I thought we might continue with our conversation about driving, only this is not a post about Jesus in the driver's seat, but instead is really about driving in Kenya.
I took driver's ed while I was attending high school at Port Neches-Groves High in Port Neches, TX. We learned about street signs, when and where to yield, common speed limits, and etc. Defensive driving is what was taught. I learned to drive defensively, courteously, and with common sense.
First rule about driving in Kenya is to throw away everything you learned in defensive driving class. Just go ahead and toss it because here it is every car for himself. You must drive offensively here in Kenya. Yielding? No one has ever heard of the term here. You rush and try to squeeze into what ever little space there might be.
Where I see a nice small road with barely enough space for 2 vehicles to pass by each other, Kenyans see a 4 or 5 lane highway. When I see small children walking along the road, which they do here in Kenya, I slow and try to move as far away from them as possible, not my Kenyan counterparts they will speed up and pass as close the children as possible. The same goes for any other pedestrians, of which there are a great number of on the roads here in Kenya.
Pedestrians are not the only thing us drivers are sharing the road with, we also have to tend with sheep, goats, cows, and donkeys. In addition to these sort of domesticated animals we have bicycles and guys pushing carts. However the worst of worst is the matatu.
Public transport vehicles, matatu, are a defensive driver's worst nightmare. I do not even know how to explain it expect to say this; Imagine you are sharing the road with a guy driving a van packed with passengers. Sometimes they are even hanging from the side of the van. This guy is racing every other van on the road. Pedal to the metal mentality. His vehicle is being held together by duck tape or wire. He has never been to driving school, he just learned by jumping in the vehicle and going. He frequently stops in the middle of the street to load and unload his passengers. He does all this while high on bhang or drunk on local brews. If you can imagine this scenario then you can imagine driving in Kenya.
Tags: kenya, driving