Day 4 of the Gratitude Challenge: I am grateful for the incovenience.
Welcome back from the weekend, I hope that it went well for you all. We are still going strong on the gratitude challenge and I hope that you are now caught up on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3. On day 4 of the gratitude challenge, we are to write a short message of thanks for some of the “negative” things in our life. I look at a particular inconvenience I am currently facing in my life and I share the positive aspects about this that I am grateful / thankful for.
Through most of my working life I have always had a personal car to ease my movements, however, recently I under went a reorganization of my life and in the process had to let go of my car. As a result I found myself using public transportation almost on a daily basis and at first it was quite hard adjusting to it. If you are used to the independence of having your own car, where you determine when to leave and plan your own journey in terms of the route to take and when and where to stop, then it is quite inconveniencing when you have to surrender that to our very unpredictable transport system. If you have experienced Uganda’s public transport system you may get how it can be a pain more especially when using taxis ( matatus- Omni buses ) and boda bodas. My major pain about taxis is the lack of certainty;
- You are not sure of the fare to wherever you’re going – I sometimes see people negotiating before boarding. The rate the conductor tells you depends on the time of day and the number of people waiting at the stage. During peak times the fare goes up and then normalises off peak, during the Christmas break I refused to board several taxi’s ( most of them had 2-3 passengers only) because the fare they were telling me to pay was too low Shs 1, 000 for the usual 1,500 – 2,000 I have always paid. I thought they were criminals trying to harm me ( in light of the recent crimes involving boda bodas and taxis). It was after several taxis had gone by and I was getting tired of waiting for the “safe” taxi that I boarded one – still at 1,000 shs. Of course I had done a quick scan and the people looked like normal everyday people and mostly women so I sort of felt safe (judgemental I know!).
- You cannot reliably estimate the time it will take you to your destination and this is very frustrating when you have to get somewhere by a certain time. When boarding I pray the taxi gets full quickly and that everyone is travelling most part of the journey because this way you avoid multiple stops wherever, whenever including the taxi driver and conductor looking for passengers, calling out the disinterested ones far away even waiting for those still at home getting ready.
My other pain about the taxis and boda bodas is that they lack professionalism while at their job, some of them drive so recklessly, have no respect for traffic laws and road signs, they can stop so suddenly and then also immediately drive off again, they won’t even care to give way – they can even stop in the middle of the road on or off board a passenger and to them it is okay, if you dare point out the error you’ll hear alot from them.
A lesser pain is that I think these taxis are always dirty and germ infested, the conductors especially always look dirty, smelly and unkempt ( again judgemental!). So when I am seated I try as much as possible to keep to keep to myself avoid physical contact with anything or anyone but you cannot avoid the occassional bump and body contact with other passengers. The conductor at times wants to make an extra buck and will squeeze in one more person in the row. When I get home usually the first thing I do is take a shower and scrub my body before hugging and mixing with the rest of the family.
This is now beginning to appear like a rant post but it is not, I needed you to understand my inconvenience and the gratitude I get out of it because I want to demonstrate that there is always something postitive in any negative situation. Below are the reasons why I am grateful for this current incovenience in my life.
- I am grateful for the extra time on my hands (two hours per day) since I no longer have to drive. I have been using this free time to catch up with my blog, in terms of drafting some new posts , correcting and editing already published posts ( sometimes the spelling and grammatical errors go through as there is alot competing for my time i.e. a full time job, kids , hubby, sleep and other chores) . I also use the time to generate ideas for my blog, share my latest posts within my social network and connect / engage with my website readers and fans and basically grow my network through collaborating and supporting my fellow bloggers on various fora.
- I am grateful for the cost saving, when I used to drive I would spend on average 6 US dollars per day on petrol for the car on a normal round trip of home to work and back, now I spend at most 1.5 US dollars for the same round trip.
- I am grateful for the opportunity to stay fit and active through walking. I love to walk and using the matatu affords me the opportunity to walk more especially in the evening. Most times if I am not exhausted I walk from my workplace for about 2 kilometers then take the taxi along the way.
- I am grateful that I am able to see life through another lense. I get to meet different people every day ( though with minimal interaction) either while walking or looking around as we move, you sort of see people more up close, the activities taking place and how people are hustling. The other day I was in a taxi going home and halfway the journey I hear this deep male voice at the back….. “good evening ladies and gentlemen” he was an evangelist and we got our sermon for the day whether willing or unwillingly. Another day someone I guess an absent minded passenger went past his stop point and on realising it , he started frantically shouting … parking, parking. The conductor also responded –hey this is a car and not a wheelbarrow that can stop instantly, calm down and wait for the driver to find parking, we all laughed. So there are such light moments as well.
I actually now look forward to my time on the road because of the postive aspects above, not that these positive aspects did not exist before but I was merely not noticing it, I was more focused on the inconvenience and not what I was getting out of it.
Today I challenge you to review and note down the positive aspects of anything negative going on in your life today.
Thank you for coming by and blessings