Could not take their wives in payment – my own was in the car

Could not take their wives in payment - my own was in the car

Hmmm Afreekans are bewitched.
Apart from accepting bad roads and still pay road taxes...
I have learned they do not value their lives... nor their childrens'...
Many years ago... I had gone to Emali to look at farmland for cows... my host was a Kenya Army Captain called Kasironde (hopefully he is a General now) so we drove down in my borrowed Datsun 1,600cc pickup - see I was poor... and that is what the poor do - they borrow cars from family and friends to pursue their dreams and ideas...
So on the way back - early evening - dusk is settling in, we pass a bunch of Indians and Clandes - Pajero... we must be 40Km before Small World Country Club... broken down... one Indian is taller ... has a grizzled beard... about a mile down the road - His name flashed! Deepak! SHIT! He has already seen me ignoring his wave for help...
And so I drove back... and asked them what was wrong?
The engine has seized, we hit a bump, sump damaged... oil ime mwaga (not the only Mwagaaring they were doing... ) these guys are rich... one of the Clandes is Russian... first I had seen...
And so I told them - yes, I will pull you back to Nairobi, but I need 5 people in the back of my pickup to give me traction... one driver in the Pajero. If you get cold - sorry - but safety is more important - get some sweaters...
Me and Kasironde sat in the front - and he said - "You know you have just saved their lives? I am a Captain, I travel with my pistol, and when I break down, I travel with my family at least a mile into the bush, my people turn into hyaenas after dark. I would rather face wild animals than my own people at night".
Kenya Army Captain. Armed. This is what he said.
So anyways - the trip was uneventful, I towed them back slowly we stopped at Small World Country Club... had a drink of tea-water-piss break... continued... ran low on fuel - I had to ask them for fuel money - since I had none... Ahhh how sweet and innocent those poverty days look... in retrospect...
Now - Grizzled Indian lived on a massive house on Lower Kabete... as we approached Nairobi - I am wondering... Russian and the Clandes... where?
I am flashed... given instructions - go left at Baricho Rd Roundabout up towards NIC, then left again... then one Indian can jump into the front and direct us when we stop at NIC.
Gentlemen - there is a HUGE NETWORK of "perfect Clande Apartments" past NIC... chapa right... Weh!
From airport - come to the "Seal Honey" roundabout, go left up the hill, then first left, keeping NIC on your right. Follow that road and turn right - Clande Central !!! It gets busy at 1pm as they wake up and start putting on makeup and hair salon appointments for their "evening duties with the boss" - who is working late at the office in Industrial Area due to traffic to Lavington-Runda-Muthaiga - Oooh the traffic is bad... soooo bad !
So we got to their "Clande Apartment" untied the car, refused any payment (fuel back then was 30/-?) and went on our merry way.
Moral of the story: Even an armed Kenya Army Captain fears for his life at night.
When I travel - if possible - in convoy... if not:
1) Safari Kit - consisting of Towrope, torch, toolkit, footpump, bicycle repair kit for tube tyres, (in those days all Landies and pickups were tubed)... and a jumper cable.
TWO Functioning spares, 10tonne jack, and a TRIED and TESTED wheel spanner...
Then - something VERY Strange - a piece of wood - 12x12x2 inches... HARDWOOD - Mahogany, Mvuli... strong.
AND a WELL-MADE 1st Aid Kit. NOT a FUCKING 500/- Nakumatt Speshaal... with 2 bandaids and a condom...
Have you ever seen a proper RTA? There is BLOOD!!! Lots!
Need - Clean white towel, 1 litre water (even mineral is OK) 150cc Dettol, lots of bandages and 12 bandaids. Antibiotic power and Iodine is useful... LOTS of cotton wool, and that VERY STICKY tape (taking off is torture - that one). Scissors.
NOW: What they sell in Grogon, Highway... Nakumatt... Motor Boutique... will not cut it.
What they adverstise as 400Amps MIGHT start a Tuktuk if the engine was warm.
Jumpers - need to be 30mm squared as a minimum - welding cable standard - their clamps less important.
Because I "had Mothership later in life" - it had 75sqmm welding cables - with 4x 400 amp welding clamps (cost 900/- each in 1998-ish) attached. Orange cable, 10 metres each. Colour coding was RED Tape on Positive Terminals - and Black tape wound all the way around 10 metres for negative terminals...
What they sell as a towstrap can pull a Boda-Boda if only the rider... is not too fat...
I had the opportunity to buy "Ex-French-Army" Towstraps - rated at 9 tonnes... They were EXCELLENT.
"Soft Nylon-Polyblah rope" - with a bit of give - also makes excellent towrope... no "jarring takeoff". It has to be 20mm diameter as a minimum.
Sisal Rope Needs to be 25mm thick as a minimum - what you buy to tether GOATS... will snap at every jerk... Rope has to have a "bit of give" to absorb that "nasty jerk" you experience with cable or chain - that can break body panels and shear bolts...
I have used "Kinetic Energy Recovery Rope" - not very good for towing... great for mud extraction if you have faith in your Nato-Hook mountings...
Talking of Rope and Nato Hooks - Mothership my Landie110 - we were on a family holiday in Lake Nakuru National park to look at "long legged birds" - No Bishes the "Pink Inedible Birds called Flamingo"!
I have a Genuine Nato Hook on the back of my 110 - which is diesel... UK Nato Hook.
Then on a game drive - the heavens open up - a deluge of biblical proportions and the road gets flooded - that water was probably 18 inches deep... so we come across a stranded Toyota Saloon. I stop, attach a strap to him... and we take off... about a mile down the road - another car... we stop - he has a rope - so we tie his car to the one behind me... and we take off... another mile or so - a 3rd car! He also has a rope... By now - I myself am intrigued... so we attach him....
As a precaution now - I put my car in Low ratio and engage Diff Lock... and set off... arriving at the main gate - which is about 10 feet higher and "dry-ish tarmac". Disengaged them all one by one... received their thanks... could not take their wives in payment - my own was in the car...
And THAT peepols - is how the legendary "LandRoverCarTrain that floats on water" was formed in Lake Nakuru.
So Peeps - when travelling... be safe.

Author: Nawaz Khan

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