It was a late Thursday afternoon when I made my way to the hustle and bustle of Eastleigh to book a Moyale bus,I don’t know if it was Moyale raha or Liner,one of those buses. I booked the 7 o’clock one and the guy at the counter was so nice, he welcomed me to take a seat and wait for the departure time.
I sat there and watched as boxes were brought in one after another, and passengers getting tickets as well. Some left their luggage behind and quickly rushed out,probably to do some last minute shopping while others opted to sit and wait,That’s when this middle aged lady came and sat next to me.
‘Intal akam?’ she greets me,’How are you?’.
I open my mouth to answer but am interrupted by a barrage of questions….
“Whats your name?where are you from? Are you going to Isiolo,Marsabit or Moyale?”.
Usually I pretend not to understand what one is saying, or act busy on the phone but I decided to indulge her. After all ,I had some time to kill and she looked harmless. We engaged in small talk and as happens invariably with people from Marsabit, we had some relatives in common,small world huh!.
Fast forward to 7pm, we boarded the bus and off we go. Has any one of you ever travelled by these crazy Moyale buses? Well, I did and it wasn’t pretty. I still get chills when I remember that day. I didn’t notice at first because I was so engrossed on social media, looking for some #TBT pictures to post and reading some juicy stories on Kilimani mums.
But as soon as I got back to reality, I noticed this was no ordinary bus ,For a second there I thought we were flying, the driver was literally flying at 150 or more km/h and even on rough or bumpy stretches. . It felt like being trapped in a version of Fast and Furious. I got kind of panicky and started to engage the old man seated next to me and he just nods and gets back to chewing his miraa.
Maybe I am overacting, I told myself, so I get my earphones out and start listening to some music to calm myself, five minutes later we come face to face with a probox at a bend near Nanyuki.
I was sure I was having a heart attack, my heart was beating so hard sweat pouring out of my pores. I looked around and it’s like nothing happened, some of the passengers were fast asleep, others were in cloud nine with their mouths bulging with miraa, while others were engaged in hearty conversations and smiling ear to ear.
So here I was holding on for dear life, thinking of all the things I have not done like go on a cruise, travel more or watch last week’s episode of game of thrones (sic),or be more active on twitter. Today is your day Fatuma,today is the day you meet your maker,’hapo ndo unakumbuka venye umeweka God kwa friend zone’. You know how you just keep some people around and just remember them when you need something.now that’s how I am with God. So your prayers start with an introduction and you start making promises you know you can’t keep.Here I was telling God If I come out of here alive, I will fast two days a week,and dedicate my life to serving Him completely. Let’s just say, that promise is coming to mind right now as I write this article. Haha!
Looking down at myself ,I couldn’t help but notice that I was most definitely not ready to die, first of all what am wearing could not allow me,A very ugly jacket, socks that I usually wear to bed and rubber shoes, so the only thing missing is a Rungu to complete my ‘Watchman look’. Imagine being found like that.God Forbid!
Okay back to the bus..we get to Isiolo a little after midnight, and boy was I relieved. I got out and went straight to get some soda. I need to calm down and think a way out of this menace.i sat down and sip my soda as I keenly scan the crowd for the driver. I needed to give him a peace of my mind ,driving like a mad man.My thoughts are interrupted by the nice lady I met earlier at the stage. I had forgotten all about her.
She requests me to accompany her to the toilet.O n the way I start to tell her about my fears and how am thinking of not continuing my journey tonight. she looks at me and laughs, she thought I was joking. Well,as it turns out people are used to it because you get to your destination faster and they don’t mind the speed or the recklessness.
We rush back when we heard the bus hoot. Time to leave again. I reluctantly got into the bus as I brace myself for the longest five hours of my life.