Meanwhile, back in the city, I left the office in good time to go home. I get to the stage and as usual, I find a large group of other commuters waiting patiently albeit nervously. There are a few mathrees; three maybe four and Kama can be heard shouting, ‘Raonda Seventy, Raonda Seventy fifte, GM Cabanas …’ x100. In the mix too, Tush wails, ‘Imara, Imara, faster bradhe kuna karao mbele…kuando, kuando (whatever that means)’ I hope into the Embassava Sacco minibus and sit infront with the driver. More mixed sounds ‘fifte,fifte, seventi, raonda, cabanas and GM’ still engulf the air and moments later, Kama signals the driver and says ‘mrefu gari iko krom tothie mani…’ He hands Ksh100 to Gogo and Ken to share for their service in helping to call commuters into the minibus. We are off.
A short distance still on Mombasa Road, Mrefu the driver notices there could be heavy traffic ahead. He decides to take Kapiti Road irrespective of those who had planned to alight at Belle Vue or Aitel stage. We navigate through Sore Road, through to Plainsview then back to Likoni Road. All this time, the traffic jam seemed like a seven minutes thing and by the time we hit Likoni road (20-25mins later), from a distance we could see vehicles moving pretty fast on the main highway and since we are approaching from the feeder service lane, we have to careful wait and enter only when the route is clear. We rejoin Mombasa Road highway. Panari, Standard Group Ltd, Sameer Business Park, General Motors and finally we are at Cabanas.
Mrefu instead chooses again to use Eastern By-Pass through the express way, this means the passengers to be dropped at Kobil Stage will have to balance well to cross the trench as there is no drop off point, the mentality here is that he will have to hide under the cover of heavy traffic jam and illegally stop for people to alight. The hawk-eyed Kama spots traffic police officers strategically standing opposite Bollore Africa warehouse and this spells bad news for commuters who had envisioned to alight at Co-operative, Kitindo and Transami stages in that order so in a split second, he alerts Mrefu and makes the final decision and says ‘kuna sanse(cops/police) pande yangu, oya stage ingine ni Taj Mall tukirudi, wa Kitindo, Co-operative and Transami wote washuke hapa na jam’’ The mathree is leaning on the left, am uncomfortable and since naenda mwisho(Taj Mall) I decide not to alight.
Ladies hold hands to cross, men jump over the trench and we continue. This means we will have to proceed up to Saku Business Park then turn at Kirinyaga Construction site warehouse and head back to Taj Mall underpass. I have wasted much time already, not my fault so I take out my phone and plug in my ear piece to listen to some Indian music and some mellow blues to clear my head. At Taj Mall, it’s another gridlock and since SynoHydro Tianjin crew are still constructing the road, I opt to walk since it would make me an extraordinary idiot boarding another vehicle to Fedha Stage. As I walk, my mind is cleared up, I breathe fresh evening air and it clicks in my brain and mandazi craving kicks in. I smile at the thought and think of Nancy Owande. This lady can perfectly cook mandas praboro in a very short time. So I call this lost gem but no one picks… I later concluded that she was probably looking for some kachumbari, bhajia or maybe she went to buy crisps ama she was humming some English SDA hymns and the phone was on silent mode and far away or maybe eating ugali but then unga prices are up there so most likely she was doing something else. Anyway, since I had extra bonus call minutes thanks to Safaricom, I decide to check on my senior, his Royal Toughness Owanoh Remmy Elias, to see how he is doing, the kids, everything. Again, the dude is away, not picking. Maybe he went to chase something, someone in the plains of Kajiado who had refused to pay for services.
Elias is designer and a master fabricator, show him any design you need made of steel and he will carefully and articulately make it for you and deliver if you want…doors, windows, beds, gates, access barrier, bull bars, chairs, burglarproof doors, curtain rods, hino shelves, everything. All at a good price. He is the man. I get into Tumaini Supermaket, head to my favourite milk section to buy mala and guess what….Yes, guessed right! Mala Onge! Nil! Nothing! Hakuna!
Am almost home now and as a last dash of luck, I decided to visit my namesake, Yours Truly Alex Mkala at his beauty parlor. He has a big couch, strategically placed near the entrance for tired people like me. This fella knows everything mail grooming. So I come in and luckily, I was the only customer so will enjoy all the services, without any pressure.
Alecky says, ‘karibu mwanaume, umepotea sana…’ I say ‘sio sana mtu wangu, ni shughulu tu za hapakule, nikihama pia nitakushow lakini mimi bado niko area kama bacteria ya malaria. Hapa hapa tu, siendi popote’ Alecky knows my hairstyle so I take the seat, he wraps the hairdressing gown around me and few minutes into the haircut am in another level. So relaxed and I doze off. So nice is the hair cut that am carried away kumbe Alex has been telling me a story. I woke up when he began the warm-towel-chemical session. Mr Mkala is the best, I smell nice and look handsome so I pay and thank him. We are both happy….And then before I go further, Nams sends me that sweet SMS then tops it up with good night wish.
Day made, I can as well miss that supper….