Anyway, I soon found myself targeted by other people in the line who she had cut in front of. They went after me telling me to mind my own business! I couldn’t believe it. The no. 46 serves Kilimani, the wealthy suburb where I’m staying (but most people who live here own cars and rarely have to take public transport I’ve decided), as well as Kawangware, a really poor suburb.
My other experience queuing for a bus or matatu is the no. 58 which serves Buru Buru, not a wealthy area, but more white collar area of town where my parents’ house is. Had this woman jumped the queue on a no. 58 line, she would have been lynched! We did not take kindly to that mess and we made noise about it. The no. 46 folk seem to not mind.
So I can’t help but wonder if the differences are class differences. Do poor people care less for the sanctity of rules? Indeed, is it that poor people don’t follow rules because they are poor or are they poor because they don’t follow rules?
I see reluctance, through various interactions with people here, to follow the rules for the sake of following rules. If there is no-one to enforce the rules, then they don’t exist. For example, people don’t follow traffic lights unless there is a policeman around….. But I’d like to think that this is not just a Kenyan phenomenon. In the
Is it that the poor just give up on the system because it seems to be so heavily weighted against them? Is it that they don’t get anything out of following the rules so why bother?
Its all tied into attitudes. I talked to a jobless relative this weekend who was blown away by my suggestion that she could just walk into an organization, offer to work as a volunteer, and be accepted. She insisted that she needed connections and to somehow use neopotism to land a position volunteering somewhere. That is just how closed off the system has been to people….
Because of my experiences living in the
How long will it take to change Kenyan’s attitudes so they grow to expect what is truly theirs?