Coastweek -- I
have been globetrotting for a few weeks covering countries in
Africa, Europe and the Americas,
writes TETI KAMUGUNDA.
the time spent in the air and in airports is a time to catch up
on a lot of outstanding e-mails, time to read as well as a time
is also the time in between activities that one can spend
usefully either through leisure or education about the country
or city one is visiting.
Travellers each take certain things for granted and also ignore
what is not on their radar at a given time.
normally try and find out the promise that each establishment I
take you on a journey of the typical things that one will find
out with this mindset.
first is when I board the taxi or transport heading for the
airport from my abode, workplace or hotel.
I am an
avid and almost subconscious user of seat belts so the first
thing I do when I get into a vehicle is to reach for the seat
belt and secure myself.
doesn’t work where I am sitting I will change seats till I find
one that works.
there is none that works, then I will call the taxi company and
tell them to send a replacement cab.
is an Uber or a hailed ride, I will cancel the journey and hail
also report back to the app owner about why I cancelled the
may take time but one can always find a way of getting the
message across by navigating relentlessly through the standard
menu that one gets which has a set of suggested answers or
this not because of being snobbish but recognising that the use
or lack of use of a seat belt can have very different and
is involved in an accident and survives then the seat belt will
have achieved its intended purpose.
does not and becomes a fatality or serious injury statistic then
the non-use will send a message.
get present to this fact whenever we use any form of transport
especially cars, boda bodas and so forth.
safety requirements are not gimmicks.
are potentially lifesaving.
are other things that one can look at quickly as one approaches
their transport including the condition of the bodywork, the
tyres, and the state of upholstery on the inside of the vehicle.
enters one should also be present to the demeanour of the driver
as well as the smell inside the vehicle.
these items will point to the state of mind of the driver and/or
the owner and also how much care and diligence they apply to
saw a message on the back of a taxi driver’s seat that asked the
passenger in a taxi to call a number and report if the driver
was speeding, rude or unprofessional.
one would laud the offer it got me thinking otherwise.
it demonstrated a failure by the owners of the ride to inculcate
the values that they wished their drivers to have and also the
behaviour that they wanted their drivers to demonstrate.
talked loads about adherence to traffic rules and the Highway
organisation relies on others to report malpractices they have
either given up on their desired changes or else are early in
the programme and are using this kind of messaging to drive
change in their employees.
latter is the case then they should be honest enough to say so
and solicit the help of the passengers or the public by saying
so in a simple message that will enrol us to help them with
without evening having left the compound where I am starting my
journey I have demonstrated there are a lot of little things
that one can notice and act on if one decides to be engaged with
the surroundings that they are in.
not something that we can take for granted.
requires us to have a certain mindset that knows what is
expected of us by the society we live in or are visiting, have
the right set of values ourselves that will help us navigate
through the environment we are in a positive way and also an
inquisitive way of working that sees us querying almost
everything we see.
should not be seeking to demean but to learn and assimilate or
As Kachumbari says, one doesn’t have to look at the whole world
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