Thursday, December 3, 2009

A glimpse into the bizarre workings of the Kenyan mind....

Now, during rush hour the one way fare to south B is 30 bob... the flashy mats may even charge 40 bob but majority stick with 30 bob. Off peak hours, the one way fare is 20 bob.

Last evening, the south b mats trickled in with the touts gallantly declaring "Hundred bob Mater-Hazina!"
The crowd mumbled and grumbled and the touts had a change of heart, "Seventy bob Mater-Hazina!

Now this is where any ordinary person with an ounce of good sense would have done the mental math, looked up at the clear sky to confirm if pigs were indeed flying and asked the commuter on his left "Is the town on fire & we didn't get the heads up? Ama there's a riot ?"
Commuter-on-his-left looking just as puzzled would have probably replied "I didn't hear anything. Maybe public transport has just been declared illegal and this is the last run,"

And if the answer to all of the above was no, you'd all calmly stay put and pointedly ignore the touts till they got the point. And they WOULD get the point. Business sense dictates they HAVE to get the point.

But noooo, a huge chunk of the good, hard working folks of south B scrambled into the mats like you wouldn't believe. The touts saw the mad rush, got all excited and screamed "FOOOORTTY bob kusimama!"

And more people pushed and shoved to get in, some nearly having their eyes gorged out by umbrellas and enthusiastic bony elbows. You see the way in cartoons they depict a mad brawl as this huuge chaotic cloud of dust with lots of cussing, punching, yelping & jostling sounds and all you can see are their limbs & assorted body parts sticking out? It looked something like that.The rest of us were just left braving the chilly weather waiting for the fares to come down. And they did.

Here's what i don't get.

If EACH & EVERY commuter had stayed put and refused to enter the mats, those guys would have brought the crazy fares down. Why?
We had the numbers; that stage had throngs of commuters. Those mats cannot afford to go back empty. They cannot afford to waste time either. They would have glared at us and we'd have glared back but eventually they would have backed down. We even had a Karl Max type commuter loudly trying to clue in
the minority who may have been slow in reaching that logic. He practically begged them to use their common sense. It was not about the haves and have-nots. It was about someone blatantly deciding they will exploit you and banking on the fact that you will give in...

Here's some food for thought, "If poverty is the mother of crime, lack of good sense is the father," by Jean de la Bruyere.

And as Dr. Phil says, "You either get it or you don't"

Mob wendos,


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