Friday afternoon


It is a hot Friday afternoon and I am traveling upcountry for a family event over the weekend. I am seated in a matatu waiting for it to leave the stage. It is taking so long to fill up and I am lost in thought, although I am not thinking about anything in particular.
My thoughts are interrupted by a hawker who knocks on the window. I give him a disinterested as I shake my head. He moves to the next window and does the same. I look as he repeats the process round the vehicle.
Across where I am seated, a lady and her son look at the hawker as he displays his items, put in a carton box. They consist of bottled water, biscuits, chewing gum among others snacks. I look as the boy holds out a ksh. 10 coin. He points to an item, and the hawker shakes his head. He points to another and the hawker shakes his head again. He is then given a two chewing gums.
As hawker procedes with his ritual, and I am left wondering, "Did the boy really have a choice?" In his mind he thought he was free to purchase anything he wanted with the money, but did he really have a choice? Was he really free? I cannot help but feel that I, like the boy, am only free in my head.