The boda chronicles (continued)

Posted: November 7, 2007 in Blog

The boda-boda trips to and from work have been a bit more subdued of late. My boda driver has been sick with a fever, and also been dealing with two painful teeth that have slowed him down.

As such, our trips have been quiet. He has spent a few days in bed, hoping the fever and tooth pain would go away because he couldn’t afford the doctor visit. But even on those days, I would leave the house and there he would be, waiting for me with his motorcycle.

“I thought you were staying home today,” I’d say, surprised to see him.

“I am, but I come for you then go back to bed. How is your morning?”

“Fine, Joseph, my morning is fine. You don’t have to come if you’re not feeling well…”

But off we’d go each morning for the trip to work. Finally I asked him yesterday when he was going to get to a doctor because the tooth pain especially didn’t seem to be in a hurry to go anywhere.

“Soon, soon. I must save up more money first,” he would say.

“Joseph, how much does the doctor charge for pulling a tooth?” I asked, as we arrived at work.

“6,000 shillings,” he told me.

6,000 shillings is about $3.30.

Reaching into my pocket, I gave him 6,000 shillings. “Go to the doctor today, okay?”

Last night he came to pick me up from the gym, and I asked about his mouth.

“The doctor, he pulled the tooth, but there is another that needs to go.”

He told me how the doctor said he would have to wait four days before the second tooth could be pulled, and how he had also gotten some pills for the fever— no information apparently on what was causing the fever.

Heading home, I asked him whether he’d been able to eat since the tooth was pulled earlier in the day.

“Ah, no. That will have to wait. It is too sore, only drinks.”

As we sped through the city street’s I crossed my fingers that he had stuck to water and the like instead of the cheapest painkiller of them all—alcohol.

We soon arrived at the barbershop where I had asked him to drop me.
“You must be hungry, yes?” I asked him.

Joseph shrugged.

I looked down at the macaroni and cheese I had leftover from my dinner at a restaurant (yes, I’ve found a restaurant that serves macaroni and cheese) and opened the lid to show Joseph.

“Would you eat this? It would be soft for your teeth.”

With hardly a glance into the box, Joseph said that yes, he would like that.

This morning, I hopped on the motorcycle and as we took off, Joseph turned his head slightly.

“That dinner last night was very good. It smelled good, it tasted good. I liked it very much.”

“Glad to hear, Joseph.”

“What do you call that?”

“Macaroni and cheese.”

“Ah, I do not know that food, but I like it very much.”

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