Skip to main content

Hurrying Matatus

For months, I have felt the urge to write about the many accidents we see on Kenyan roads, but like many times before, I will leave that for another pots. However, closely related, I shall be post about matatu's and the fact that they are always in a hurry. This results in accidents on several occasions.

Friday afternoon on Murang'a road was the scene of a vehicle partly submerged in a water hole resultant of an unfilled trench on the ongoing roadworks. This was the second vehicle that day in that same position, and was a matatu.

To make matters worse, it looked like the culprit driver drove right through into the water. Given it was a route 6 matatu, am figuring the driver may have mistaken the more than 1 metre deep trench to be one of the ponds that he encounters in Eastleigh.

My next ride home was similarly dramatic. The Citi Hoppa bus driver could not join Moi Avenue since he had parked ahead of the exit and the traffic policeman insisted that the guy could not reverse, which is illegal. Well, the driver decided to be clever enough and ignore the next turning and drive down Ronald Ngala street and later to Jogoo road. Now, if you have never been to Ronald Ngala street, its a crazy street to drive in. You drive painfully slowly through the street as you wait for empty buses and matatus to pick up passengers in the middle of the street. The maneuvre earned the driver a lot of abuse, especially from the female passengers. I do not know why women fancy calling people unprintable names in an argument. Meanwhile, the passengers at the front were wise to keep their mouths shut. It is unwise to pour abuse on someone who has the potential of ramming a bus-load into a truck at high speed while you are still aboard the bus.

Over some other matatu rides, I have watched a driver go round a vehicle that was joining the main road, a maneuver that took longer than it would have to wait for the vehicle. At some other time, I have sat calmly as our driver made a quick dash into a round about and a tipper truck made an emergency stopping a few meters away. Another occasion, I watched an amused 18 wheel truck driver watch as a matatu driver who had run the lights missed the container by inches.

And this brings me to the question. Why are matatu drivers always in a hurry to a point that defies common sense?

It seems that the rest of the drivers, other than those who just bought new vehicles, have surrendered to letting matatus bully them. Drivers nowadays will almost always give way to matatus, except for the dude that bought a new car or some odd lady. Both have been informed that they should not be bullied around, and as a result, you will often find them with parked cars on the road arguing over who should foot the bill for the scratches. Worse still, you will find that they have blocked some lane as they attempt to join a lane that has not moved for several minutes. "Do not join junction until exit is clear" usually sounds strange to them.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinions of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives a free,  extra hangover for every hangover you get from it.

For starters, like everyone else, I discovered that beer isn’t as sweet as it looks like in those adverts that show golden barley swaying in breezes,  happy men smiling and toasting chilled, foaming glasses of beer as a deep voice does some narration in the background.

Beer is bitter! Now, it turns out beer is intentionally made bitter. See,  beer shares the same ingredients as bread. The major difference is that bread isn't fermented. Bread is sweet, so why isn't beer sweet?

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

Have you heard the bitter story of Mumias Sugar?

Regarded by many as Kenya's most successful sugar miller, Mumias Sugar Company was a disaster waiting to happen.

Many pointed out how Mumias Sugar Company was a fortress in the wreck that is Kenya's sugar industry, only unaware that it was just a matter of time. As the old wise men said, "Ukiona cha mwenzako cha nyolewa, tia chako maji".

The proverb means that if you see your neighbour's head getting shaved, your head will soon be undergoing the same - you'd therefore better wet your head for a smoother shave, otherwise you will be forced to undergo a painful, dry, shave.

But what ails Kenya's sugar industry?

The Kenya sugar industry is under legal siege. The typical Kenyan issue of coming up with laws to tackle a problem is evident here.

Many of Kenya's sugar factories are owned by the government, and have slowly declined under mismanagement and corruption. The appointing of political cronies and trib…

EuroTrip: Madrid in 2 Days - it has its parks

This article is part of a series of my visit to different European cities. Read about my visit to Barcelona here. 

Like Milan, Madrid is another capital city with not much to offer, unless you are a football fan. However, unlike Milan, Madrid does have some soul and even prides itself as the gay capital of Europe, which is a title that Berlin also claims.

My transport option from the airport in Madrid was the subway, which I found dependable. Alighting at the Plaza De Espana, I slightly got lost before making my way to the Nemrut restaurant for a late lunch and early drink, followed by laundry at the highly recommended Open Wash Lavandería Autoservicio. It is more automated than my other laundry at Milan and I had learned not to shrink my clothes, yet, the setting I chose was not as satisfactory in cleaning my clothes.

How much Nairobi Residents Pay in Rent

In my last post, I explained how difficult for people looking for housing in Nairobi. The main challenge is lack of information. On this front, I began a project that will collect some information, which will provide some start for those looking for housing in different areas in the city.

In the last one month, 33 people have given their responses.




Interesting enough, majority of the respondents, 16 to be exact, live in 2 bedrooms. This may mean that either 2 bedrooms are the most popular rentals in the city, or the most available. Only one way to find out - if you live in a 2 bedroom rental, here’s another survey.

10 of those who filled in the survey live in self contained 1 bedrooms.

5 people have 3 bedrooms, including 2 in Kikuyu, 1 in Ngong and Lower Kabete each, and another around Langata/National Park.

1 respondent has a 4 bedroom, while another one has a self contained bedsitter.
Pricing




Turning to pricing, the price of 1 bedrooms ranges from Kshs. 10,000 in Rongai to Kshs…

EuroTrip: Barcelona in 3 Days

This post is part of a series of my Eurotrip. Read about my trip to Nice by clicking here. 

From Nice, I caught a flight the next day out to Barcelona. This time, the flights were cheaper than the trains and the buses took too long. I also found out I happened to be lucky in that this was not one of the weeks that Vueling delayed a literal thousands of flights.

Important to note is that if you want to have fun flying cheap between Schengen countries, then ensure you only have hand luggage. The queue to check in luggage can be horrendous, and so can be the costs. So, travel light. It is cheaper to keep laundering a bag of clothes than to pay for check-in luggage.