Unscripted: 1620 Cab Edition

Cab drivers. Probably the best huh? Maybe not but be it Uber, Little Cab or the athletic one you know which, we’ve all had our fun with them. Whether it’s outrunning our parents in a 4X4 V8 engine with a hardly capable Vitz or getting stuck in a traffic after they told you that route is better, we’ve all had our rides. They have more than once managed to hook us to their “back-in-the-day-hii-barabara” stories before we realize they’re fishing for the bill. “And the angler said to the worm, let’s go fishing.” Though to give credit where it’s due it’s not hard to impress a drunk.

It’s last year, the 27th of November at exactly 0000HRS. Details of where I was shall not be disclosed in this forum but P.S I was completely sober. Always is. Though delighted of my night experience it was time I headed home and if my memory serves me right he went by the name Evans. “Hello Evans…. I’ll be at the gate… Short guy….. round glasses…” It didn’t take long and before I could match a Harry Potter description he was right in front of me. It was supposed to be a short drive home. Probably around fifteen to twenty minutes considering they’d be no traffic at such hour. Or so I thought.

0200HRS.

The “Eye of Kenya”. I have to say it really pops out from the Two Rivers Mall at 2AM. Even more mouth dropping when you realize it’s PAST your home! My hypertension was really buffering at the moment and my steaming tea pot impersonation almost perfect. So how did we end up here?

1205HRS.
“Btw, Ni kitambo since nimefika hizo places. But my father aliishi hizo maeneo kabla apate shamba huku kwengine. That was I9…. No 2001… time ya Moi.”

That’s basically this story summarised. Lost. Hardly three months in since my University admission, I wasn’t really familiar with these roads. It was confusing enough when the route I used in the morning was totally different from the one I used in the evening and from the one I used on Saturdays. And if that wasn’t enough, what about night blindness, an almost dead phone (which I was preserving for my looming emergency call) and a malfunctioning GPS for a bit of sprinkles. It was a whole concoction spelt in disaster.

And that wasn’t even the worst part. Infact I was blissful seeing the mall. Atleast I knew that place. A few hours hours prior it was banter written Karura Forest. Not superstitious but this isn’t a place for 2AM vibes. And not mentioning the few the times he came out of the vehicle to supposedly ask for directions. I was terrified beyond words and the amount of conclusions drawn in my head would be a whole sequel. However, a few more U turns and panic attacks later we actually got to a place I could recognize. I’ve never been as delighted to see a gas station as I was this day. Two minutes later and 3 hours late, I was at my gate. So here comes the bill.

“1620”

I had to pause for a while and chuckle as I made the typical Kenyan mathematics to anything hysterically priced. ” KFC streetwise 2 mara NNE! Java giant samosas mara NANE! Double Terrific Tuesday offer…. Pizza mara NNE! My fare back home to MOMBASA!” I took out my wallet to look for the punchline because this was a top tier joke!

“Ati?”

“1620/=”

“From 350/=??”

“Na ishakula discount”

(Legend has it I’m still bargaining)

Photo credits by Luke Stackpoole

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