It’s Just Material Stuff

I had a rather interesting week last week. Interesting in both a good and bad way. It taught me some tough lessons, which instead of breaking me, have made me rather stronger. I experienced the much told “Nairobi Experience”. The one about the pick pockets in public transport. Yes, they do exist. I was living in a bubble, thinking that would never happen to me, how now? That was a tell-tale to me. I mean how can someone just steal from you under your nose and you don’t realize? You feel so stupid, because when you look back, you see all the signs that you just let pass or all the things you did wrong. I couldn’t even sleep that day as I kept thinking of all the what if’s.

What happened you wonder? I took a matatu like I always do. Only on this fateful day, it was properly loaded with pick pockets. My innocent self went ahead to use my phone, I mean I was safe in the moving vehicle (note that I’d been warned of this behaviour so many times). When time came to pay my fare, I removed my wallet, got the money and paid, though the guy next to me was really looking into it. I was in my little happy-go-lucky bubble. I mean, life is beautiful, what is there not to be happy about? I put back my wallet in my rather “open” bag. It didn’t even cross my mind to make sure that it’s tucked in well. I go ahead with my business, but clearly it was our business.

Along the way there were funny signs where the dude from behind says he’s lost his sim/memory card and the good person I am, helps to search. All the while the guy next to me has rummaged my bag to get my wallet. Then when I’m about to alight, the guy in front of me, tells me to keep my phone safe because it might be stolen. And guess what I do, of course I put it back in my bag. Thinking, this people do care about my welfare. Not, because as I put my phone in the bag, this other dude was on the receiving end. Like they deserved my phone and wallet more than I did. I didn’t realize until I alighted. That shit *excuse my French* makes you disoriented. I couldn’t believe I’ve been played out like that. You feel like searching every corner and crevice for your stuff, you feel like those people should know how much you’ve worked and struggled for the little you have. That they should have some Mercy and at least return the essentials (you know, your ATM cards, ID, Medical Cards, Access Cards). For the phone I had accepted its fate (but next time insurance is my friend).

Then it dawns on you, these are thieves. The last person they care about, is you and your petty essentials. I kept telling the boyfriend to try call them. You know maybe they will pick up and tell me to pick my stuff up from somewhere. And he used my words on me, “that’s just material stuff.” If I’ve ever told you that, I know the pain of those words even better now. You think of the cost of your phone, wallet, ‘essentials’ and the materials bit, just doesn’t cut it. True to those words though, they’re just material things. They’re replaceable, some as soon as possible, others in the near future. As long as you’re healthy and alive, how you got them once, you’ll get them again. Even better. That was a set back in more than one away, but such a minor one. If you’ve been through the same, believe it’s a minor set back and you’ll strike back bigger and better.

That was just one of the lessons. Besides that, I also learnt that I need to be aware of my environment. Not everyone in this world is nice, not everyone is genuine and not everyone cares about you, tough love. So I need to in certain circumstances, if not all, put my safety first and always be careful and most of all trust my judgement, good or bad. After all, the judgement is mine. Such experiences should just toughen us. It was a sore and painful experience but such an eye opener too.

Material Things

While at it, I discovered that some friends have walked in your shoes. So they know what you’re going through or what you’re feeling. Somehow, they find ways to make you feel better about your situation because they’ve been through the same if not worse. And after sharing my story, I came to realize mine was not an isolated case. This has happened to so many of my friends. Sometimes you know all the rules to the games, but since you’re on the play-field any way, the thugs use the same old tricks on you (some which you were aware of, but you’re caught off-guard) and they win. That’s just a small win. Eventually, you have the big win because you can play better next time now that you’re more aware.

Have yourself an amazing week. When you’re about to have a bad one, just think of someone else who is in a worse state than you, and yet they can afford a smile. Then look deep within and dig out that smile from the hole it’s buried in. Blessings lovelies.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

  • Amy

    awww, Kawi, sorry for the loss. I knew how it felt like. Last year a person picked my phone through my pocket too. And it’s weird because the shorts were tight, so I’d suppose I should have felt something…But I guess they are an expert at what they do. But anyways, your post is amazing and your bf’s reaction is quite fascinating as well.

    • Hey Ami, it’s been eons. Glad to hear from you and thanks for stopping by. That’s quite some consolation, but we get out of it stronger and more knowledgeable.

  • Lonzie

    When I came back home for my December holidays after I first left the country for varsity, I was young and excited to be “independent”. Before I left for school earlier that year, I had obviously selected my favourite clothes to go with,due to the 30 kg limitation on luggage, so I only had a select few items of clothing that I really liked and throughout that year I’d bought a few things here and there that my limited student budget allowed me to. You can see where I’m going with this so let me cut to the chase. After I landed back in the diaspora, my friend picked me up and drove me to my place where upon arrival we were meant by a gang of armed men waiting for us at my gate. Whether they’d followed us or been tipped off on my address by airport authorities remains the million dollar question. They obviously,at gun point, relieved my sister and I off of our luggage (including the shopping I’d done in December), money (I had my school fees and rent with me #ouch), passports, phones etc. I quickly learnt not to value material things after all my material possessions were taken from me. It wasn’t easy to restock from boxers outwards, as in I lost everything but now I don’t value such things as much as I used to *touches wood*. This happens often as you’ll read below

    • Damn! I felt a little guilty for laughing on the “it wasn’t easy to restock…”, but you made it sound hilarious. That must’ve have been more than devastating, wouldn’t want to imagine, makes mine look like nothing. School fees, rent, passport, in a foreign country, where do you even start. Such experiences can make one so remorseful and have hate for anyone who looks like a thief or has “thiefing” tendencies even the authorities themselves. But since you’re here doing better than ever and you survived the ordeal, I believe it made you stronger. Gosh, for then, pole sana. Thanks for sharing Lonzie 🙂 sometimes it’s good to hear you’re not the only one who’s been in a certain situation (tempted to say the more the merrier, but in this case, not. I wish we had Dubai rules…you steal your hands goes).

  • Yep, Its all material stuff…loving your blog!

    • Thank you Carolyn.