Road Trip: The journey

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Six feet two, black hair slowly fading to white, dark glasses to hide his tiny eyes and the large nose beneath it, he stands proudly against the white washed walls of the late night store. Next to him is a girl, a real girl with bigger boobs than we all expected. Well we didn’t expect a girl, probably a fat Indian cat or a goat. Yeah a big he-goat with a goatee long and bushy enough to make Anyang Nyong’o rethink what dumb looks like. Truth be told his massiveness has a way with the ladies, I suppose he stands close enough to them, then leans over to their ears and lets out his hoarse voice spiced with foul smell. Basically, he’s the kind of man who’d chew pk and still smell like he just made out with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I suppose it’s better if I explain that the first time I met him, the quote “look like a pig” probably would define Rihanna. Looks aside, he’s a man of many talents, many of which are secrets even to him. Ooh before I get lost talking about him, let’s call him Rory.

Looking at him right now reminds me of the past two days when like normal campus students we had stolen our parents cars and a tiny bit of money, well not too much to make them bankrupt. We then took a drive to some place in Kambaland, a place you get to by driving through 10 roadblocks every hour. The buses on this road are driven in rally mode cos for an old yellow bus to easily zoom past to a 2 litre KBN is just not possible, unless the dumba stories are true.

Remember the guy who said Kaos suck at giving estimations of distance. Well our host kept telling us to look for a water kiosk painted in blue. It sounds easy when you hear that and remember everything pat Machakos is painted yellow, not so interesting when u speed race with an even a more powerful car probably a 2.3 litre on the sign-less roads of Garissa. The car eats tarmac for lunch and not so pocket friendly for an impromptu trip. So after 5 turn arounds we get to meet our host who is clad in full army gear complete with a 3 litre jerrican imprinted Fresh fry, I suppose for a water bottle. How would I know, I come from a place where water is not new, we pee whenever and wherever we want and that’s probably why we grow to normal height. The guy who meets us, let’s call him Kababa- that’s his real ocha name after all, is shorter than a metre rule. Looking at him makes you do weird things like trying to find the place where his waist is located only for him to bend to tie his shoes and you realise that was his neck. On his feet is a pair of brand new Akala sandals which I can bet he made himself from the used car tyre he stole from Matuu. Truth be told I’ve never seen more yellow in a single place in all my life. In this place yellow is swag and everybody has yellow plastic shoes, free yellow wiper caps or just a yellow sock, the other side missing or not.

Kababa graduated from Juja and the entire village are gathered at his dad’s to celebrate, a vast compound that is gated from 1km away. Past the gate is the dry Ngumalo river, one I understand is where his entire household takes a shower, past their ‘bathroom’ is a huge bump, huge even by Kamba standards. This homestead is awash with foodstuff from muthokoi, ‘maanya’ to weird looking Kamba delicacies that surprisingly taste better than they look.

The moment we get into the compound we are served with water, I wouldn’t know if it’s cold after all this is a place beyond Matuu or was it Mutuuu. Then comes very hot chapattis, so hot u can literally see smoke rising above the tray they lie, with it comes matumbo ya kuku and something else we couldn’t get its name right. But before we fight our hunger away we have to salimia 20 something relatives who dorn huge smile and shout ‘wacha’ into our faces. You gotta earn the meal, well if this is earning our daily meal, it better be good and good it was.

In our rounds shaking hands, some tender others as hard as hard comes yet with a tight squeeze in their shakes, we realise a goat has met its death; a chicken breathed its last and a squirrel’s mbio za kiwanjani fikad ukambani.

