I am not so strong to ask you to face me, no. Face me was my means of transport when i was growing up. I am sure you would like to know why it was called face me. There were pick ups we used between Chuka and Kathwana( my local towns). Every end of the month I would accompany my mother who is a teacher to pick her salary from the bank which was in Chuka and most importantly so that we could fill our kerosene container or else we spend the entire month in darkness (thank you Kenya power for rural electrification).
Well, ”why face me,” you ask. The means of transport were pick ups. There was a famous green one that we used and the owner would drop his casual employees at his farm before ferrying us to our prestigious town. Face me was a result of how we used to sit in our pick ups. Actually we did not even face each other since we had goats incorporated therein, sacks of cabbages, potatoes and maize that were also being ferried for trade. Maybe my topic then should be face goat, or face potatoes, no maybe face sacks. Did I mention there were some of us who would land on the same space as the goats and had to stand on top of the sacks, well i just did.
Here i am at the airport, ready to fly. All the way from facing the goats to facing the clouds. Now you can relate to my transition. The city buses had taken me long enough to get used to, all the staggering in them and sometimes falling on the lucky seated fellows who would swallow me with just a glance.” Is it the same in the Aeroplane?” i asked myself. What if i landed my African goodies on a mzungu and am Malysiad through the window( God rest those Malysian souls in peace)?
Amanda gave me my shoes which i put on and this time i was more confident especially after we re-united. I manage to get my documents verified which took like ten minutes. My God sent angel was still waiting for me. Little did i know i was to face my luggage lady once more, this time round for a boarding pass which i did not take with me, Not because i forgot,no, i did not know you have to get another boarding pass which is not the ticket i had guarded with my life. Not until i get yet to another verification point which by the way was next to the moving stairs. All i could see now was those moving steps, and trying to watch carefully how others stepped so precisely and did not miss or fall. ”Madam, boarding pass?” i was asked. I confidently gave out my ticket and my passport, and he insisted on the ticket. Lawd! You do not harass your sister like that brother, what will happen when she lands in a foreign land? Anyway my angel once again showed me back to the counter where i got my boarding pass.
After getting that pass, it hit me that I was leaving my mother land,a land over flowing with milk and honey, that phrase reminds me of Chogoria girls high school. It was my time now to time the step. My friends, i tried, again and again, about three times. i would count 1,2,3 pretending to reorganize my plastic bag in the leso wrap until i finally made it. i stepped on the edge but i repositioned. Stepping out, i had to jump since i did not know to where those stairs were continuing to. I made it.
Amanda was very understanding. She waited for me and we both wandered looking for our waiting bay. Dang! We found it. People were rushing right, left and centre. My people of color were reducing significantly. Finally we were called in. i thought we were going to board but no it was another check point, shoes off again,this time Amanda carried them for me, what was it with shoes anyway? After a few minutes of waiting it was time to board. We are led to some tunnel looking path and once again we had to show our boarding pass. Alas! The aeroplane is attached to the tunnel,how now? How do people take photos boarding planes if they are attached to tunnels? Anyway, i managed to secure a seat. we said our goodbyes with Amanda until we arrived at Brussels.
I sat next to an American lady who left shortly to join her husband. Since i did not have a seatmate i had to watch from a distance how to even buckle the safety belt. I tried touching those screens, which finally worked and movies pap. It was time to leave. I made one last call to my mum and dad. It hit me i was leaving them. The last thing i did was to transfer my bonga points to my mother. i could not gather the courage to watch the plane leave the ground to the clouds, that is why you have not seen a photo on social media. 12000 ft high above my comfort zone.
No sooner had we left than food started coming. I did not know what to eat. so i only took tea, juice and water at first. At least i knew what those were. I watched closely what people were eating and i eventually ordered food. I ordered some vegetables wit a piece of chicken. After consuming that food, hell broke loose. i started feeling like there was a tornado in my stomach. after three hours of flying, it was time to use the bathroom. I tried lifting my legs to where those tiny rooms were and i couldn’t. I did not even know where they were. My feet were heavier than the plane itself. How on earth am i supposed to stand and walk around in a moving plane? I could not gather enough courage to ask my already sleeping neighbours where the bathrooms were. So i pressed in/on. To add salt to an injury, i couldn’t adjust my seat. You guy, ndege sio city hoppa ( an aeroplane is not a kenyan bus called city hoppa). After 7 hours of no sleep, bad stomach, stiff seat and freezing temperatures, we were informed that we were about to land at Brussels. Honestly, i thought my bowels would go loose.
Part two of my journey will be up tomorrow. The landing, more check points, moving footpaths and changing planes. Join me then!