It is not yet over, not even after number 2. At about 6.30 am on a weekday I board a matatu near my place of residence. I recently got a very much needed job a distance away and I’m still struggling with the suddenly shortened sleeping time owing to the distance I have to cover and the newest bundle of joy whose sleep includes feedings in between.
I have two bags: one, a handbag with the usual essentials and another a black plain-woven bag with some clothes I need to leave at a tailor’s on my way. I am seated between the driver and another passenger. I keep on dozing off and coming back on, lest they decide, on arriving in town, to drive me back. At Westlands, the passenger alights, and another boards. The driver also receives a copy of a paper from a vendor, which I borrow almost immediately and start perusing. I’m not much of a news person though so the sleepy feeling surpasses my curiosity for what’s current in the world. In a few minutes I fold the paper and place it for the driver securely against the windshield. At the University of Nairobi, my new companion alights. I don’t get another one but I don’t bother to move to the more comfortable seat at the door. I’m just tired.
The matatu weaves its way through light traffic to Kenya Archives, the last stop. I gather my luggage to alight, but I notice my handbag is open. No, I’m sure I had zipped it up securely because my teacher, Mr Experience, has taught me well. Apparently, it hasn’t taught me well enough because my phone is now missing from my bag. I search in the bag, around it, around me, on the floor and in the space between the seats but it’s just not there. By now I’m the only passenger left in the matatu, and the conductor seems busy fixing or looking for something behind me at the engine area. I ask the driver to help me call my phone to see if I could trace it. He takes his time to check whether he has airtime and all, and I don’t blame him. The emergency is mine not his. When he finally calls, we hear that it’s off. It is surely gone.