On Monday, Peter and I went to visit a couple of clients, taking a matatu to a neighborhood new to me. As we stood in front of the Rise and Shine building, Peter let two matatus drive right by without signaling for them to stop. A third one came along and this one he flagged down.
There were no signs that I could tell indicating one matatu over another, and nothing showing a destination. There are no numbers or routes flashing on the front, that's for sure. So I asked Peter how he knew which one to take. Turns out, he told me, that the conductor, who sits by the door with head and arm out the window, indicates with his hand whether the matatu is going straight on or in a circular route (at least in the Bukoto neighborhood). So easy once you know!
Today I took a matatu to Ntinda to go to the bank and sat in the front seat, watching the conductor make his flapping roundabout gesture, obvious to all and sundry.