The matatus that serve our route are known to be the most dilapidated, in all of those that serve Eastlands. The lack of headlights, benches for seats, leaking roofs… They are bad. But every so often I enjoy the trip that usually involves clutching my heart with my throat because I felt my foot touch the tarmac or some equally scary experience.
The conversations that go on in these matatus are very entertaining. Be it that drunk that felt compelled to inform everyone that he will force his wife and kids to vote for his favourite political candidate. Or that micro revolution that forces the conductor to refund us.
Today, we were involved in dissing a young lad about his girlfriend. It all started when he boarded the matatu and thought that his girl had not followed back in. He then decided to alight only to find that the girlfriend had gotten a seat next to the konkodi. So he got back in. This made him look very shifty and confused so one of the elderly passengers tried his best to ‘comfort’ him.
Sit your ass down your girlfriend hasn’t gone anywhere. Where is your hurry?
Now if this were some other part of town, the youth would have been reduced to insults trying to defend his girlfriend, but this matatu was for the ghetto part of Eastlands so he had a little more class. He responded calmly,
Mzee you know I thought she didn’t get a seat and so I had to get out and look for another matatu.
To which the old guy added.
If you are in a hurry you should have gotten a taxi.
Man a taxi will charge me like I am going to South Africa. I can’t afford that.
How can you be in a relationship without money, what kind of love is that.
You know our fathers and mothers didn’t have money but they still loved each other.
That has never been the case. You need money to buy her things. Look at her hair, she needs to go to the salon.
This is where the girl timidly defended the dude
My hair is done.
The disses went on further, with the rest of the passengers now in a discussion about how barbershop prices had increased 10-fold and what not. I decided to stuff in my earphones and ignore them. That is until I heard one of those dancehall artists say something like, ‘Gyal you are like Jesus Christ with a pussy‘. Whoa. What the hell was I listening to!? I plucked out my buds like they were on fire. So fast that my ears popped.
The matatu conversation had now shifted to more controversial topics. The young man and the old man were still the main noise makers. They were talking about why man has so many problems.
You know that when man came into existence he didn’t have any problem. The one that brought problems to the world wasn’t even made by God and you know who that is.
Who? The Devil? God made The Devil too.
No. I mean woman. Woman wasn’t made, she was just plucked out of man’s rib.
This now was the cue for women to flood in and give pieces of their mind. Luckily for me, I had gotten to my stop. I jumped off quickly, not wanting to know how heated that debate will be. I reckon it ended with a stabbing. Or at least a slap.
Right now I am at home eating. By the way, if you have ever wondered how mud mixed together with a rhino’s jism and a cow’s hide tastes like, you should really have a spoonful of what The Aunt cooked for supper today.
*PS: All the convo was in sheng’. Tried my best not to lose anything in translation.