It was just another day at the Kitintatle taxi stage, waiting for one bound to Nakawa. It came and there was the usual monday rush to tumble into it. In front of me was a young girl and I could see that she had four of her younger siblings with her.
Not wanting them to get separated, I waited patiently for the precious creatures to fumble their way up into the taxi (and did my damnest to prevent anyone from shoving them aside to get in their place). Naturally I was to pay for this audacity.
An old man in a kanzu and (I don’t know what they call those hats muslim men don) prodded me roughly in the back and shouted at me in Luganda.
“What Is wrong with you, you stupid girl?! If you do not want to enter, you get out of our way and let us get in”.
My response was quick and heated and in English.
“Bambi, don’t shout at me. I know why i’m doing this. Do you understand? Do. Not. Shout at me”.
He pushed me into the taxi and I was gratified to find that he was in the seat right next to me. We could continue this inside.
He proceeded to grumle to the entire taxi about this girl who was delaying everybody. Moreover she does not understand Luganda. She even snapped at him. Indeed these young people nowadays have forgotten how to respect their elders.
While I felt flattered to be labelled as ‘these young people nowadays’, I was driven to assure him that I had no business being nice to shouting rude old men.
Of course I was the evil party in the taxi. Everyone was glaring at me apart from two women who were laughing at me to my face. I was about to rip into them when Prudence, a virtue which visits me just when I need it, told me to shut my trap. Old men I can handle (yeah, i’m shameless like that) but women can be very unpredictable. I desired to leave the taxi with all my parts intact.
The strangest thing happened after we had left the taxi and I watched him stalking off, his nose high in the air with justified quarrelsomeness.
The old man reminded me of me. Unable to let the smallest slight go, justified to be bad mannered whenever it pleases me, ready to tear someone to shreds for the slightest indiscretion. And I mean the slightest indiscretion. You just have to look at me crosswise at me and I shall go all ‘dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee’ on your ass.
I looked at him and I really didn’t like me at that moment. I don’t want to be him when I grow up.
Sigh. It was nice fighting with y’all, taxi guys, bouncers, restaurant managers-basically everyone. Time to grow up into a pleasant, positive, flower nurturing old dame with a cat and a dog.
But can my dog at least be a fierce one that I can sneakily set onto people I dislike to give them a little nip?