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Road side Humor

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Wild Road Trip Indeed by the Roadside Hog

It never occurred to me that travelling to Mombasa could mean going back in time. Let me explain.

We were five young, excitable and delirious, free spirited friends, just graduated from campus; some of us jobless, all of us still without a care in the world.

It had finally come a time when we banded together and decided to make a road trip to the coastal city of Mombasa. One of us - the driver, had never been; three others had made it a habit to end the year there; I too had been to the Coast a couple of times before, but as a young boy, back when sagging dress jeans, oversize shirts and hi-tops were the fashion of the day

So it happened that the five of us, (I won’t reveal our sexes for fear of being judged) saddled up in a rental Toyota RAV4, (we somehow managed to convince a friend of a friend of a friend, whose mogul father owned a car rental company to get as a cheap rental for hire). Luggage bags, snacks, spirit and beer can bottles in hand; we began our 500km drive down Mombasa road.

All I can say is: it was fun, and it lasted.

Our ‘newbie’ driver who was on auto cruise throughout yet thankfully at a reasonable speed, allowed the rest of us who managed to get their heads out the window, to experience the feeling of the wind in our hair – this at least for those who had any hair for the wind to feel.

We were on a high. We sang, joked and laughed at the moving objects (the trees and shop building) racing past the car all the way to Mtito Andei.

Our driver who was pretty good, no accidents or incidents to report and not a drop of alcohol in their blood, had successfully and carefully navigated our 4X4 vehicle past tons of mad traffic and trailer drivers on one of Kenya’s longest trunk highways and very sober hoped on one leg in a straight line, to convince us the inebriated ones that he was indeed sober.

While at Mtito, we agreed it was a good idea to reward ourselves with some mouth watering nyama choma, and some more beverages of choice, save for the driver.
At about 7pm, 90 per cent of us totally sloshed – by how much is still debatable - jumped into the back of the RAV4 and as our driver navigated back onto the super highway as if on cue, fell asleep. I could say we were slightly unconscious, at least that is the only explanation as to how ended our roadside tale.

All I know is that several hours later, I awoke to a sharp nudging in my backside accompanied by loud angry voices. For a few seconds I stared in silence as I looked around the car and its occupants, all now screaming and pointing frantically at our ‘driver’. Still somewhat confused at the commotion my friends were causing; I rubbed my eyes to clear my vision and then peered outside the window.

Forgive me for being presumptuous, but at the very least I expected to see some coconuts or a woman clad in a buibui or the salt of the sea or at least sense a whiff of it. But no!

Instead, here we were, parked next to loads and loads of trailer trucks, the same we had seen plying the route 14 hours earlier. It could not be. Why for the love of God, were we not in the famous 'traffic jam packed' Changamwe area of Mombasa? Was I hallucinating from too much liquor?

As the screaming in the car intensified, I knew my fears were validated. Something was seriously wrong.

Then I saw it; that dreaded sign board by the roadside, it read: “Machakos Town, 36km”. OMG! We were in Athi River!

With my help, the combined screaming at the back of a RAV4 intensified to some rare decibels enough to crack a window or two.  Onlookers could only shake their head in irritation at these drunken youth in an expensive car. We didn’t care! If they had known why we were screaming, they would not have been so judgemental.

Thing is, while we snoozed through our stupefied state, our navigator had unknowingly somehow managed to drive back onto Mombasa road, but facing the Nairobi bound highway driven all the way back in time.

How this happened to this day remains a mystery and a running joke amongst us. I shudder to think that had the RAV4 not been drained of fuel after an excruciating 14 hour drive, we would have found ourselves in Namanga!

It‘s true what they say: If you thought and eight hour drive down to Mombasa was an arduous task, try driving with a bunch of numskulls:-).



If you wish to share one of your many funny or strange roadside tales or escapades with us, feel free to email us on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   and we will be sure to publish your roadside humour in our next quarterly issue of Dashboard.

 
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