My most cherished means of transport is the moto – in fact I should now be called Miss Moto. I never hesitate to jump on them when I need to get from one place to another. Kigali’s very smooth roads make the ride even more pleasant. However, on days when my wallet is suffering from insufficient funds, I am forced to use other means – taxis!
Let me emphasise that my problem is not so much with the means as it is with the state the means is in. I don’t mind the coasters and the huge KBS buses. I usually wait for as long as I can till one of them comes along.
Sometimes, I’m lucky and others, I’m forced to use the smaller taxis because the decent buses are scarce. I don’t know if it is my imagination or maybe I’m just bigger than I think, but I never seem to enter those taxis with ease.
I have to grab onto the first chair, probably shove my bag onto an irritated passenger, wiggle my way through the corridor that seems like a path for ants and then sit! As if that is not enough, as I am still trying to get used to the already little comfort, another passenger tells me to scoot as four people are required on each row.
Most of the time, the windows have issues and can’t quite open. With my limited supply of oxygen, I have to hold onto the chair in front of me because leaning is simply not an option! Once, a man next to me didn’t find it odd to eat roasted nuts and munch away in my ear. The other two ladies on my other side spoke so loud, I thought they were jazzing with someone in the taxi behind us!
It is a complete disaster – to say the least. I like that I always get home in one piece but something needs to be done about these little ‘things’. For starters, they could let people breathe a little better by fixing the windows. Next, no offense but this business of seating four people with two of them the size of a baby elephant should be closed.
Third, they have got to do something about the seats. If you have never sat in one, count your blessings! I always get the feeling I am sitting on metal covered with cloth – either that or a rat ate away the entire cushion.
From what I’ve heard, the little disasters are being phased out, in favour of the bigger, more comfortable buses. I like the sound of that, but sometimes I wish I was a magician so I could wave my magic wand around and make it happen in the blink of an eye!