I had a rather interesting week last week. Interesting in both a good and bad way. It taught me some tough lessons, which instead of breaking me, have made me rather stronger. I experienced the much told “Nairobi Experience”. The one about the pick pockets in public transport. Yes, they do exist. I was living in a bubble, thinking that would never happen to me, how now? That was a tell-tale to me. I mean how can someone just steal from you under your nose and you don’t realize? You feel so stupid, because when you look back, you see all the signs that you just let pass or all the things you did wrong. I couldn’t even sleep that day as I kept thinking of all the what if’s.
What happened you wonder? I took a matatu like I always do. Only on this
fateful day, it was properly loaded with pick pockets. My innocent self went ahead to use my phone, I mean I was safe in the moving vehicle (note that I’d been warned of this behaviour so many times). When time came to pay my fare, I removed my wallet, got the money and paid, though the guy next to me was really looking into it. I was in my little happy-go-lucky bubble. I mean, life is beautiful, what is there not to be happy about? I put back my wallet in my rather “open” bag. It didn’t even cross my mind to make sure that it’s tucked in well. I go ahead with my business, but clearly it was our business.
Along the way there were funny signs where the dude from behind says he’s lost his sim/memory card and the good person I am, helps to search. All the while the guy next to me has rummaged my bag to get my wallet. Then when I’m about to alight, the guy in front of me, tells me to keep my phone safe because it might be stolen. And guess what I do, of course I put it back in my bag. Thinking, this people do care about my welfare. Not, because as I put my phone in the bag, this other dude was on the receiving end. Like they deserved my phone and wallet more than I did. I didn’t realize until I alighted. That shit *excuse my French* makes you disoriented. I couldn’t believe I’ve been played out like that. You feel like searching every corner and crevice for your stuff, you feel like those people should know how much you’ve worked and struggled for the little you have. That they should have some Mercy and at least return the essentials (you know, your ATM cards, ID, Medical Cards, Access Cards). For the phone I had accepted its fate (but next time insurance is my friend).
Then it dawns on you, these are thieves. The last person they care about, is you and your petty essentials. I kept telling the boyfriend to try call them. You know maybe they will pick up and tell me to pick my stuff up from somewhere. And he used my words on me, “that’s just material stuff.” If I’ve ever told you that, I know the pain of those words even better now. You think of the cost of your phone, wallet, ‘essentials’ and the materials bit, just doesn’t cut it. True to those words though, they’re just material things. They’re replaceable, some as soon as possible, others in the near future. As long as you’re healthy and alive, how you got them once, you’ll get them again. Even better. That was a set back in more than one away, but such a minor one. If you’ve been through the same, believe it’s a minor set back and you’ll strike back bigger and better.
That was just one of the lessons. Besides that, I also learnt that I need to be aware of my environment. Not everyone in this world is nice, not everyone is genuine and not everyone cares about you, tough love. So I need to in certain circumstances, if not all, put my safety first and always be careful and most of all trust my judgement, good or bad. After all, the judgement is mine. Such experiences should just toughen us. It was a sore and painful experience but such an eye opener too.
While at it, I discovered that some friends have walked in your shoes. So they know what you’re going through or what you’re feeling. Somehow, they find ways to make you feel better about your situation because they’ve been through the same if not worse. And after sharing my story, I came to realize mine was not an isolated case. This has happened to so many of my friends. Sometimes you know all the rules to the games, but since you’re on the play-field any way, the thugs use the same old tricks on you (some which you were aware of, but you’re caught off-guard) and they win. That’s just a small win. Eventually, you have the big win because you can play better next time now that you’re more aware.
Have yourself an amazing week. When you’re about to have a bad one, just think of someone else who is in a worse state than you, and yet they can afford a smile. Then look deep within and dig out that smile from the hole it’s buried in. Blessings lovelies.
Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*