That Mad Man on the Road

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A JINK trip happened late last year. I knew I was going to blog about it sometime but I needed to recover from how it ended. My adrenaline levels have gone up right now – just from thinking about it.

So IMO and her hubby, we’ll call him Mr. P (no disrespect, doctor!), relocated to Mombasa and J*NK had never visited them while there. We made a plan to go over during a long weekend and I nearly cancelled my attendance because that was when Mrs. Adrian was supposed to be back from India. When I voiced my concerns, Mrs. Adrian asked me, “So you’ll not even go to the loo because I am travelling? Live your life!” So I decided to go for the JINK trip.

The travel there was uneventful, KYS and I didn’t sleep the night before because we were busy talking with Hipilicious and Virj. I think I got about 45 minutes of sleep before it was time to wake up and rush to the airport. Seeing as Nas is the only one who still works at the “bad, bad place” she is very used to living and working in airports – we found her already there – laptop plugged to a nearby socket and already working while preparing for a holiday…. We got to Mombasa okay and got to IMO and Mr. P’s place in time for a sumptuous breakfast. I  think I had forgotten how well IMO cooks. I gorged myself silly, diet be gone!

What is the most logical next step after that? Sleep! I will not go into the detail of how IMO and Mr. P were so excited at having their baby, KYS, with them and the fact that we got to meet the official JINK baby (who belongs to none of us, but is the baby who’s got the most photo time in our whatsapp chats). I will also not talk about how we never got to swim despite having carried 3 swimming costumes – I should just learn my lesson. JINK peeps are not going to get their hair wet  – swimming is reserved for times with Mo, Nyaguthii and Jumwa.

What I would like to dwell on is our day back to Nairobi. IMO really wanted us to go to Vipingo Ridge for their Sunday lunch which she claimed was legendary. Our flight back was on a Sunday at 4.15pm so we needed to be at the airport at latest 3.15pm. Vipingo is 53 kilometres from the airport which ideally should take less than 30 minutes of road travel. However, considering that it was Sunday and we had to pass Mtwapa, Nyali and the Bamburi beach stretch, then this was a trip that could take one a half hours. The plan was for the couple and their baby (KYS) to pick Nas and I from our hotel then go to Vipingo and to the airport.

They were supposed to pick us up at 11am but this changed to 12pm. It was a fun drive – great music, great company – but I could see that it had been a weekend full of too much estrogen for Mr. P. We got to Vipingo by about 1pm and we agreed that we would leave by 2pm. It was a leisurely lunch and we ate to our fill. Mr. P then decided that it was time to leave and started herding us towards the car. That was when his wife remembered that we hadn’t taken photos while there. And one thing that IMO is obsessed with is photos. “Take off your glasses, please” and “Please touch up your lips, you can’t be taking photos with such lips” are some mantras that the rest of us have gotten used to hearing. So anytime JINK meets up and the word photo is mentioned, Nas automatically reaches out to take off her spectacles while KYS and I make sure that we have glossy lips. The preparation for photos and then selecting the view, etc, took a bit of time and Mr. P was now getting antsy. He kept on checking the time – and I for once was not stressed about keeping time. Those who know me know that I am usually at the airport 4 hours before my flight – I don’t like running around in airports. I was very calm.

With the photo session done with, we filed into the car. By this time, Mr. P wasn’t talking much. He removed his sandals, got to the back of the car, removed some sports shoes and socks and then put them on. And then he took the wheel. Did I ever blog about the hyperventilation that only happens when I am in a fast moving vehicle? That I cry and get super nauseus and wail and gag and cry some more?

Well. I have blogged about the mad people who drive on our Kenyan roads:

  1. Those who overtake at bends, hills and at places with continuous lines on the road.
  2. The ones who overlap. On the left side of the road.
  3. The ones who ignore motorcycles and imagine that only 4 wheeled engines deserve to be on the road.
  4. The ones who find a long queue of vehicles on the road and decide that everyone on the road is wasting time then go ahead and tries to overtake.
  5. Those who are on the wrong side of the road and then hoot and flash their lights at the vehicles on the right side of the road – as in, you move, can’t you see me here?
  6. The drivers who overtake even when there is no space to pass the car infront of them so the oncoming vehicles have to slow down to accommodate them.

All that was combined into one person – Mr. P. He drove like a seriously mad man. For real, some of the stunts he pulled on the road were just….. crazy. My heart beat went super fast, then super slow, then super fast then my body did what it does best when I am super super stressed. I started dozing. I couldn’t cry, gag or scream so I guess my body went into shutdown mode. I thought I was the only one affected but when I started paying attention, I realized that Nas and KYS were not talking. For KYS not to be talking, things must be very thick. IMO was busy patting her hubby, telling him “Slow down” very gently but he kept on deliberately putting her hand away.

We got to Nyali at 3.30pm. We should have been at the airport 15 minutes earlier. We decided to take matters into our own hands and decided to call the airline. We got the number when we were in the island and trying to get off. I dialed the number but couldn’t think straight so I gave Nas the phone. Of course, we could only hear her side of the conversation….

“Hello. Is this Fly 540? My name is Nas and we are supposed to be on the 4.15pm flight. We are currently at …… Mr. P, where are we?”

“Tell them you are at Makupa Causeway”

I looked around, we were still on the island.

“Yes, we are at Makupa Causeway. We are running a few minutes late, please hold the plane.” Her actual words – Simamisha hiyo ndege.

Pause. Then laughter.

“Yes, I know you can’t hold the plane but please could you wait for us”

More laughter.

“We are driving very fast (UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR!) and we should be there soon. Yes, in 10 minutes we should be there”

We got to the airport at 3 minutes to 4pm. For a 4.15pm flight. You should have seen us running. Nas and KYS at the front bumping everyone out of the way and jumping the queue. And me coming up at the back apologizing in their wake. (Sorry, Eugene. We really wanted to catch that flight!) And they actually took our baggage and asked us to run to the gate. Which we did. And when we got there, there was no one. Drat, coming all the way then missing the flight?!

We called the airline again. From INSIDE the airport.

“Hi, it is Nas, …”

“Where are you now?!”

“We are now at the airport”

“Great!”

“There is no one to help us get through the gate, we really don’t want to be left behind”

“It is fine….someone will come over to check in the passengers going to Nairobi. The plane that is going to Nairobi hasn’t yet landed”.

********************************************************************************************************************************

P.S. Mr. P – if I ever get to own a rally car, you are my definite number 1 selection for the driver position. Thanks for getting us to the airport in good time. But truth be told, I will have to fast and pray before getting into a car that you are driving….. Or maybe get hypnotized.

 

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