On my way to work today, walking along these dusty paths, I found myself behind a woman. She was heading into a kiosk – probably to get a loaf of bread or some milk or something house-related. I assume. I could hear her and the shopkeeper speaking over my earphones but I couldn’t quite catch what they were talking about. It sounded intriguing, though.
So, I have set the scene. You can probably visualize this woman in your head. Short. A bit round. She had on one of those big sweaters women from shags have. The ones that button at the front and end at the hip. I don’t know where they get those sweaters from but most of them have identical copies. Usually black with red hemming and a few white details. I know you know.
But that isn’t important. What’s important was the skirt. It was ankle length. Frilly. Flowy. It was white with some green and black illustrations. By now you may be wondering, “Mark, what the heck were you doing checking out this lady?”
Well, I did not intend to let my gaze fall upon her. Remember, I was minding my business, walking to work at a leisurely pace (on a side note, I was late and the boss was maaaadddd). She caught my attention because of what she was doing. And what she was doing was gross.
It was morning, but for her, it was ‘lunch time’. You get? She really had something stuck up in that skirt and spent the longest time trying to get it out. It was like she had lost something. Something precious and valuable. She really, really, looked for it.
She was still looking when I walked past her. All the while I kept thinking about what she would find once she was finished and because my mind is unhinged, I started to remember a time I went into town and lost a 1000 bob note in a matatu.
See, when I travel, I like to separate my cash. Some notes remain in my wallet, in one pocket I keep the exact fare for the trip from where I live to town (Nakuru Town, if you’re curious – although it’s supposed to be a city now, yes?). The other pocket has the fare from town to Nairobi – which is where I was going. It’s a simple and efficient system. My wallet doesn’t have to see the light of day.
On that day, however, I mixed up the pocket system. My fare to Nakuru was hanging out with my fare to Nairobi and I think the Nairobi fare got a little too excited once the Nakuru fare left, and it escaped. I only realized this when I got to the Nairobi stage. Patting my pockets like a lunatic. Looking for the note in my socks even.
I remember that I was seated at the front of that matatu with the driver so I bet he found my 1000 bob and he had a good lunch. Or, judging from the behavior of most of the matatu people I know, he had drinks on me.
I miss that 1000 bob.
Anyway, I hope that lady found what she was looking for.