I initially posted this story last year for 2 contests. It's one that features athletism, video games, the art of bargaining and more. Enjoy!
This story happens in 2012, back when I was still living in Nairobi. It was either towards the end of November or the beginning of December, right around the time when the matatu(bus) strikes were happening. Bus drivers were protesting a recently proposed transportation law and those strikes could get hectic.
A Not so Chilled Day:
So one day, along with a friend of mine(let's call him M), who like me also lived along Waiyaki Way, we visited another friend(C), who lived in an area called Hatheru, to play xbox as we always did when we had free time. We had met up earlier, then walked there and reached around 10AM.
Nariobi, Bus stop - by Jush - CCO, pixabay.com
We were there for maybe 2 hours when C suddenly remembered he had to go pick something up from his cousin who lived on the outskirts of Nairobi(Don't remember name of said location.)
He asked us to go with him, we promptly refused. But, he could be so persistent and persuasive. He started his argument by telling us that there would be good food there, a playstation with new games(we were tired of the xbox), transport for the return trip, and possibly some whiskey if we were lucky. We were sold!!
While waiting for C to get ready, we obviously played a game or 2, that quickly turned into 4 and then into 6. Once he was ready, we decided that in order to save money we would walk up to town, and then take a jav(matatu ride) to wherever we were headed.
Once in town we weren't really talking, each was lost in his own head, listening to his playlist.
Don't Skip Leg Day:
So we're walking, C is in front of me and M is behind me. I think I had been looking down or something because all of a sudden, I see C running past me and yelling my name. I then look in front of me and I see a mob of people running full speed towards us!
I don't even remember turning nor when I started running but the next thing I knew, I was bolting and had caught up with my friends. We kept running till everything calmed down.
That's lowkey when I knew I was fast. I say that because I hadn't exercised in more than a year and my friends practically lived in the gym. C was a soccer player with dreams of the Epl, and M just loved the gym, like religiously! Yeah, I know the adrenaline rush probably had it's part to play in that whole sprint but, come-oon!!
SO! After our spirits calmed down and we were done acting all tough and sh*t, we decided to go cool down some more by getting some ice cream, to this day the best ice cream I've ever tasted.
After that we were like, you know what? F*ck it! We've already come so far, let's try again. So we used another road to another bus stop.
Getting closer, there was a barrage of people, and as soon as we saw them, they started running towards us. CRAP!! Not again!! So we start running again! Lucky us though, it was a false alarm and the whole thing only lasted a few seconds. But at that point it was clear that buses wouldn't cut it and even if they did, may not be a good idea. So we shamefully opted for a cab and to split the cost.
Supply meets Demand - Hustlers don't Skip a Beat:
We then started walking again, a lot, looking for a cab as they were highly in demand due to the strike. We finally found one and C started negotiating the fare. I don't remember what price the cab driver gave but, it must have been pretty outrageous since it made C dare touch and mess up his own mohawk which was a sacrilegious act feared by many.
Ok, Breathe in breath out, breathe in breathe out. He finally calmed down, then we proceeded to ask the driver, how much to Westland.(Practically in the center of where all 3 of us resided.) He said 2K....
All 3 of us nearly lost it!! Usually it cost 400, at most, and this guy was charging 2 f*ckin K! I don't know what the peg is right now, but at the time 2000 Kenyan Shillings was roughly 25$!
At that point, we were so tired we didn't even bother negotiating any further. We decided to just walk back home. Actually, first get some junk food, walk back to hatheru for a few games while munching and THEN, walk back home.
Nairobi Traffic - by Jush - CCO, pixabay.com
Fortunatetly, except for the ones in my legs, that plan worked without a glitch.
Back to the Basics:
By 5PM Hatheru we had reached! Munchies were munched, trash talks were held, egos were crashed and our glorious exploits were once again reviewed, and maybe slightly exaggerated. Then out of nowhere came 7PM. It was time to start heading home, so we did!
By the time I got home, I was drained and so sore that soreness lasted a few days.
My body hated me so much during those days but un retrospect, that was and still is one of the moments that encourage me to get healthier.
Before I didn't care that much since my metabolism allowed me to eat anything, any time and stay skinny, or skinnyish at least. And although I probably don't exercise as much as I should, I still do way more compared to then so kudos to me I guess. Man I miss Nairobi!