The gang consists of Rory, Duch, Mutiso and me plus whatever girl we happened to have dragged along. Ooh Duch is the unlucky one who get’s rejected now and again. The guy has probably known singlehood longer than Raila has known Kibaki doesn’t like him that much. On this fated trip, he dragged Patricia, pronounced Pathrishia who speaks English, a few English words and a tonne of mumbi language. She’s the kind of grl who will use “fucking” and “forever” in the same sentence and lower your libido while at it. The gang thinks by Duch hooking up with her he’s taken onto punishing himself which i won’t lie will be great news to us. In this car he chauffeurs he keep on saying “funga window” yet he happens to have the controls that could do all that. That however is just part of the drama in this car as Pathrishia went on and on telling us how so little she knows of Kamba, well she has as much knowledge as lawyer has honesty. On her bare back is a tattoo of a goat eating grass. Well that’s a story for another day. I switch on the car lights to look for a smokie or anything to chew to sleep but Pathrishia barks, “Wacha kuwacha taa.”. To which Duch whispers to me, ‘isn’t she funny?’

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The whining passenger: Matatu sequel

Hey friends as i promised last week, here’s a sequel for the matatu post. I hope this stands and overturns the standards set thus far. This week i heard that “butterflies are God’s evidence for second chances”. help me remember that and now to the business at hand:

Am an advocate for the removal of 14 seater matatus from the road, at least I was till I took a trip recently. Being the advocate I let my stubborn ass rule in my choice of commuter car to use. This however didn’t bear fruit as midway on my already boring journey I gave up and walked back home. You would walk especially after reading the disclaimer at the back of heinously designed ticket of mbotokoto matatu sacco (not its real name of cos). But that is not how this story ends, I decided to give it another go only this time I let my friend who was lucky enough to travel with the despicable SOB (yeah! That’s me). I asked him kindly, or I wish I did, to book us into a proper matatu to take the painful road to Nyeri. I am tempted to speak about the horrendous state of the road but am gonna pass.

This time I didn’t get to town, in fact I thought  I should wait for the matatu to pick me up at Roysambu. Those who have been at Roysambu have rosy stories to tell of this suburban, am sorry am not one of them. For one I find the town quite random in planning and the number of students who live there don’t make it any better as hostels crop up at every junction and space. Don’t get me wrong I don’t hate students I just can’t stand the male ones. Why can’t they leave the women alone, maybe then average looking chaps like me and maybe Musalia Mudavadi would stand a chance, seriously. This is one town that’s struggling to announce its existence betwixt the suburbs of Githuirai and that hill top sham on the flyover just before Allsorps (did I get the spelling right?). This place have pricks who charge fares of up to Kshs 100 to town a distance that in my humble gichagi would cost KSHs 10. This town however is in luck to have commuter services like Zam Zam and my favourite Paradiso, buses that have literally stretched the limit of loud music in public places.

Back to reality my friend had booked us into a matatu that looked alright from the outside but that was until you got inside the car to the glaring reality of poor music system, high fares and plenty of brown teeth. Did I mention the potential the ladies had in the art of husband battering? Before you curse me, my ex was a Kikuyu and please don’t ask me why I broke it off? Blame the news if you can. Out of all the seats, next to beautiful ladies of cos, he thought I would be more comfortable seated with him. Besides that it was the backmost middle seat without any window clearance. Before you think you understand my situation let me say the matatu was so slow that my grandma could cook diamond into soup on her jiko before I got to travel 20km. And were I headed to a funeral I probably would get there on the 2nd or 3rd anniversary. And if I was going to see a new born child in the hospital I would get there on one of his/her birthday or maybe miss them as well. A friend of mine thinks this was the matatu Jesus used in order to get to Lazarus funeral 4 days late.

The music wasn’t bad at all. It was bearable because the engine noise was louder than it and when you got to hear it, it reminded you of the nazi revolution and post election violence. One would probably kill themselves listening to such kind of music than when pledging allegiance to mount Kenya. Did I say the entire time the matatu was tuned into kikuyu fm stations including the time when I complained and the driver apologized and dutifully tuned into another Kikuyu fm station. I don’t remember quite well about the stickers but I bet were I able to read them they probably would have read, “who cares if you don’t understand, just pay the fare” or maybe “Uhuru. Tuko pamoja”

This would be a painful post as Manchester city are destined to win the league unless we get to have a sunderland goalkeeper who has experience as the full back of the Kenya national sevens team.  Vampire diaries suck I wish the soddy series doesn’t get renewed for a new season. And guys one more thing, Napoleon the great once said “If rape is imminent, relax and enjoy it”

