Bloated Stomach, Big Stomach, Holding in Fart

Stomach Adventure.

Early in life, my parents ensured that we had used the latrine before we left home for a trip.  This is for the obvious reason of being a nuisance. You have seen the kids who nag their parents at the most awkward of moments. This becomes a habit and eventually a part of me. I had to visit the latrine whenever I was leaving home. This made it easier for my journeys and me. Whenever something unexpected comes up like I got this urge to leak, a pack of biscuits would magically appear, and I would eat them and dehydrate myself to relief till I got home. No. 2 has no pro. If it comes. You have to go! Period. So today, being the last day of my impromptu visit to home area, I had to meet a few people. That group you would just not leave without having a word. I was to leave early. Therefore, I had slotted these meetings in the morning. In one, I had been slotted. If you know what I mean.
My former office
I left home early enough. Around 8.30am to meet with these important people. One is The Surveyor my great friend, mentor, and former boss. He encourages me a lot. Therefore, I always see him when I visit and even work at his office at times, like the few minutes I spent at my former desk and go on surveying duties when it is a field day.  You cannot leave your mother’s house without eating something, and I could not just leave home on an empty stomach because I was having a ‘breakfast meeting’ with the surveyor. With a lovely mother like mine, she ensured breakfast was a buffet of sorts. She had prepared fried eggs. Kienyeji ones, then there were some sweet potatoes and arrowroots. Whenever I am on these sides, bread is not that important, traditional is best and so like that kid on visiting day,  I stacked on sweet potatoes and arrow roots. The walk to town probably resettled whatever was inside, and I felt if another opportunity to down something came, I would be okay to go. We had this lengthy chat at his office then crowned by coffee and a samosa. It is after the table has been cleared that you realize maybe it was not wise, after all, to escort that cup of coffee. Plain would have been fair enough. After we had been done, I headed to Embu. Where I was to pick some items from Cera, as well as talk.
We always have much to share in matters business and general burble. We decided to have yoghurt. I had ‘vanilla’ and a ndazi. An hour or two, I don’t know later, we decide to ‘sample’ their food. Last we checked there was no food, just yoghurt and snacks that is why I had expected to get queen cakes, but did not and had to settle for a ndazi. We decided to sample this Pilau that would cost us only KSh 70/-. Well, it was not the pilau I know unless if any random mixture of spices exotic and synthetic and a brownish finish on your rice is pilau. Bad! A joke to culinary art.
Deep down, I knew I was doing myself a great disservice since there was a very high chance my stomach would act up mid journey… Somehow, the devil who makes sure you get a bout of diarrhea in the worst of places made me forget that. Like every hog out there – like I was there at that moment, I was already drowsy. I imagined how I would walk in that sun, and I almost ran mad to the thought. Thing is, and I had a distance to walk. Like from YMCA on statehouse road to Muthurwa on Landhies. Imagine the torture under that sun, inhaling dust all the way, dodging motorbikes & rogue proboxes…
I saw Cera off, and then I proceeded to the stage. I am those people who will never use a motorbike to cover a distance I can walk. So dusty me, tired and sweaty got to the bus stage and took my ride. It was a dramatic issue as well. I do not know how unlucky I am but somehow I always get to be on the receiving end of the matatu crew when I raise genuine issues. That is for another day though. This time I said I would not sit on the sunny side all the way to Nairobi & so watched them agonizingly wait for one passenger for minutes. The insults that came my way in Mbeere. Only the witches would comprehend.
I took another mat (There are about 7 services plying the route) where I sat on the non-sunny side. I always take note of this except in rare occasions like last Friday. We were only two men in that matatu. Journey was okay. No incidents.
But wait. My deskie in the mat, – some plump lady, bespectacled, natural hair, black trousers a jungle green top & a choking scent to match. I suspected she had a career in banking, insurance, sales or any of those other jobs where you have to speak English authoritatively to express your level of understanding in whatever you are passing on to your client, to a standard that will be enough for them to out a sign on some paper… You get what I mean? So she had that air around her. I also feel weird around people who call everyone ‘my dear’ But I am the evil one here. I judged already. Let me. Four minutes into the drive, she was already; “Eh! My dear, funga dirisha.” on me. Couldn’t she feel the heat!
I also think all the heat that I was feeling came from the inside. We had not even passed the sewage plant at Embu, and she was peeling back a Café Naivas take away. Soda and a hot dog and later she fished out something I could not see. Boy! Did I curse deep inside? I just couldn’t believe with the aura of nobility, she decided to eat in a matatu – Junk. Earlier an elderly lady bought a sector of watermelon and ate it, then went ahead to purchase a soda and get it transferred to a nylon paper – the way we get milk from a vending machine. That was before we left. She could not carry the bottle. Maybe it’s fine by your end of society, but unless we are on an all age mates road trip, on my Miraa, or I have children onboard who would not shut up unless they are eating something… I consider that a no no. So all this hating & name calling was going inside me, and if people could read minds, we would have fought.

