A day in traffic

On my way home one day, the whole place started to darken.
A storm was on the way.
It started lashing down, the heavy downpour was the heaviest in a few weeks.

The street hawkers ran for shelter under a bridge
But a few remained hawking right there in the rain
I saw someone buying a drink from a guy who was completely soaked.
The person rolled down his glass just enough to take the drink and took the glass up so quickly.

I could see the rain pouring but like I was not convinced, I rolled my glass down just a little and the rain slapped me to wind up quickly. And as is normal with rain, traffic slows down due to poor visibility.

My respect for the street hawkers soared. These guys are on the streets from morning until night. It's basically their office. I would not last a day doing that job. But survival I guess...

I drove past maize, all the ones roasting had deserted their stands but two sets of boys.
At one stand, the two boys stood under an umbrella providing warmth for each other by just being there. I wondered whether they feared that the maize could disappear. I stared at them and one of the boys caught me staring. I gave a polite smile feeling guilty. Like my smile would have changed anything….I was comfortably seated in my car while he was drenched!

I moved slightly and at the next maize point, this boy, under an umbrella which in rain like this was useless, was shielding the charcoal from the rain with his body and using a hand fan with all his might to keep the fire going. I thought it was unbelievable that he was still so keen on roasting his maize, in the rain. Could he have been given a sales target for the day?
On the other hand, was he trying to keep himself warm?

I got to a particular point on the road. That point basically says the kind of driver you are. Many cars try to get onto other lanes from a service lane but with the traffic, nobody slows down so there are usually swerves and turns. some done very horribly.
Just then, a driver probably thinking to himself that he was doing a James Bond move, hit my side mirror and shattered it. What could I do? I watched him swerve into someone's front with no indication. Did he think I was crazy enough to want to make a scene in the rain? He may have been trying to avoid me. He almost caused an accident. There were hands spread with 'waka' and horns blaring.

One hour spent in the rain, in traffic, not sure if that was entertaining, or a nudge at me to be grateful for things no matter how bad I think they are.

Photo: Domitilla Sa'adatu Modesti


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