Kenya: Someone Should Study Traffic Jams in Kenya for Their Phd Thesis


I was on my way to a meeting last weekend when I was caught up in a traffic jam caused by what I would realise, to my amazement, was a very minor accident, yet it had caused a gridlock that extended from here to Timbuktu. Seriously, someone should study traffic jams in Kenya for their PhD thesis.

Anyway, afraid that I would arrive at my rendezvous late if the jam didn’t ease up in the next few minutes, I dipped my hand into my handbag for my phone, so that I could check the time – I abhor tardiness.

A couple of seconds of fishing around yielded nothing, yet I was pretty sure that my phone was somewhere in there. Eventually, I decided to use my eyes too, since the snaking line of cars hadn’t moved an inch five minutes and counting.

But no matter how hard I looked and energetically sifted through the many contents of my handbag, my pointed search didn’t yield my phone. By then I had begun to sweat, thanks, in part, to anxiety, as well as the energy that had gone into the search for my elusive gadget.

Afraid that I had left this modern world’s basic need at home, I decided to empty the contents of my handbag on the seat for a more thorough search. To my relief, I finally unearthed it somewhere in the midst of the small mountain of things that had tumbled out of my bag, ranging from last year’s supermarket receipts, a handkerchief I didn’t know I had, an assortment of pens that could stock a kiosk, rubber bands, a toy car with a missing wheel, wads of tissues, one shoelace, three mint sweets (the ones hawkers sell in traffic), which I was sure were expired because I couldn’t remember buying them, and, wonder of wonders, a plastic spoon, among the usual – hand sanitiser, spare surgical mask, purse and earphones – I really should be emptying my handbag more often. Thankfully, my phone assured me that I had 30 minutes to get to the meeting.