“Wanne gari! Wanne gari 44! Beba! Beba!”
‘Hamsini gari! Hamsini gari madam!”
The touts bellowed as they thumped the side of the matatu luring people in with occasional smiles or a forceful nudge to prevent people from being lured to the adjacent matatu headed for Thika road.
The matatu was half full and Nailana was lucky to get a seat in the minibus at front by the window, here favourite. She sat down and continued what’s app’ing a friend with an occasional giggle here and there, 3 minutes went by the matatu was almost full.
‘Watu sita! Watu sita!” the touts yelled out rapidly hitting the side of the matatu in a tirade of excitement. Nailana stared outside the window and sighed gleefully, replaying the day; it had been a great day. She remembered she had grabbed a snack at the supermarket and looked on her lap for the plastic bag with cookies to nibble on. As she pulled out the packet of cookies she was drawn to the opened zipper of her handbag.
“No, it couldn’t be.” She thought with a quizzical look on her face. She began to mentally retrace her steps on where this could have happened. She quickly opened her bag; found her wallet and her passport and sighed in relief. The tout outside on the street began to call out for the final two passengers to fill the matatu as the driver revved up the matatu and began to inch back and forth ready to roll out.
One person was ushered in and Nailana jumped up astounded and began to shove the passenger next to her. She almost tripped the passenger entering the matatu. She couldn’t wai. She had to go back to the store before it closed in 5 minutes, she had to collect what she had lost. Nailana got there just in the nick of time and collapsed on the luggage collection counter in exhaustion, heels in hand and gasped out, “Wapi mizigo?”
The man on the other side of the counter had no idea what she was talking about, she pulled out a plastic plaque with the supermarket logo and number 42 engraved on it and handed it to the attendant. He nodded and then looked at the shelf written 42 on it, he was baffled, he looked at her, he looked at the empty shelf then he began to panic.
“Madam are you sure you never took your things?”
“How would that even be possible when I had your plaque?”
Nailana’s stomach began to churn and she clasped it with both hands to prevent the grumbling from being audible. The attendant at the shelf yelled for the manager as the stores closed.