A taxi ride can be pleasant and nasty depending on several little issues. But two of the surest things that can turn a ride into hell are the temperament of the conductor and the driver’s sobriety which can at worst end your life. Most conductors tend to be sulking youths who obviously didn’t mention their current job as their career ambitions to their P.1 teachers. Mix that with a frustrated housewife on her way to co-front her husband’s side dish or some bigoted businessman and you are truly in for a nasty ride.
Today, the said conductor is wearing some faded jeans and a Jay Z T-shirt with some kind of hood, teamed with converse shoes. Before we are even halfway the journey he begins pestering the passengers for the taxi fare. Most passengers ignore him while a few pay just to buy some peace. The indifferent response to his demands obviously drives him crazy and he becomes hysterical.
Other passengers yield to the pressure and pay up but not the grand dame in the corner who ignores the loaded ‘asigadaawo’ fired at her every minute. At last, the lout can’t take it anymore and directly tells the Madame to pay. A war of words erupts between the two. The Madame points out that she cannot obviously get away out without paying since the taxi had one which he was manning. He fires back that he is aware of the fact but tells her to pay anyway.
The Madame explodes with a torrent of abuse and wonders what makes all conductors so stupid. ‘ she takes that opportunity to remind the conductor that he is a failure in life and the lowest of the low and cursed to spend his life counting other people’s money. Some of the passengers visibly feeling bad for the poor conductor try to intervene but she shuts them up by turning her anger onto them one by one. And in typical Ugandan style we bury our heads our thoughts, convincing ourselves that the war of words still going full steam in our midst is none of our business. In our effort not to appear as if we have lugezigezi we let bad behavior triumph over common sense.
Hey, I am a Ugandan woman who spends a minimum of four hours daily travelling in taxis. Like you, I used to dread the taxi rides until I realized that it is a source of a variety of free entertainment and an interesting study of human nature.