The curious things in a bus at Namayiba bus terminal

Overview picture of Namayiba bus terminal. Online picture

“Soda, water, soda, water?”

“Power bank, headphones, memoli

“Sista? Breakfasti?”

“Chips, river, chips, river?”

“Buksi, buksi blaaza? Buksi sista?”

Those are bus hawkers moving through the bus isle and shoving their wares at you. It comes in various degrees. Some overtly intrusive. Some overtly aggressive. And some, simply annoying.

I decided to observe and talk back. When you do, they eventually leave you alone.

There’s a preacher in between all this, singing some old Anglican hymn and waving something that looks like a Bible in the air. His English isn’t comprehensible. The words, unbalanced, lazily but quickly fall out. One has to pick them and put them together to understand. I wonder why he can’t use Kiswahili or Luganda.

His clothes don’t fit well. Shirt is white and folded on the sleeves. It’s the kind that has seen days and days of constant hand washing. His trouser, worn like a mom jeans, is a faded shade of beige tending to cream. It is ill fitting. But does it matter anyways?

“Abatembeyi! Time! Time!” yells the conductress as she squeezes through. She’s called Aisha. I heard the guy at the front yelling her name. Another called from outside and she responded. Now we all know her as Aisha.

She is moving up and down the isle. Rearranging people. Moving a certain person from the back to the front. From left to right another. Front to back a mother with her toddler.

3 young people are arguing with 3 foreign nationals. Their seat numbers are messed up. English is limited on both ends. Aisha sways through and relocates the visitors to their rightful seat. This rearrangement continues some more.

Some people aren’t too happy about what Aisha is doing. But it’s her job to make sure we are in our paid for seats. And she does this with a certain degree of swift annoying attitude. Again, her job.

Someone walks in with his chicken. For Easter I guess. Shouldn’t chicken be coming from the country side instead? Last I checked, chicken was coming from Kamdini into the city for such days. Then again, didn’t they say change is coming? This is it I guess. Chicken moving in the reverse, city to the village. Sorry I digress.

There’s a sumbusa guy who is squeezing through. The little boy behind tells his mom he wants some. She’s adamant. Says the things have no meat inside. The boy insists. She buys. Minutes later she is laughing hard saying she told him the samosas had no fillings. Yes, here we call samosas “sumbusas”

“Kekyi, biscuit, kekyi biscuit?”

“Openni shoes? Slippers sista?”

“Berlts, ties, perfumes. Berlts brother?”
In all this the preacher is introducing himself. He is saying something about being married. Children. Educating them. Respecting parents. Honouring parents. And the lot. He is giving us the yardstick of societal acceptance in these parts. In his trade.

Nobody is paying attention, he is being pushed on the side from time to time but he goes on anyway. He says his prayers and hardly audible 3 Amens and a handclap comes through. He takes his leave. Perhaps his luck will be in the next bus.

It’s raw chaos ‘pon raw chaos! I am enjoying it. Weird!

Then we have another guy talking about some Community Based Organisation he runs. He is one of the miracle stories told in buses. He is telling us his life journey. His testimony. I don’t know what to make of it. Again, we get another dose of societal expectations. Marriage. Children. Beautiful ones he adds. It’s a selling point for these preachers I think.

And as expected, we will be inclined to give something when he is done talking. He completes his story and says a prayer for us. A few 1000 notes are quietly passed to him. He says a number of “God bless yous” equivalent to the number of notes.

Aisha is coming through, again. She’s kicking all the hawkers now. The preacher is out. And, the CBO guy too gets booted.

It’s a sign. A good sign. We are finally setting off! She says “Muzeeyi tugende!” And we take off. Off the chaos that happens in a bus at Namayiba bus terminal.

Happy Easter holidays!

By Laker Winfred L

Published by Latin Mucwini

I like food. I read. I exercise. And I am Luo. I am on this adventure called writing. Cannot wait to see where this goes

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