Today I fought a makanga. I’ve never done that before. Well actually, I have, but that time doesn’t count, because the makanga was fighting my date and he tried to drag my baby into it. Nobody drags my baby into anything!

Today was different. I was trying to get to Ngong, so I decided to use the Karen route. I had budgetted my transport, because it was a one hour errand, so I just carried enough to get to Ngong and back. I didn’t even carry my wallet or ID.

So when the matatu got to Bomas and the makanga suggested that all Karen bound passengers get off, I wasn’t amused. He asked me to pay the full fare, but my hackles went up, so he let me pay half.

The makangas at Bomas then swarmed around me yelling fares and trying to drag me to their cars. They were all charging more than I had, so I stood there fuming while I considered screwing the errand and simply heading back home.

Then this strange creature walked up to me – a polite makanga! It’s like a green headed unicorn or something. He saw the look on my face and asked what was up, so I explained that I didn’t have enough fare because of the first matatu. He offered to get me where I was going on what I had, so I smiled and went to his car.

That’s when the other makanga showed up yelling that I enter his matatu instead, because he had more passengers. The one I was heading towards was empty. I ignored him.

He then got upset and said something that implied I was arrogant and dumb. His exact words were something like, ‘Get in that empty car if you think you’re so smart. You’ll take years to get where you’re going.’ In sheng, of course. ‘Ingia hiyo gari kama unajiona mjanja.’ His tone said a lot more.

Anyone that knows me knows there are three ways to piss me off: lie to me, mess with my child, or insult my intelligence.

I’m not sure what got into me, but I got out of the car, walked back to the makanga, and asked him why he was picking on me. I’d have liked to use a calm Darius Stone approach, but I was pretty pissed, so I ended up in 250-words-a-minute-trembling-arms-and raising-fists-mode instead. I should have kept my mouth shut and knocked his teeth out.

I didn’t notice what a scene I’d caused until I got back into the car and noticed people staring at me. As I sat calming my pulse and waiting for the matatu to fill up, I started thinking. This is why I hate losing my temper. When the anger fades, I’m left with this still sadness, this vacuum of regret. I stared out of the window counting, breathing, and I noticed the furious makanga sneering at me and calling me a … name … as his matatu drove away.

I started to wonder why I had confronted him. I was clearly projecting, it wasn’t really about him. It was about the first makanga who’d dropped me miles from my destination. I never fight with makangas because I don’t think it makes a difference. You yell at them, they call you a name, they go harass someone else. It’s futile. Truth is … I’m afraid of causing a scene, or of what the makanga might do.

But then I realised something. When you yell at them they lash back. And that means you struck a nerve. Logic suggests that if you confront a makanga and he goes quiet or apologises, then you’ve succeeded. But sometimes, if he hits back, and tries to draw other people into the argument, you may have scored more than if he had just stayed quiet.

A bully picks on people because he feels inferior. A makanga imagines that you have deep contempt for him, so he battles his feelings by being a pest, just like a watchman does. Sometimes, this contempt is all in their minds, but many times it’s not.

So when a makanga attacks you, and you hit back, and he retorts, it means you’ve burnt him deep. He has to rally support to prove himself right, so he mouths off to everyone around him, and sneers as he drives away. It’s a parting shot.

Later in the day, I got swarmed by makangas, and tried to defend myself, but they were yelling too  loud for me to be heard, so I ignored them, walked to the far side, and got into one matatu whose makanga seemed reasonable. Until he dumped me at the wrong stage. Again.

I started to protest, this time in a calm, defeated voice. I just couldn’t see the point. I actually considered walking, but another makanga took me home at half price.

Thinking about it now, it seems like so much wasted energy. Twice I confronted bullies, and twice I got nowhere. At least I met two polite makangas who made my day and saved me from two really long walks. And when I got onto a matatu with two rough scary-looking female makangas,  instead of the bile I usually get from women, they were extremely respectful and even called me Madame. I couldn’t help thanking them when I got off.

As for the bully situation, I whined to my better half about it and he said, ‘The result doesn’t matter. You stood up for yourself,  and I’m proud of you.’

Three things.

  1. I have the awesomest better half in the world.
  2. I’m pretty proud of me too.
  3. I still wish I’d knocked that idiot’s teeth out. Oh well. Maybe next time.

105 thoughts on “Public transport and the bully mentality

  1. I so feel you on this. I’ve gotten into fights (verbal) with Makangas countless of times. I abhor how they feel like they always have to be rude and arrogant even when they’re in the wrong. Would it kill them to just be polite? Is there like a rule book that tells them they have to be their worst possible??

    Once, I was going somewhere I’d never been before so of course was following instructions which said get off mwisho ya gari you’ll see so and so supermarket. Before I got into the mat I asked them if they were going there and they assured me they were. Only for them to reach some stage and the makanga tells the driver to turn since I was the only passenger left. When I tried to tell them that I have no idea of how to get where I’m going, so I couldn’t get off there and plus I had asked them before I got in, the response was him hurling insults at me and telling me I was an idiot for believing them in the first place. Hell hath no fury like a Swahili woman being made a fool!! I was so mad, I started talking and then in the middle of my tirade it just hit me how pointless it was. The dude doesn’t care and I still have no idea how to get to my destination. And then I suddenly just burst into tears. Embarrassing, loud, pitiful sobs that I couldn’t stop! Should have seen the shock on his face! When the other makangas around him saw he had made me cry they all turned against him and I finally got one who showed me another mat to get into. LOL

  2. I simply want to mention I’m newbie to blogging and site-building and certainly liked this page. More than likely I’m going to bookmark your website . You certainly have terrific stories. Regards for revealing your web-site.

