Today, I rented one of the Mayfield* cars and drove to Westlands, a Nairobi neighborhood, to purchase some goods for our new guest homes in Kipkaren.
I decided to take a shortcut rather than the main road which is always jammed with thousands of matatus. As I was driving along the lush back roads of Nairobi, a matatu driver coming in the opposite direction suddenly decided he wasn't going to drive on his side of the road. He wanted to pass the line of cars, despite the fact that I was coming right at him! I flashed my lights like crazy and slowed down to a crawl, so just feet from hitting me head-on, he swung onto the shoulder. I thank God that there were no pedestrians there! He continued driving on the shoulder (on the WRONG side of the road) for at least another hundred yards or so, then cut back across traffic and got back in line, not once slowing down even a little. (No, I don't think his brakes failed. His brain might've, though.)
Gulp! Earlier in the day, I was thrilled to see a cop pull over another matatu that pulled a similar trick, except it was on a road wide enough to form three lanes, so oncoming traffic could merely scoot over a bit. What cracked me up, though, was watching in my rear view mirror as the cop took off on his motorbike after stopping the culprit. He drove across oncoming traffic and proceeded his journey on the shoulder of the road, driving against traffic.
Perhaps the crazy driver from later actually learned the tricks of the trade from watching what cops do, not what they say.
But then again, for his defense, the cop was driving a motorcycle, not a minibus!
It's good to be back in Kenya.
Now you know why I'll be flying to Eldoret on Thursday rather than taking a matatu.
* Mayfield is a missionary guesthouse in Nairobi.