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Matatu man-Ace

Before this week’s post I have to make the following clarification, the quotes of the week are what some of us call wisdom by the people. In that case it would be rare to find quotes from prominent personalities and philosophers unless no other quote stands out like theirs do. Lets get on with this post:

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Many of us will sometimes start asking themselves this question, did I get into the right matatu? Many times this question will linger on your mind cos you jumped onto the nearest matatu to run away from the pregnant lady in front of you. This could be cos she looks familiar and your last encounter was all leather, no rubber in between. This could also be to avoid meeting someone you are indebted to and paying up is not in your long term plans. Other times it could be to avoid a face to face encounter with your mother-in-law, ex or just simply John who has ceaselessly shown his interest in you, beware you are a man as well. That’s nasty even if John simply believes you are playing hard to get. Maybe you ran into that matatu to avoid hiked fares when it rains especially if the matatu crew is plain stupid( I mean why pick passengers if it’s about to rain, can’t you wait for the first drops and charge double, douchebag!) Maybe it’s the middle of the night and tusker is awash with matatus of all shades all playing obscene music and touts shouting words like “mbao mbao mbao” or “umoja mmoja” or my favourite “Wanne twende” yet the only seated person in the matatu is the driver. What of the times when you have been drinking the past 5 hours and it just dawned on you that the woman at home is the crazy type. Whether it your mum, sister, auntie, uncle(some men behave like women, they got issues with you hanging out)  or worse your wife or maybe its that woman you took home some night 4 months ago and it has never occurred to her she should go back. She has literally changed your life and you have tried everything to get her to go away including buying a calendar or a plaque written “East or west home is best” or the one that goes on and on about how men are vultures and should never be trusted all but to no avail.

You are in this mat and you look around to see a sense of familiarity but you aren’t sure you have taken such a ride home before. So you ask the passenger next to you who gives you a look like you just got to heaven and asked Jesus where you can find Hitler. By the way this passenger next to you is some girl of the purple generation the one who wear nets as trousers, nets that make their ass hang out in an X-rated manner. Her hair consists of strands of blue, yellow, green,orange and pink and you are awed at the skill involved to mix those colors cos all these is at the centre of the head, some people would think it was supposed to be a mahawk but even a hawk would rather die that have this heinousness on its head. By the way this girl is chewing pk like she happened to read a manual, yaani her mouth produces sound effects that seem to blend in with the loud music in the mat. So you decide to look around cos after all this is Nairobi and it’s a one man army affair, Rambo style. So here are the tips that would let you know which matatu you took.

It is a 14 seater matatu and the music is super loud with a woofer system and kinda reminds you that your relatives have died of heart failure before. This music, you think, would help pump your blood when your hear fails. On the roof is pictures of some movie stars and music stars who all got one thing in common, they are not afraid to be naked and they are drug addicts. On the windows are “zusha” stickers that remind you that its your right to be driven properly yet the past five minutes the mat has been on a pavement, through an petrol station and gone onto the other carriage way. Next to that sticker is one written “SMS only” and another that says “funga dirisha ungekuwa unataka upepo ungepanda bodaboda”. The seats in this matatu are leather or velvet and the tout has studs plus some shiny thing in their teeth besides he’s holding a bottle of viceroy. He taps passengers on their shoulders and stays with your change until you claim, if you remember to do so and when you do he pretends he doesn’t remember you produced a thousand shillings note and prods you before he finally gives your proper change. Maybe when you first asked for your change he gave 50 and waited for you to protest before he gave you the proper change. He sticks his head outside the window and insults deserved insults on those who drive probox, vits and any heinous Toyota cars. Back at the stage he didn’t mention the fare but on the way he charges double and the matatu takes routes that makes you ask yourself the question, “Did I get into the right matatu?”If this is your predicament sit safe because your headed to the legendary Umoja estate.

The matatu series continues next week and now to the quote of the week,

“never accept responsibility of a pregnancy of a one night stand lest you be the father of all generations”