I used to live stones throw away from town. Not that I ever tried. Throwing the stone I mean. I never would have had the energy to. Things are different now. On clear roads and clear skies I take an hour and a half to get home. By bus.
I never used to keep time. I took it. The time that I was to meet someone had to come before I took off to the meeting place.
I like the new place though. There’s a consistency in it that I would have never had in the old place. Is this part of getting old? Where one needs a certain level of certainty for growth in his or her life? The old place was undoubtedly youthful; the shops and pubs bristled with the primitive energy of yuppies arriving, where time only matted when it was 1759.
Now, I am surrounded by a certain sameness that is comforting. the random consistency of knowing that if I don’t tell the newbie seated next to me on the mat, that if I don’t advice him to hide his phone, in the next five minutes, ( and counting,) it would be gone. And watching it go when he defies me.
The warmth of the 14 seater getting stuffed with 20 plus passengers, with periodic assurances of our safety every so often at the police checks. Periodic body checks too, (some call them accidents but I deem them to be body checks). As every Kenyan knows, “if you’re not bloody don’t waste your money!”
People from my new place contribute to the economy in many ways. We uplift the laundry industry by the layers of dust that cake our coats creamily. In a similar manner, we will, if we see our future, uplift the medical industry, by the layers that cake our lungs. The Second Hand Clothing industry was created for us. The ‘kadogo’ miniaturized products, that hold up the country’s economy from banking, Chinese products, retail, to the food industry are sustained by us.
I am, by far, a more responsible and efficient employee, way more reliable than I ever was.
I must get to town early- if I do not leave home with the birds, the bards that pay the piper will sing a different tune. And so do I have to get home early; I have to beat the time when the boys in the hood ( either those in blue or those with glue) start their rounds.
Don’t you just love it when the universe colludes with your environment to make you a better person?