Thursday, 5 December 2013

Tales of a Ugandan Taxi Passenger - 2

A few days ago as i was on my way home, I saw a mother with her 2 children ahead of me on a path heading to a taxi stage. I lost sight of her but after a few seconds as I went round the bend she seemed to disappear in thin air. I did not think much of it and brushed it aside for the moment as I darted across the road meandering between taxis and erratic public motor cycle riders locally known as boda boda during the evening rush hour. 

I boarded the taxi and at the corner of my eye just before I sat down in the back seat, I saw a figure in the shadows of the dark move. I did not know what it was but after a while of straining my eyes in the pitch black conditions on the outside of the taxi, I realized it was the lady only when she shouted at her son not to play in the trench filled with dirty water a stone’s throw from her. Then a boda boda man rode across the road from where our taxi was parked making a bee line for the very path I had once trodden only a minute ago behind her, his lights flashed right on her and she was now as clear as day. 

The rider had some trouble ascending the gentle incline for he was no at full speed and therefore for about 2 minutes he continued to flash his light right on her but she did not even flinch or show any embarrassment. At first it was unclear what she was doing staying motionless in one spot until i saw her struggle to pull something up but could not make out what it was as her long skirt was providing much needed cover. I did not understand why she was half her initial height but as I attempted to wrap my mind around that aspect she then grew in stature up to her full height. Then it hit me she was easing herself at the side of the road in plain sight behind no cover or shrubbery of any sort at the transition of dusk to dawn which would have been astonishing had it been daylight. 

She got up and grabbed her 2 boy’s hands and walked off to the road side and flagged another boda boda rider to a halt which she boarded and i watched her disappear into the distance. Then I thought back - this act while questionable and uncouth is almost acceptable for most men to engage in but this is not the case with women, it feels like double standards are being exhibited on this issue on a daily basis. But to be honest with you my opinion of this lady, this mother was never the same after what i witnessed that night at that road side; that is the impression that was imprinted on my mind as the driver sped off on my long journey home. 

I wonder whether your opinion is any different.
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