper. And they may also use the folded it to kill a troublesome housefly.

The listener
This particular passenger has earphones in his ears throughout the journey even if the vehicle has deafening booming music and a big screen. They will periodically show-off their phones. That Nokia E-71 or that I-phone but only if the world knew that those earphones don't work and that sleek and latest- looking phone is a multiple copy of a phone and that has been bought and sold 8 times.

The sleeper.
When the journey starts, he will bury his head into his arms, wait, there are a variety of sleeping positions. Matatu sleepers are a funny lot, if a man dares sleep on another man's shoulder, that is a licence for a knockout punch but if a lady sleepily rests her head on his shoulder, that is a new addition to his phonebook. Matatu sleepers rarely have lone conversations, they drool alright and some are taken beyond their alighting stages.

The musician(of sorts),
This passenger will lip synch to every song the matatu speaker has to offer. They will bob their head and tap their feet and when their favourite song comes on.

The stander.
   He is known for standing everytime, they will never board the matatu at the stage. The standers are helpful as they can also assist to stop the vehicle for an alighting passenger when the conductor is still squeezed at the back collecting fare. In a Nissan,the "sambaza" board is rightfully theirs.

The choosy one.
These are guys who must sit in a particular position. I don't like travelling with such.If the front seat is occupied they would rather board the next matatu, they feel entitled to the back seat. I once bowed to the whims of a chooser, we sat at the back then a fish vendor boarded, let's say i arrived in town smelling like a kettle of fish.

The gossipers.
They are often women who trade stories for the whole matatu to be entertained or annoyed. They will have open conversations about how the watchman does not contribute to their 'chama' and how a neighbour's daughter failed her exams and henpeck on how Mama Nani is a cheap gossiper.They will laugh badly after sinister remarks.

The aged.
This old and frail passenger will enter last in a matatu and the sympathetic looks and stern faces directed the young man or lady seated close to the door will prompt them to stand so that the aged sits. If the young man expects a reward after standing for the old man or woman, he'll be highly disappointed. That is why i never sit near the door.

The bottle of cologne
This one suffocates the entire matatu with the cologne that he has worn. Even their eyelashes will smell of cologne. They obviously got the 48- hour protection concept all wrong.

The storyteller.
This is the one who will force you to interact with them, with stories of how the government should fix the bad road.

The quiet one.
They will always look out through the window and not speak a word, the conductor will often tap them for fare.

The caller.
Receives and makes calls for good part of the journey. Most calls are personal that could do well and be discussed privately, they will advertedly make sure other passengers know that their bathroom towel is colour yellow by the kind of calls they take and make.

The drunkard.
Mostly at night. He will enter smelling like a bar and has had enough and a variety of alcoholic drinks in his system to be called a brewery. They will shout insults denoting private parts. They love the backseat.

The thief.
Matatus are his hunting ground. Phones and wallets are his prey.

The diva.
    She will come in the matatu, play a choosing game on where she will sit then gently touch the seat, wipe it with tissue pull her skirt then sit. Take out her mirror, balm her lips, stroke her face then put on her earphones.She is very conscious of whom she sits with. She is a combination of the listener, the quiet one and the choosy, sometimes the bottle of cologne. I am the quiet one, and you?

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