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5 Types of people in Matatus

People scrambling to board a matatu PHOTO/COURTESY

1.The Tout’s best friend.

These guys know all the kondas that work on their route home, including even their shifts. They have an upper hand over other commuters though because they get discounts. Before they get into a matatu they always greet the tout like they are a long lost friend. Perhaps this code for “am not paying full price” because they seldom do. My cousin Bob belongs in this category.

2. Bargaining fare.

The price is never right for this commuter because it is never low enough. Every time the konda collects fares there is always a long pause when it comes to them and, there is always a confrontation involved. The good thing, however, is that they will always pay the full price because the konda is never easy on them or anyone. If you are a Nairobian, then you must know what am talking about.

 3. Talk to strangers.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t talk to people I don’t know in matatus or any other form of public transportation for that matter. But it seems every time I get on one, there is always someone speaking to me. And while I do appreciate the occasional small talk with people I do not know, I do not appreciate people telling me their entire life stories when we just met.  This type of people will have you wishing you could alight from the vehicle, they neither understand personal space nor respect it.

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4. Throwing trash out the window.

I know there are not many matatus that have dustbins in them, but I swear you are better of throwing trash in the car rather than send them flying out the window. It feels right. But who are Kenyans?  You see, some Kenyan commuters don’t understand that throwing trash out a moving car is dangerous, so they just do it.  This especially happens on long haul matatus. Never make a mistake of sitting between these people and the window. They will turn you into a garbage collector and disposer.

5. Buying everything from hawkers.

Also accustomed to long haul journeys, these are the type of commuters who buy everything that hawkers have to offer. On a journey to Meru, I once saw a woman buy a live chicken on our stopover in Mwea, it left me wondering whether live chickens are not available in Meru.

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