Now where do I start? I think the best place to start is the beginning.
About 3 weeks ago my wallet decided to grow legs and walk out of my pocket. Must have dropped it in a mat but on further inquiry it was nowhere to be seen, apparently somebody had an eye for good wallets. Anyhow luckily for me no vital documents were inside but a very important ATM card was in there. I have since learnt that ATM cards are the best thing since sliced bread, without it I’ve had to brave the snaking queues at the farmers’ bank.
Naturally on learning of the card’s disappearance I hastily made arrangements to have it cancelled and applied for a replacement not without spending a good amount of time in the banking hall to get that done. Was told to come back in 10 days so I waited until the due date.
It was ready for collection last week and I made arrangements to leave work early so as to get to town before 4 p.m. Thought leaving by 3 would give me enough time but as always the traffic on Mombasa road had other ideas. Got to the city centre at 4.30 so much for that. Tried again on Saturday but the 45 min I’d given myself looked inadequate so my trip had to be postponed to Monday.
Come Monday with the benefit of experience my exit from the office was done at 2.45 p.m. Surely by any estimation that should have been adequate time to make it to town by 4. So I cleared with my supervisor and made my way to the gate. Luckily there was a matatu right there so I quickly got on and began my journey.
Before we even got to Mombasa road there was already traffic on airport north road. Even the driver was surprised and wondered whether the president was still around as he had passed that way earlier in the day. After a few manouvres on the road we got onto Msa road which looked to have a high amount of traffic for that time in the afternoon. The matatu was pretty empty so we had to make a few stops but it filled up quickly and according to my watch there was still a lot of time. Once it was filled up I was confident that it would be an express trip into town.
Shock on me when we got to south C and found a snarl up that is characteristic of rush hour and not 3.30 p.m! the driver too was confounded since that time is usually free flowing. Once again some overlapping was done on the road towards the Nyayo stadium roundabout, once we got there it would be all good- or so we thought. We had not even gone through the roundabout before we came to a stop to the horror of even the driver. Strangely all other roads heading into the roundabout were also held up. Knowing that our fate was practically sealed we moved slowly towards the city centre. In the meantime the driver was sharing how frustrating his job can get and I totally agreed.
Just after the Bunyala road roundabout ( side note: how many of those things do we have to pass? They must go, by yesterday!) I looked at my watch, 12 minutes left to bank closing time. Looked out the window and wondered if I alighted then whether I could make it. After a little thinking I decided it was best to stick in to the mat and told God- “please, let me make it in time”.
2 minutes to 4 still on the road, What’s more the contractors working on the road had parked a lorry with concrete blocks on our lane. Thought they were supposed to be working at night not in the middle of the afternoon! Arrrgh! I tell you sometimes you can just shoot people. Thanks to that little obstruction 4 o’clock found us at the Haile Selassie roundabout. I had no option but to alight from the mat in traffic.
Got of the mat and ran to the bank and you guessed it- closed by 4.03 p.m. tried to negotiate with the guards to let me in but hey wouldn’t budge, ati I should come the next day. “what!” After all the trouble I’d been through that was not an option. At this point I was livid, cursing the traffic, for crying out loud, I had done my best to get there in time! Tried calling a pal who works in the bank but he was busy.
As I was outside there brooding and almost going captain haddock on those guys hope arrived. I saw my cousin whose mum works at the bank come out of the door. “Halleluyah!” I thought. Told her my situation and she spoke to her mum. Strangely she noticed that her mum’s number was already on my phone but I guess in the situation I forgot. A few minutes later I was sorted and was smiling all the way out the bank.
Relflecting on that situation I really thanked God for coming through for me again like this time and this. Was a really frustrating experiences but it worked out well in the end. Thanks be to God.
Lakini this traffic is in a horrible state! One of my pet subjects but that’s for another day