Scrambling to get to the front of the line

My name is Julie and I’m an idiot. If you live anywhere within the Kenyan border, don’t turn your nose up, because yeah, you’re an idiot too.

Last night at about 9pm, when the sun had gone to bed and I was heading home to do the same, a colleague called to let me know that the turn-off at GM heading back into the CBD on Mombasa Road was closed. Heaven knows why the county or whoever decided to barricade an essential exit without notice to road users. I had two options, either make an illegal turn into incoming traffic at Sameer Park or drive almost to the airport to take the next exit.

I should have made that illegal turn, after all it’s the Kenyan way, but I ended up airport- bound, just so I could make a turn that was going to take me all the way back to Nyayo Stadium. At 9pm, no less. The same thing happened all week.

I cannot say for sure why the road network is getting a facelift but I think we can all safely assume that all this ‘make up’ we’re slapping on our highways is for Cousin Barry’s benefit. It is not unusual to arrive at work with your car covered in cut grass, thanks to the folks who are working overtime to create a presentable pathway in our wilderness.

Given the recurring anti-West rhetoric in the political sphere, we (they) should really be giving President Obama the finger. Instead, our median strips are on fleek. Go figure.

But even as the image of our country is polished to a high gloss, drivers on Nairobi roads find themselves unwilling to ditch their deplorable traffic habits. We suffer from chronic overlapping. If patience is a virtue then we are all on a highway to hell. Just leave it to a Kenyan to swerve onto the service lane and make a bad situation worse.

On social media, we take time out to admonish folks to ‘stay in their lane’ when referring to money, status or class. Strangely enough, we are unable to do the same on the road where it matters much more. In real life, we all scramble to get to the front of the line, cutting off fellow motorists with no regard for their position in society. I guess traffic is the great equaliser. Well, obviously unless you’re a mhesh, because in that case you are more equal than all the rest of us put together.

In this peculiar land of ours, you would be hard pressed to find even one person who is not irredeemably idiotic in one way or the other. We have all been tainted by some measure of idiocy, granted in varying degrees.

When you wake up to the news that ‘youths’ have burned essential facilities to the ground because they were feeling some type of way about a politician, even the madness that awaits you on the road pales in comparison. I refuse to blame our so-called leadership for using the naiveté of youth to further their selfish agenda. Young, disenfranchised citizens are a soft-target. I blame us. The people. Because forget a failed State, we are failing as a society.

My names are Juliet, Phoebe and Masiga. I’m an idiot. But I can do better. And for heaven sale, so can you.