Kwasa baba mimi mzungu?

Kwasa baba mimi mzungu?

Well, this morning same as many others, and then a bit twisty. All too early really.

Had to wait for ages for a dalladalla with enough room for us to get on. I don’t understand why they pull over to pick us up, then when the conductor opens the door all we see is a row of bottoms. People are packed in like too many sardines in an extra tiny tin. The conductor always trys to shuffle people around, make them move the possible 4 millimetres so that it might just be possible for us to squeeze in or gain a foothold so we can dangle off the side the 10km into town. I don’t think so. But this happens four or five times in a row. Then an empty one turns up.

In town we have to switch to a different dalladalla. This morning was particularly interesting because as we were walking down the street we had to push through a crowd of people spilling off another dalladalla. The presence of the crowd gave a couple of guys an idea. “Look, wazungu – money!” One guy grabbed my shoulder to distract me while the other guy tried to get his hand in my pocket. Problem for them was that I had my hands in my pockets, and I have had this trick tried on me so many times I know to look in the opposite direction when someone grabs my shoulder. I saw the sneaky little guy do a 180°. I shouted “Fuck off pickpocket!” – swearing seemed appropriate in the circumstances. Big laugh from the crowd. The other guy, let’s call him the Grabber, snuck off too. On Friday a similar thing happened to Yuki – she heard a zip open on her backpack, and whirled right round. The guy who did it was standing right there. She shouted at him. But rather than laughing the crowd descended on the guy, kicking the shite out of him. I think Yuki felt a bit bad. Odd thing is that everyone must have seen the guy trying to rob Yuki, and if he had not been caught by her, they might well have turned a blind eye. Once spotted, run for your life. He got away, probably with a few bruises. Lucky – some thieves end up with a burning tire round their neck…

So after this little experience we still had to cash some cheques at the bank and change some money. Then we had to go through the whole bums poking out of dalladalla experience again. We decided to get a taxi, but the mzungu=money equation was at work again, and they wanted twice the going rate so we went back to the dalladalla stand. When we finally managed to fit ourselves into a dalladalla a parade had started to celebrate 50 years of the AICC and we feared we had to sit in the vehicle for ten minutes while the crowd of slightly cowed looking people wearing yellow t-shirts and waving little yellow AICC


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