Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Oh Africa

There's something about this country that just gets my writing juices going. I've been in UK for a month and while I had a great time there was nothing that grabbed me to sit and write it down. Three days back in Kenya and I already need to write the tales and things I've seen.
Yesterday I set off from Nairobi on the day bus down to Watamu. It has been raining a lot here in the past month and the bush is the greenest I've ever seen it. All the way through Ukambani was like a shamrock, which I've never seen before (see the post from Ukambani in Nov 2011). At one point looking down flowing    creek, shaded by a tunnel of flowering trees with yellow weavers darting between the branches I thought I'd arrived in the Garden of Eden, before a strong bump reminded me that I was still on the Mombasa highway.
We were making great time and had Tudor Creek near Mombasa in our sights by 3:30 and then ... Jam! Lorries and buses and cars backed up as far as the eye could see and not even creeping forward. Complete standstill. Our bus stood still in the hot humid coastal air and the temperature started to rise and you know its hot when the Africans start sweating, shifting and fanning one another. In particular there was one mama sitting opposite me, who actually inspired this blog post, who started stripping off. Before my eyes the shirt was unbuttoned and the bra pulled off in sweaty contempt. However this wasn't enough for this aggravated matriach, she stood threateningly with her breasts bare and pointed at the bus conductor, "Weh! When I bought my ticket in Busia they told me I would be in Malindi by 3pm, what is the time now and where are we? I will never travel with Modern Coast again!" The poor conductor tried to convince her it was the jam and there was nothing Modern Coast or their associates could do, but she was not convinced. She sat glowering, flapping her open shirt wings like threatened bird trying to frighten predators away.
So next time you are on the bus or the tube, just think what you are missing. :-)