Mazungu and the Mercedes

For a small and hastily negotiated consideration, a motorbike rider tried to guide the damaged vehicle across mud paths and round shambas attempting to circumnavigate the road block  and straight into a further Masai road block. Rapidly surrounding the car and obviously pleased with their work, they continued to terrorise the occupants through the glassless rear with loud high pitch shrilling and waving of machetes. Disturbing as this was, my limited linguistics allowed me to discern from the negotiations the words  ‘Muzungu and Mercedes’, loosely translating as ’wealthy white man and rich car’. It does not take a genius to work out where this could go. Some fast negotiations speckled with long apologies for their herd losses and a timely distraction from other ambushed cars eventually allowed a hasty escape into the darkness.

Sixty minutes of nerve wracking, bone shaking, off road driving eventually  circumnavigated the road blocks was followed by a further two hour draughty drive, to the relative safety of the city; all occupants silent in thought.

Later Kenyan TV news reported over a thousand cars stranded overnight for a further 12 hours whilst the brick throwing and looting continued until the woefully inadequate riot police regained control.

Me? I got to use the return portion of my air ticket.

Shaken, but not deterred.

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