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

Nairobi's Top 4 Texas Brisket Places Reviewed and Ranked

Brisket on a bed of roast vegetables with barbecue sauce at Texas Brisket, Kikuyu  This review has been updated after a number of you suggested I try the brisket at County2County.  What's the best place to have Brisket in Nairobi? What's even brisket?  Brisket is one of the toughest cuts in a cow, from around the belly. It is so tough that it has to be smoked for about 16 hours to tenderise. But that there, is the catch.  12 to 16 hours later, it is the most flavourful and softest cut you will ever have. So full of flavour and so soft you can pick it apart with your fingers.  However, due to the long cooking time involved, only a few places offer brisket in Nairobi.  The best so far is Texas Brisket which is located within Kikuyu Railway station.  They do the meat for a proper 16 hours, and will usually have a fatty or non-fatty portion. The fatty portions are more tasty. A 500 gram serving goes for KSh. 900 and a 1 KG order comes with a serving of free fries. Their brisket has

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

Kenya Power customers suffer from Ksh 0.5 billion faulty prepaid meters

1st Phase Actaris prepaid meters , which work well Kenya Power is a famous company in Kenya, one which draws what my colleagues in media will call "mixed reactions". While those in urban areas such as Nairobi regard Kenya Power as a very unreliable firm, I have heard of villages in rural areas where blackouts go unreported for even 3 days . To the rural people, recent electrification means that at least they get to get electricity for some days, which is better than no electricity. In urban areas, the story is not any different. Around Imara Daima along Mombasa Road, power is mostly reliable, with blackouts been few in a week, and even at times been less than 10 in a month. In other places in the city, blackouts are a daily occurrence, and in some places, the blackouts are more than meals, counting two teas , breakfast, lunch and dinner. Another aspect about Kenya Power is the prepaid meters, which like the firm, are equally loved and hated. Ever since I became prou

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

A spoonful of sugar, but for who? ( Image: Carol Wallis on Flickr ) 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 decline

KB Lager, The Beer Meant to be Drank Warm

KB Lager settles quite quickly when served and is very drinkable while warm. It's flavour maintains a strong profile of roasted grain.  In Nairobi, beers are usually served cold, or sometimes warm depending on the mood of who’s serving you. Outside Nairobi, warm beers may come as a standard and you may have to specify that you indeed would prefer a cold beer, as I once found in Naivasha. I was at an infamous bar next to the Nairobi - Nakuru highway and this was my first time ordering a KB Lager. By the time I realised I had been served a warm beer, it had already been opened and the only option was a second bottle of cold beer then I could mix half-and half. It did not escape my attention that the waitress serving me slightly hesitated when I asked for a cold beer. I got the impression that it was taboo to order a cold KB Lager.