Monday, 15 August 2016

Matatus and mosquitoes

I started the day with a trip down to Nakumatt to withdraw cash, and decided to use a matatu to do so.  It was interesting.  When the matatu stopped I waved it on, because it was already overloaded, but then people got off and there was a spare seat, so I boarded.  I handed over the fare - 20 shillings, as I had been assured was the fee for all rides by both Jess and Juma.  "No - 30 bob!" I was told by the fare collector. "No," I replied, "the fare is 20 bob".  Well, we had quite a discussion, me staying calm and assertive and the fare collector getting increasingly rude and aggressive as he insisted the fare was 30 bob and he would "frighten" me.  It wasn't the most comfortable of journeys - interestingly nobody else in the matatu stood up for me.  as we neared Nakumatt I had a sense that the fare collector was not about to signal to the driver that we needed to stop, to I took matters into my own hands and banged on the side of the matatu (the signal to stop) and indeed, the matatu did stop and I alighted, with a sense of satisfaction that I had not been bullied!  I had already planned to take a tuktuk back (since I was withdrawing cash and buying water) and this part of the journey was smooth and straightforward.
We had an enjoyable morning sunbathing and swimming, then headed off to the butterfly park.  we walked down, joined by various Kenyans with various sob stories. The butterfly house was lovely - but sadly we were all attacked by mosquitoes - and only then did I learn that Phil is allergic to mosquito bites.  After a swift application of water and piriton we made an early departure to return to Severin.  I had been told that the butterfly park was where we could buy firewood for the ladies so duly asked at the information kiosk - only to be told that they had stopped selling firewood last week.  Blow!
We enjoyed the rest of the afternoon relaxing, and then an evening's entertainment provided by Masaii dancers.


  1. Think you were very brave. It's such a shame that they take advantage. Glad you did what you had to do without any more hassle.
    Hope the Masaii dancers come again,I was persuaded to dance with them last time.
    Hope Phil has recovered,am bringing out my epi pen !! X

  2. You're becoming a local and learning their ways. Well done! Going into your third week now - can't believe how it's gone so quickly. Looking forward to FaceTime xx

    1. I can't believe I am more than half way through my stay! Lots to do - it will be fun! Talk to you later on.

  3. I am so glad you stood up for yourself. In Kenya, you need to stand up for yourself or else you will be bullied left and right. . . it's a pity to see situations like this!

    I love your missions in Utange, been following your blog now for a while and enjoy binge-reading it. Thank you.