Why Sleep and Travel Are Not Bedfellows


The day is finally here with us. I graduate from the unparalleled Moi University on the 17th of December 2013. Let us all breathe a sigh of relief. My endless posts on my dissatisfaction in the institution are almost over now. It has been an interesting journey. If it was not for Moi University, I probably would not have started this blog. We owe it that, if not anything else. I travelled to Moi this Wednesday the 11th to collect my ‘academic attire’ or, in layman’s terms, graduation gown (pictures coming soon). During the journey, I jotted this down:

I always take a notebook with me on my journey to Eldoret. Most times, I don’t use it, especially when I have a good phone with Evernote and similar features. Other times, I use it because I feel specifically inspired to write while travelling to faraway places. I probably just get bored. You know I am no Shrek thus have no Donkey to keep pestering me every two seconds with the ‘Are we there yet’ line. I am juggling John Grisham’s The Innocent Man, some peeving memory error on my Nokia and trying to sleep. I don’t sleep well while travelling. Yes, I may force myself to doze off for some minutes but I will be jolted back to consciousness by the slightest difference in momentum.

There are many reasons I do not sleep in PSVs. Top on the list is safety. I do not feel very safe to be half-dead with strangers around me. Something I own may mysteriously disappear from my grasp. Or I could disappear as a whole myself. When I sleep back in the comfort of my bed, dogs will bark for hours on end, strangers will walk around the house, my sister will turn on the lights and any other kind of clamour will occur, clamour that will wake most people up, but not me. I will not even turn. I have always believed that I can be carried to another place and not even know it. That is just a hypothesis for now. Let’s hope no one will ever test it.

Secondly, I possess the ability to perform the strangest acts in my sleep. I am only pretty certain of two; sleep talking and passing gas. (Allow me to use a euphemism, I am crossing a line here.) I have finally confessed. Sleep talking is an act I have performed in various modes according to people around me. Sometimes I am coherent, most times not as much. Mum once told me a tale of how, upon a midnight clear, I awoke screaming at the top of my lungs, prompting mother dear to my rescue. I proceeded to hysterically narrate how I was about to be attacked by one of those spotted wild cats. A leopard, I think. Passing gas I am sure of because I have seen it happen to a lot of people including myself. I guess it is because we are mostly stationary as we sleep so the flatulence builds up real nice inside there as the juices perform their magic.

One boring prep (weren’t they all?), I took my usual nap. Back in high school, when I napped, I did not pretend to be reading or praying or anything else. I just moved my stationery to the side of the desk, folded my arms which are the best pillow I have ever had and slept. Hard. I deserved it. On that particular night, I managed to sleep tight enough to wake myself up with a bomb loud enough to send those around me into amused laughter. I spent the remaining hours of prep trying to convince myself that it did not happen and my classmates were probably laughing at something else. The incident was not discussed. That notwithstanding, I continued to sleep through to Form Four. Who cared? We were all girls. Now you know why I never ever slept in any of my lectures in Moi University. There were male species in all of them. Girl has to maintain her reputation around these folk.

The third reason is simply because I feel guilty when I let sights pass me by because my eyes were closed. This is the reason I could write a post on travelling to Eldoret because I am always looking out my window. I have to get the seat next to the window. In another life, I would be a travel writer. Nothing much has changed along the Nairobi-Eldoret road, but the bits that looked like plasticine around Timboroa are all smooth now. Cheers to the Chinese once again. They are currently expanding the road. Also, there is a mobile court to dispense quick justice and as a result, we took an extra one hour to get to Eldoret. No driver wants to speed and get caught up in that money-draining affair. Also, there is a new billboard against speeding along Naivasha. It has a menacing “SIJUI ALICHOMOKEA WAPI” tagline at the top. It made me laugh. Yes, drive carefully, this festive season and always. I am still working on my fear of driving. Vision 2015.

Fourthly, I am a bit paranoid. I always fear that if I sleep, especially past Nakuru, I will miss my stop at Cheptiret. I have to be up when all the signboards transform to indicate Chep-something schools, churches and shops. I also have to be quick enough to tell the driver to stop just before we get there. Travelling is fun, provided there are no potholes, no petrol reeks, no clutch odours and whatever else stinks when you are having a good drive. I am done, until I am bored again. One thing is for sure, I am not sleeping in a PSV any time soon.

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