Previously, we have ranted about the bad habits of matatu crew. And many agreed we had hit a home run. But passengers equally have some annoying habits. Here are 10 of the very worst:
1. Eating in matatus
The question of space and ventilation in our public transport is a sensitive one. Mostly, we are crammed into contraptions we can hardly fit into. We already have problems breathing and then someone (especially ladies) insist on eating their chips mwitu in the matatu.
First, packaged French fries smell horrible. Burgers and hotdogs smell just as bad, especially with those poorly cooked onions. Fruits leak juices that look awful on the mouth. Drinks too are a stinker. Decorum in such a crammed public space demands that you keep your hunger pangs in check until you get home.
Eating in a matatu is cheap and belies a blatant lack of class. The habit is common with drunkards on Friday night when they are going home after drowning a few.
2. Talking loudly over the phone
While blaring music in a matatu can be irritating, people who shout into their phones are amongst the most annoying. They’ll ask the driver to lower the volume of music and shout throughout the trip on their phones. Some quarrel.
Others flirt loudly, making everyone wince at some of their lurid comments. Then there are those who manage their homes loudly for everyone to hear, ever so often repeating themselves to emphasize a point. And God have mercy on you if there’s poor reception.
3. Insisting that windows be closed
It is a cold season, yes. But the cocktail of smells in a matatu can be suffocating. The myriad of perfumes, colognes, unwashed armpits and all manners of odor, from smelly feet to baby puke, can be quite overwhelming.
4. Singing along to the music
I know we all love to be musicians. But if you can’t sing, please don’t bother others by singing off-key to the song playing in a matatu (particularly young girls) or one in your Chinese device.
5. Playing music or FM radio on your handset
Most elderly folk in a matatu without a radio or music turn to their phones for entertainment. The problem is they turn this on so loudly without headphones, forcing all passengers to listen to their poor choice of music.
6. Rudeness to matatu crew
I now believe that matatu conductors sometimes have to be rude to handle ill-mannered passengers who look down upon them. They are so rude, they’ll drown the poor conductor and driver in a sea of expletives over a small misunderstanding. Sometimes the conductors actually forget to give you back your Sh10 change, or coins are just in short supply!
7. Raising hell when driver passes your stop
Matatu drivers can be annoying and in their mad rush, they can overshoot your stop by a stage or a few metres. But you don’t have to go ballistic and raving mad because of the 10 metres you have to walk back to your stop.
8. Checking out people’s phones
There’s nothing as annoying as a fellow passenger sitting next to you craning his neck and leaning forward to read whatever you are texting or browsing online. It’s not like we are in an exam room!
9. Selfish with newspaper
Well, we know you spent Sh60 for the daily, but what’s wrong with sharing the news with your fellow passengers. Some passengers will melt you with their looks if you dare ask to borrow their paper. It’s like the Sh60 they spent will multiply into millions in your account!
10. Book snobs
It’s true and recommended that you read a book, especially on a long commute to a place like Rongai.
But that does not mean you are intellectually superior to the rest of the passengers staring blankly through the windows.
Lose the condescending attitude and put sometime in actually reading the book.