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

A Kenyan in Addis Ababa (Part 3) - Going Out

Merkato - "Africa's largest 'open air' market?  This post continues from Part 1 and Part 2 For shopping, Merkato is a much better option compared to Churchill Avenue. Addis residents call it the biggest open air market in Africa. Contrastingly, a more fitting description would be a collection of malls, a much larger version of Eastleigh, but a less congested and cleaner one. The malls each have stalls which deal in a variety of items,  from paintings and other artefacts, to leather goods,  to imported hardware from China. Some of those missing from Mengistu's reign of red terror. Image taken at the Red Terror museum If looking to shop for textiles,  then Shromeda is where you should be headed to. Buying textiles around the Central Business District might see you paying as much as 10 times what they cost. Note the distinction between various textiles - there’s handmade scarves and machine woven ones, same to fabrics. There’s also pure cotton fab

Why Humanity Hasn't Learned From the Covid Pandemic

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic began ravaging the world, succeeding the 1918 flu pandemic.  Many found it unbelievable that despite all the scientific progress that the world has made since 1918, from composite jets to modern healthcare to going to the moon, the world was still susceptible to a pandemic.  Ironically, some of these advancements largely played a role in the spread of the pandemic. Thousands of global flights every hour and air conditioning fanned its spread like a dry wind would in a forest fire.  There was even further disbelief in mid-2020 when it became apparent that many countries were even struggling to keep a pandemic in check. Developed countries, supposed to have the best healthcare, suffered the worst outbreaks amidst disagreements on measures such as quarantines and wearing of masks.  In yet another twist, technology advancement finally came to our rescue with the speedy development of vaccines, including the safe pioneering of never-tried-before mRNA vaccines

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

Note: This is a dated post and has since been mostly passed by events. SAB Miller beers including Castle and Peroni are no longer widely available in Kenya after their exist. Sirville Brewery was bought out by Brew Bistro before being permanently shut in a tax dispute. Kenya is a land of milk, honey, beaches and taxes. I have penned, or is typed, a newer post here .  Peroni - One of the best beers in Kenya. Did a taste of canned and bottled Italian, and bottled Tanzanian I like the tangy flavour and body in Tanzanian Peroni. The can is close. Heineken drinkers will like the Italian one.  I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinion 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 one free, extra hangover for every hangover you get

Heineken 0.0 Best Alcohol Free Beer

What if you wanted to drink a beer, but without getting drunk? Say, you don’t drink alcohol, or for one reason or another, you are off alcohol. Or perhaps it’s a working day, and you would like to have a cold one in the middle of the day but without all negative effects. Well, you could. Welcome to the world of Alcohol-free beer.  Over the last few days, I’ve been enjoying some Heineken 0.0 rather than the typical beers. Now, Heineken 0.0 is a beer, in the malt lager style as the standard Heineken, the only difference being that all the alcohol has been removed - it contains less than 0.03% alcohol, which counts as safe enough even for those who are pregnant or affected by alcohol, according to Heineken. It smells very close to a Heineken, tastes close to a Heineken, and you even keep taking a piss like you would when drinking a Heineken - but you never get drunk.  How do they remove all the alcohol? From my research, they brew a standard Heineken beer as normal, then use some form

How to Make Your Own Sparkling Water

Buying your own kit means you need to carbonate it in a fridge or freezer since Carbon Dioxide best dissolves at temperatures around zero.  I have been making my own sparkling water for about a month now.  It started with a love for carbonated water, but being appalled by the price - about KSh. 80 per 700 ml recyclable glass bottle. Sparkling water is sold as a premium drink.  This got me researching into what it really takes to make your own sparkling water.