Coastweek -- Using
technology or not understanding technology can be an impediment
writes TETI KAMUGUNDA.
start with a case that happened at the Moi International Airport
here in Mombasa.
man from a relatively rural environment was travelling upcountry
by plane for the first time.
a seasoned traveller by road and had been to school in one of
the provincial schools in the Western side of the country.
day, he was dropped off by his town cousin and refused any help
in navigating his way through the process of checking in and
getting to the plane.
the “kimbele mbele” he was, he engaged the security guard at the
entrance to the check in hall explaining he was a first time
traveller by air and needed to know what to do next.
told to proceed to the screening machine and get his luggage
screened and he would then be directed to the check in counter.
walked the short distance and watched what other people were
doing and did exactly the same.
removed his shoes, his belt, jacket and also his watch and
placed them in a container and fed it onto the belt feeding the
he put his suitcase and back pack and then proceed through the
body scanner and then re -dressed himself and picked up his
asked one of the staff manning the screening machine as to where
he should present himself for check in and he was pointed to the
queued waiting his turn to be served.
waited, he looked around observing what else was taking place in
the check in hall.
his turn came he presented himself at the desk and proceeded to
do all he was told.
completing the formalities, he was told by the check in staff
that he should now proceed upstairs to the waiting area till his
flight was called.
asked for directions and was given them.
been observing that people either used a lift or climbed the
stairs to get to the first floor from the check in hall.
decided he would not use the lift but instead use the stairs.
also noticed that there were two areas that people used to
the standard wide open stairs and the other looked like a
private stair case because it was hidden behind what appeared to
be a low wall.
curiosity got the better of him and he decided he would use the
stairs behind this “low wall”.
had used that stair case for some time so he just proceeded to
the stairs and as he got there his phone started to ring and
vibrate in his pocket.
the phone out and was in the process of answering it as he
stepped onto the stairs.
put his foot onto the first stair, the stair started to move.
completely unprepared for the stairs to move and coupled with
the fact that he was now engaged in a conversation on the phone,
his reaction time was seriously delayed.
his balance and was lucky to be able to quickly pivot round so
that he faced the bottom end of the elevator.
not, however, able to prevent the inevitable and he ended up
flat on his belly, face down, straddled across several stairs on
the elevator and travelling up with the movement of the
the presence of mind to not panic and he was able to get himself
back onto his feet before the elevator got to the top of its
concerned citizens had quickly formed themselves into a
reception committee at the top of the elevator and the rather
embarrassed young man tried to fend off all the offers of help
and sympathy he received when he got on to the top landing of
the elevator and stepped off.
unable to do so.
dusted himself off as he best could, responded briefly to the
reception committee and then proceeded to the second screening
position and waiting area with whatever dignity he could muster.
got to the waiting area, he bought himself a beverage and a bite
and went to sit down and lick the wounds to his ego.
However, even as he sat there trying to recompose himself, it
quickly seemed to him that the incident had not disappeared as
there were conversations going on and he seemed to sense that
they were about him.
time he looked up and turned to face people, they seemed to be
looking straight at him and then looked away quickly.
strange that when you have an embarrassing incident, there is a
heightened “after event sensitivity” that results in one
thinking that any bit of attention one gets is as a result of
the propagation of the incident to other people.
instances it is just the normal inquisitiveness and visual
activity that human beings have.
will look around them at regular intervals because that is how
we are made.
the people that this young man thought were looking at him
because of his embarrassing incident were probably just being
themselves and looking around periodically out of curiosity of
what was going on around them or trying to discern any
information that could better arm them in that environment or
after all animals and our very base instinct of fight or flee
and self preservation still lives on.
around periodically is still a natural way to ensure survival.
Kachumbari says, we are extremely complex beings.
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