Well. That was embarrassing.

Going home late last night, sitting way back in the taxi, I passed the conductor my transport fare, and without thinking much of it, casually said out loud:

“Don’t forget my balance. It’s 100 shillings”.

Two girls next to the conductor started to giggle. I realized they thought  I was being a cheapskate.

Perhaps I was, but it’s the principle of the thing.

That extra 100 was mine, and I was damned if I was going to let it enter the taxi’s safe. I thought I was being overcharged enough as it was. I kept repeating this like a mantra in my head to drown out the girls’ whispered conversation as they glanced back at me several times.

The conductor shouted,”Who wanted their balance of 100 shillings? It’s here!”

Now the whole taxi burst out laughing. Undeterred, I put my hand out, and watched as the precious coin passed from hand to hand until it reached me.

For the next five minutes, the man directly in front of me kept turning his head around to look at me, over and over again. I pointedly kept a straight face, and a proud tilt to my chin as I pretended to be very busy staring out the window.

As I called out that I’d reached my stop, the man passed me a 500 shilling coin. I assumed it was someone’s change.

“This isn’t mine,” I told him quietly.

“Me, I’ve given it to you”, he whispered compassionately. Then he made way for me to leave.

I surreptitiously looked at the other passengers. They had not noticed him giving me the money. He had been very discreet in trying to protect my poor feelings. I decided to give him that much.

“Thank you”, I whispered back, smiling.

If anyone’s ever in a tight spot, I hope that guy will be next to them.

6 thoughts on “Well. That was embarrassing.”

  1. He was a really old man, and maybe I'm a poor judge of character, but I don't believe he was mocking. Besides, what if he refused to take it back and it became another scene, with me shoving the coin into his face? No, sir, better end a situation as quickly and cleanly as possible.


  2. Your posts are very entertaining, Lindsey. As for that “kind man”, I hope, for his sake that he never tries to extend his charity to me. Shya. Does refusing to be cheated by a gu conductor make me a charity case? Mssw.

    I applaud your boldness (but not your taking of that mocker's money.)


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