There’s an unofficial creed to follow when riding in someone’s private car. It’s a little like crashing in someone’s crib. In Kenya, it goes a notch higher…. Here’s a few pointers to follow. Agree to the owner’s views on contentious matters in the duration of the drive.
Topical matters that demand loyalty or some societal bias, say politics or sports, the car owner enjoys a monopoly of ideas. Just pray that he commands some decent acumen. The trick is to steer the conversation from sports if his team is hanging by a thread from possible relegation. It’s your duty to curse errant drivers you meet on the road.
It doesn’t matter how incompetent he is, remember which team you rooting for. A special bonus is earned if you roll down the window and scream at a clueless boda boda guy. You hail from an angry republic – it’s time to vent that anger. Thou shall not touch the stereo. I repeat, for all austerity.
Aside, it makes sense: it is HIS stereo. Make a prayer that the tape cassette playing rhumba on loop gets jammed. Sometimes, providence may smile in your direction and your host has an ear for good music. Enjoy the ride, but do not sing along if the host is not – hitching a lift doesn’t give you an arena to showcase hour vocal prowess.
Asking for a lift in the village comes with additional tags. Cars get scratched by overgrown hedges. Cars get stuck in mud, or hit undersides on big rocks. Follow the driver’s cue: if he wants to check out the car, get out too. Make a scene. Get sprawling on the ground to check the car’s innards. Is there a scratch? This is the perfect time to remember high fuel taxes, county funds…
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