OF STRANGERS AND NICE GESTURES by Ivy Waridi Ajambo

I am not the kind of person you meet on the streets and you are like let me be good to this one ,she may help me out someday . Just to put it in literal terms I am unapproachable and this I learnt in a game of truth or dare with a couple of my good friends. Hi my name is Lizzie and I am unapproachable here I was thinking that I am just a jar of sunshine I kid myself but oh well maybe in another lifetime.

I do not smile I just walk on the streets like try and say hi to me I will hit you,I am that kind of girlie-o.I will say hi back but just know in my head you are experiencing a violent streak like never before.This is where I thank the good Lord for keeping your inner thoughts private.Shockingly not so shocking maybe but whatever I come from a culture that values this niceties you pass by someone you have never met and maybe you might hate if you got to know them but you just have to say hi and it does not stop at that you have to ask how things are at home etc.
So imagine how my brain works over time (comitting those imaginary murders)when I go to see my grandma, people come from neighbouring compounds just to say hi and I just wonder wow you must literally have nothing to do ! When we go to the town centre it isn’t a town nor a center I kid you not me and my sisters call it city you know cause its funny or maybe it is not .
When we go to the center to go charge our phones or you know paint the town red like cool people do, I have to go with someone cause I mean who will answer those greetings for me in a language I am still trying to learn. Ooh before I forget you have not lived life my friend till you go charge your phone in a village shop just saying where your family’s phones are the only smartphones you immediately become famous people there become so impressed sometimes it gets to my head I can be vain too , am like yeah this is my lifestlyle que in rich homie quan. Just so you know my home village is not kenya you know just saying(insert laugh here).

Now to this stranger I met in a matatu on my way to work , I work nightshifts so you must imagine how bored I was at that moment. He done stepped on my J’s, yeah I said it he stepped on my J’s .I was about to commit murder, he apologized the whole nine yards and I took it in pretending its all good but my J’s were feeling the pain. He was really apologetic then he offered to pay my fare the feminist in me woke up :I was like relax niggar its never that serious, you think I read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to live like this but he insisted its like he was paying penance for stepping on me ,he looked like a pretty decent guy so I let him and that’s the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for me especially in this treacherous matatus of Nairobi .
I got to work smiling now people be thinking we besties now but it shall pass .Just realized the world aint half as bad as I think it is there are some good people and some not so good people but even they know when to draw the line or erase just putting it out there .From today I promise to smile a bit as I walk around maybe I will make someone’s day(I said maybe my smile does not work miracles).

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