The photo man from Isbania pt1

I love traveling. Via road especially. You meet new people, strangers who become your friends, who teach you a lot of things, who become a great help when you are in trouble.  In road travel you see a lot of things, get to read a lot, sleep a lot and take lots and lots of photos. So my trip to Diani followed the same suit only that this time, it came with a different twist.

I had anxiously waited with my colleague who doubles up as my best friend to go on this trip so we woke up very early to book for a night bus to this place. The whole day we were just counting hours, browsing pages, giggling a lot after sharing an exciting thought of what to expect in Diani. At last, the time arrived, and we matched majestically to the station, an hour earlier, just to be on time. It was the longest hour ever. We paced up and down and suddenly realized that I hadn’t carried a toothbrush wooii..We went to buy one and met,let me call him a mad man, but I wish I didn’t have to call him that. He was as hungry as a lion living in the Sahara who hasn’t eaten for days.  But in his hand, he carried a bottle of chang’aa and asked us to buy him a loaf of bread to supplement. I held my bag tightly, my friend too praying to the gods that he doesn’t do a snatch and run drama on us. Noticing us being uncomfy, he left and I couldn’t help but wonder how and who his mother was. How does it feel to carry a child for nine months and turn out a mad man begging in the streets, a vagabond. Where did she fail? Is it poverty? I held my belly tightly, looked to the heaven and asked God to help my unborn children find a place in this cruel world, that they be revolutionaries from a tender age, that He grants me the wisdom I need to make them great. But anyway, this is a story for another day.


Photo from Modern Coast website

Our bus came, and a handsome man, who was the driver for the night, came out to check out our tickets. My goodness we were excited and quickly handed our tickets to enter the bus. I had envisioned covering myself tightly with the warm shoal I had carried and sleeping all the way to our destination. My friend thought the same. We smiled at each other and handed over our tickets. And then, this handsome driver gave me this blank look, like something was wrong. It was as if I had stolen something.

“Your bus already left. Look, hukuona imeandikwa 10 am,” he said, pointing at the ticket, directing us to check the tickets carefully.

“Be careful next time”.

With that, he gave me back the ticket and requested the other travelers to board the bus.

We were crushed. I can’t tell you how long we stood there looking at each other and the tickets. How could we be so damn? How could we not check? Knowing very well that no refund are given in such buses. I took my friend’s ticket and gathered courage to just tell the guys to let us in. That the one booking us had made a mistake as we told her that we wanted the night bus. The man, who had a strong coastal accent, looked at us and nodded his head.

‘Ungecheki bana. Hakuna kitu naweza fanya.”

“Aki ilikuwa mistake. I think your guy booking us in hakuskia vizuri.”

We pleaded until the guy looked into the schedule for an empty bus to book us in. He found one. The last bus. We were overjoyed but suddenly it hit us that we had to wait 5 more hours. Good heavens!

If one hour was an issue, sembuse now five hours. No chair, scared to go to the lounge lest another misfortune befalls us, hungry because we didn’t want to make a stop over and pee, and tired. In fact very sleepy. So while all this was happening, behold on the other side, my eyes met with this tall guy, muscular, with a Mohawk. He carried a tripod stand on one hand and a bag on the other and was listening to music. There is something about photographers that makes me stand still so in my mind, subconsciously, I was devising ways in which I could talk to him, find out more about his craft, is he single and stuff…wacha kunichekelea and you were once a culprit. lol,…Even my fatigue left.

I had a sprite bottle, he too had one and I started thinking how I could link this sprite thing into a story. How do I just start a story to talk to this guy. Just then, as a measure to keep awake, my friend started dancing to some music that was coming from a Taxi. I saw him coming slowly towards her, laughing,  and as if the gods had just heard me, I jumped into the moment and started laughing too.

” This chic is funny. Looks like she likes dance hall reggae,” he said taking one side of the earphone down, attentive to my response. He had this British accent, and by far looked like one of those Nigerians coming from London.

“She’s just trying to keep warm and alert,” I said watching my friend dance.

“Are you going for a shoot?”

“Yeah, I am. It’s my friend’s wedding and he wants me to do it.”

“That’s nice. By the way are you Nigerian?’

He smiled at me and then told me to guess where he was from……

Look out for part 2 next week



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