  3. Hey There. I discovered your weblog the use of msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your useful information. Thank you for the post. I will definitely return.

  4. That is the suitable weblog for anyone who needs to search out out about this topic. You notice so much its virtually arduous to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You positively put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply great!

  5. Thank you for another fantastic post. Where else could anybody get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such info.

  6. Thanks for helping me to get new tips about personal computers. I also hold the belief that one of the best ways to keep your laptop in perfect condition is to use a hard plastic material case, or even shell, that will fit over the top of the computer. These kinds of protective gear will be model specific since they are made to fit perfectly above the natural housing. You can buy these directly from owner, or through third party sources if they are for your notebook computer, however its not all laptop could have a covering on the market. Yet again, thanks for your points.

  7. The next time I learn a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I do know it was my choice to read, however I truly thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you would fix should you werent too busy on the lookout for attention.

  8. Hey very cool blog!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds also¡KI am happy to find a lot of helpful information right here in the submit, we want develop more techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  9. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  10. Hello, i believe that i noticed you visited my website thus i got here to “return the desire”.I am attempting to to find things to improve my website!I assume its good enough to make use of some of your ideas!!

  11. When I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there any approach you may take away me from that service? Thanks!

  12. Normally I don’t learn article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, quite nice article.

  13. I enjoy you because of every one of your hard work on this blog. My mum loves engaging in investigation and it’s really simple to grasp why. Almost all know all about the powerful medium you present rewarding suggestions via your web blog and even increase contribution from other individuals on the subject matter plus my child is in fact learning a great deal. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the new year. You are always doing a splendid job.

  14. Its such as you learn my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the e book in it or something. I believe that you simply can do with some % to force the message house a little bit, however instead of that, this is magnificent blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  15. Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it

  16. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, superb blog!

  17. I haven’t checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  18. Thank you for another informative blog. Where else could I get that type of info written in such an ideal way? I’ve a project that I am just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such information.

  19. I will right away snatch your rss feed as I can’t find your email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly permit me know in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

  20. Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam responses? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any assistance is very much appreciated.

  21. I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The site style is ideal, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

  22. hey there and thank you for your information – I have definitely picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise several technical issues using this website, as I experienced to reload the site lots of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my email and can look out for a lot more of your respective exciting content. Make sure you update this again soon..

  23. One more important aspect is that if you are a senior citizen, travel insurance with regard to pensioners is something you should make sure you really consider. The more mature you are, greater at risk you will be for making something undesirable happen to you while overseas. If you are certainly not covered by quite a few comprehensive insurance policy, you could have many serious challenges. Thanks for expressing your hints on this website.

  24. I simply could not go away your website before suggesting that I extremely loved the usual information a person provide in your guests? Is gonna be back regularly to investigate cross-check new posts

  25. One more thing I would like to mention is that rather than trying to fit all your online degree tutorials on days that you finish work (since the majority people are drained when they go back home), try to get most of your lessons on the saturdays and sundays and only 1 or 2 courses in weekdays, even if it means taking some time off your weekend. This is fantastic because on the saturdays and sundays, you will be much more rested and concentrated in school work. Thanks a lot for the different tips I have acquired from your blog site.

  26. you’re in reality a excellent webmaster. The site loading pace is amazing. It kind of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick. Also, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a great activity on this matter!

  27. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such magnificent information being shared freely out there.

  28. Hey there, You have done a fantastic job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am sure they will be benefited from this web site.

  29. Hello there! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. Appreciate it!

  30. I’ve observed that in the world nowadays, video games would be the latest popularity with kids of all ages. Occasionally it may be extremely hard to drag your kids away from the games. If you want the best of both worlds, there are various educational gaming activities for kids. Thanks for your post.

  31. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I’d also like to say that video games have been ever before evolving. Technology advances and inventions have assisted create authentic and enjoyable games. Most of these entertainment games were not really sensible when the real concept was being tried. Just like other forms of know-how, video games also have had to progress via many decades. This is testimony towards fast growth of video games.

  32. What i don’t understood is in reality how you are now not actually much more well-preferred than you may be right now. You are so intelligent. You already know thus significantly in terms of this matter, produced me in my opinion imagine it from numerous various angles. Its like men and women aren’t involved except it is something to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs great. At all times maintain it up!

  33. Very efficiently written story. It will be beneficial to everyone who utilizes it, including me. Keep doing what you are doing – can’r wait to read more posts.

  34. You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the paintings you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  35. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?

  36. Whoa! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a completely different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!

  37. A person essentially help to make seriously articles I would state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to make this particular publish amazing. Fantastic job!

  38. I like what you guys are up too. Such clever work and reporting! Carry on the excellent works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my website :).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.