The Hangover II

Part 2: The Remainder of the journey

After the first break, I posed for a few photographs but am not really a camera person so I ended up drifting around, interacting with anyone and everyone. I had drunk all the contents of my bottle, and was still walking in a straight line. Seems I had underestimated myself. So when Chipper offered more drinks at the back, I switched seats to the back of the bus.

There, I found a business in progress. Maafaka was doing a booming business, selling the kind of herbs people love to chew. I’ll explain why am calling him Maafaka later. I felt it was time for a little experimentation. Why anyone would want to chew herbs is the question and I wanted the answer. Let’s just say by the time we reached Mtito Andei, I had the answer.

Maafaka explains to me that you chew the herbs with gum or peanuts. He gave me some peanuts and some herbs, but I swallowed the peanuts. He said he can no longer give me for free, this was a business he was running. I said, to hell with it, am not parting with a cent for something I don’t even know how to chew.

I sat at the back, and took the offer Chipper had given. He gave me a Dasani bottle, the colour of Coke soda and the taste of something like fire. I did not ask questions, but he said the bottle was then mine so I sat enjoying myself, laughing at the jokes and at the accents that were beginning to sound more and more Swahili.

Some guy came to sit at the back and I had to move to a seat near the window. There was someone sitting next to the window with whom I bonded for the remainder of the journey. This guy, let’s call him Thinker, had a bagful of the herbs, which he offered for free. I must admit I don’t remember seeing him before, despite the fact that we are in the same department. Anyway, he had chewing gum, which I had no danger of swallowing this time. Soon, my mouth was bulging on one side as I peeled twig after twig.

Let’s say that under the influence, I talked and talked. Even if you say Thinker and I bonded, thinking back now, I think he and I were having parallel conversations but still understanding each other. You know, the kind where you say something he doesn’t understand, he replies with something you don’t understand, then you both nod and smile.

He had his i-pod thingie which he was listening to and asked me if I liked rock. Of course rock I love, so I listened on one side of the earphones while he listened on the other side, and we chewed and drank to our coast trip.

We took a second break at Mtito Andei, where we had an hour to look for supper. The place where we stopped was full of trailers and dingy eating places. Bathroom breaks aside (it was really creepy), the last thing I wanted was food, but I thought it would make health sense to eat something so I got a place that sold chips and soda. I remember trying to act rather cool, being extra careful with my change but by this time, I had found the question to the drinking and chewing business.

I carefully made my way back to the bus, posing for one or two photographs on the way. The remainder of the journey had guys settling down, even some who could not sit down at first looked for any empty seats and started dozing.

Maafaka had finished his stash, saying he saw an opportunity and took advantage. He came and sat on the other side of me, and started giving me his life story. Most people had succumbed to the contents of their bottles, and the rest who only drank soda had had their hunger satiated so wanted to sleep. I was beginning to feel sleepy myself, but Maafaka couldn’t let me sleep.

He told me how he has to take a number of Naps before he chews. Chewing in this context means ‘getting to his head.’ So according to him, he was very sober, and so he started mixing more concoctions. I half-listened to him as I listened to rock on the other side and occasionally taking a swig out of my Dasani.

We did make one more stop in the middle of nowhere so people could once more, take bathroom breaks. Unfortunately for chicks, we all know we can’t stand just anywhere, whip it out and shake well after use. There was some shelter and we had to go to the other side of it, and wouldn’t you believe it, there were some camera flashes in our directions. With modern cameras that come with 10 point something zooming power, this is one of the times when it’s good to be a guy.

The bus was rather quiet now. Even Maafaka was beginning to relax. I slept on, occasionally leaning on Thinker’s shoulder. The bus rambled on. I did hear later that the mini had passed us by; you would think the bus was faster. I woke up when we had reached Voi and some guy was dropping off to go to Taita Taveta campus to campaign there. There were JKUSO elections, the student organization body, that were coming up. He was campaigning for the entertainment post, I think. For a politician who’s supposed to talk to everyone, he didn’t even once make a speech, or talk to people individually. At least I know he didn’t ask me for his vote.

I got out to stretch my legs (why lie, bathroom break is more like it) with Brown and Brown, henceforth referred to as B n B. One was a classmate of akina Maafaka, and the other was from a different university altogether. She was ‘dandiaring’ our ride to coast. People do that plenty much. Next time, I shall invite y’all, if you want to.

When I went back to the bus, Thinker was popping a can of Tusker. Having finished my Dasani drink, I accepted a can. It was tasting like apple juice. We chatted on and looked into the early dawn. It was around 4.30 a.m. when we finally got into Mombasa.

Just B (If you remember, he was in charge of the trip) had organized for a place for us to book with student friendly prices. It is rather too cheap for me to mention how much we were paying a night, let’s just say it was too friendly but am not complaining.

When we go for trips, there is a daily spending allowance everyone gets which is supposed to take care of your accommodation, food and all else. It’s Kshs. 200. Not 2K, but 2 soc. It’s a big joke. I think the fee was set in the nineties and no one has bothered to adjust it, even with the escalating cost of living and hard economic times. But it was a known fact so you came to coast knowing you’ll take care of yourself.

The bus stopped, and we waited to be given our allowances so we could do some booking. Since we were to stay for 3 nights, that was six hundred in allowances. Being the pitiful sum it sounds like at a hotel in coast, you would think it would be dished out fast with some little amount of embarrassment from the disburser.

But no, we had already arrived and that is when they were realizing that they did not have enough money for us. They told us to take us allowances for that day and resolve the rest later. People were tired, cranky, hang-overed or in the latter stages of being drunk. They started shouting.

Who remembers I promised to tell how Maafaka acquired his name? he woke up, having finally ‘chewed’ and started inserting fuck in every other sentence. “ I can buy you a liter of soda, fuck motherfucker, fuck. What the fuck is this, fuck! I can pour this drink on you motherfucker!” and such like stuff. He annoyed the hell out of everybody. Especially since people were cranky after the long bus ride.

Anyway, I had to sober up quick and try to bring some order. I am the class rep after all. And my best friend ( can we still say best friend at this age?) is the class rep of the other group. We got out of the bus, and called Just B. He had already been sleeping for a few hours, and took his time getting downstairs. He explained over and over again about some kind of mistake with having a list two pages long instead of 3 pages long, and having realized that after going to finance and blah blah blah.

We had to present the hard facts to the rest of the students. We either went back on Friday morning (and we had only arrived on Wednesday) or we went back on Saturday morning and take care of ourselves Friday night. The allowance was only 2 soc anyway so eventually people agreed, though the mood was rather dark. We went to the bus and took our luggage, and went to survey the rooms. It was now 7.30 a.m. Wednesday.

Part three coming soon.


3 Responses

  1. I can so relate. But 2 soc? That part was difficult even for me to justify!

    Don’t ask…someone should lobby for that allowance to be increased to at least 5 soc.

  2. andikanga summary pia. hii story iko refu mpaka napotea njiani.
    anyway si hii 200bob is jus mockery?

    Don’t you think it’s my blog and since am not forcing you to read, you have no right to ask for summaries?

  3. Savvy, this one had my mind taking trips….hah!Mafaaka..i think u mispelled the guy’s name

    really? It’s Maafaka far Ma’ f**cker, make sense now?

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