Among the 5 people I had counted last, two passengers caught my attention. Am sure the rest of the bus had also noticed them. For conversations hushed for a second or two the moment they stepped into the aisle. And the mesmerized glances followed them as they fumbled with their odd luggage to their seats.
Not that there was anything attractive or peculiar about the duo; maybe it was their religious regalia or the delicate manner in which they held their wooden crosses and prayer books. In all likelihood they were from an indigenous sect looking at their white turbans with scrappy hand worked red crosses affront.
Si eti pia nilikuwa nawasorora sana. All the while my descent self was raging, ‘Biko just look, don’t stare!’ Felt guilty but I just couldn’t help scanning them. It must have been their yellow-green-and-red vestments which had kept me so glued. Or the odd crosses they carried. Or maybe they were something I could feed my eyes on out of boredom. Maybe.
I’d lived seeing lots like them in upcountry so was actually laboring myself to gauge which legion this was that had crawled its way into the city. . Neither had a clue of telling the colours out but was trying nontheless. Added that they were my first to see in Nairobi, I was just as surprised. One of them had his left shoe laced with a sisal string. And a little toe peeped out of a hole in the old leather. Well shouldn’t have stared that long anyway.
The shorter one, Mr.S, was leading his khaki bag strapped around his right shoulder. Cross in the right he was using the left for support on the rail as he waded his way through luggage and feet. He was rushing in a clumsy gait and people seated by the aisle had to swerve to give room. The taller one, Mr.T, seemed slow and deliberate on his steps. Perhaps he was the oldest and the head, most probably. His valance and cross held closely to his body he quietly tagged along and caused less fuss unlike his companion. People growled and sneered when his bag brushed them but he just moved on without a care. This guy be a macho! In fact it was Mr.T who whispered apologies to the angry passengers. Was starting to dislike Mr.S.
I was sat on the side of the window immediately before the seat on the wheels. In front of me there were still two vacant seats. Mr.T motioned Mr.S to take them but he ignored and walked past to one of the empty ones on the opposite side atop the wheels. They had talked in a language I couldn’t understand but think I must’ve got a grumble from Mr.S’ voice. Thus Mr.T went ahead to talk him over to come join him but he remained adamant. I sensed a drama unfolding so I lowered the volume on the music player.
They were indistinctive but from their tones, things might not have been alright between them. Ama walikosania pahali. Was it just a clash of choices? Or was this the classical church drama brought to the market, now a commuter bus? Hmm. Couldn’t tell just then so waited for the scenes to roll. Even when they’d settled they still went on ‘throwing’ words at each other across the bus. Occasionally Mr.T mumbled to himself and Mr.S went rumbling all the while.
Si eti mi hupenda muçhene. Seeing Mr.S stubbornly refuse to sit next to his companion just got me interested to know why. ‘Lakini Biko kuingilia mambo ya wengine yasiyokuhusu ni muçhene…’ ‘Well, I ain’t a party but this is happening right before me. Besides I’m in a dry spell and been looking for something this interesting.’ Ever heard of a nose for stories? I’ll school you!’
And that’s how I convinced my self to write this blog.
There were still 4 seats left unoccupied: two in the back where the skinny ninjas had been together with the ones next to each of the misters. So when a gentleman came and occupied the one next to Mr.T, he eventually gave up coercing his companion. The bus settled. But inwardly I knew things were yet to get more dramatic. And it did.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend. ☺