 

My punishment came soon enough… The bumps at Difathas. My stomach decided. I could not tell if it was gas or if it was the demon. Normally I would ignore it and let it go wherever it goes until I get back home. However, with the content I had consumed the entire day, and I was going to get it rough. I wanted whatever it was out. The best I could do was hold it in with my all and hope it would fade away. Never! Every bump was another disaster. I swore that I would let the driver know I wanted to buy rice at Nice Digital Village and then escape to the loos at the establishment. I told the driver I needed to buy rice, as I had planned with myself. He declined. (By the way this rice unless you are buying from the market, clueless newbies on the route get conned)
“Utanunua huko mbele!”

 

“Nataka ya Nice.”
“Sisimami! wewe ngoja, nitasimama huko mbele.”

 

 

A rice field at Mwea Tebere Irrigation Scheme
This was pissing. I almost shouted, “I know you want me to buy at your shop!” Most of those roadside shops in Mwea have connections with matatu drivers so that they can stop their passengers and buy from their stores. ‘Why did I curse the lady in my mind?’ I was praying so hard that I could even hear her laugh at me. It was imaginary, of course. Now that Nice Digital Village was a fail, I would try Merica. I now prayed that the driver would stop somewhere around Merica. Which he did not. The rumble strips and the bumps on that stretch of some section called Mutithi were so agonizing I would not want to die from anything stomach related. It would be a slow embarrassing death. By now, I was sweating so much (remember queen hotdogs said no opening the window) that I was sure the next thing I would be doing would be asking the driver to let me help myself in some random rice paddy. This is the other problem with the Mwea – Makutano Stretch. There are no trees/ bushes – just open fields so if you have any ‘bush activity’; it has to be on a rice paddy where almost an entire county is seeing you. Think of a fly on a table. That kind of exposed. There are some rumble strips, which saved my day. Somehow, some bubble vanished inside of me. It seemed like an eternity while I waited to figure out if it was externally dealt with or internal. I waited… & waited… Sniffing around – tactically of course. However, there was nothing. I was relieved, but I was so insecure. The driver later stopped at a place known as VI – Karaba. You cannot leave the car of course, but I had vowed that if I had to, I would not care how in a rush the other passengers were, or how pissed the driver would get.
I never bought the rice, who needed it anyway. At Karaba, Rice sellers do not scrum for you like the tomato and onion sellers. I so hated food right now, and I did not want to see those women near me. As the journey started again, I was now afraid of falling asleep and farting loudly. It was quite a distance remaining, and I could feel the dual pressure building. Sleep and gas. I was not even interested in cramming police badges who took bribes on the road. At some point, an attempt to read a book is what sent me to my sleep. Next thing I know I am at the rumble strips at Witeithie. I don’t know what happened to me. No, wait. I don’t know what happened or may have happened to the other passengers after I slept. Because I was so relieved, I even suspected the demon had come through while I was asleep. I tactically shifted my private cheeks to confirm ‘area clear.’ I almost shouted hallelujah. I am not sure if I farted though. I don’t have a history of farting in my sleep unless my friends never told me. The faces in the matatu looked as normal as I had left them before I drifted off. So… No harm done.

 

I knew I was being punished for thinking so evil of an innocent woman when I got home and realized I had not urge at all. It’s like someone fresh from a colon irrigation appointment. If you see someone eating at odd places…
Let them eat.
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