Ever found yourself in an unfamiliar territory?..I did, 2 years ago this weekend at Thindigua. It was at those ungodly hours of the night. Lazily heading towards town. I spotted what seemed to be a hyena, even slowed down to take a closer look,..and to my amazement it was ( may be from Karura,..I guess!? ). Amused…and after a second thought, I thrust the gear, hit the gas pedal and sped off, accelerating gradually fearing that the devil was digging trenches ahead and the hyena was just a decoy. And indeed he was, busy at work!..You have no idea. My ramshackle then was more or less a functioning mkebe with engine, a set of worn out tyres, headlights, expired insurance and no reverse gear.
In such a case, you would loathe the sight a police woman ahead waving at you to stop. And there she was! It was Beth, as I would later come to learn. Beth waved and patiently waited for the ramshackle to come to a complete stop.
The engine was still rumbling like a rusty posho mill when she swang-by leaning and resting her elbow on the roof. ”Mzee! fungua dirisha,” she bellowed asking me to roll down the window. I reluctantly did, at the same time murmuring in protest at her attempt to brand me a mzee.
Finally,“Afande Habari yako!?” I exclaimed. ( You see, my father told me if I ever came across a police officer in Kenya, never to refer to them as Sir or Madam. It elevates their ego ) We were there exchanging niceties of a typical police officer and a potential mfungwa. I realised the more I gave her time to talk, the more she would have chances of discovering the ramshackle was unroadworthy. So I decided to use ninja diversionary tactics that I learnt at a Dojo in Bhutan. I was sure that such tactics were not covered by the Kiganjo syllabus. Alas! I was wrong.
No sooner had I uttered, “Afande by the way Kuna fisi nimeona pale juu,” than I heard,“hata hawa walevi wote unaona hapa wanasema wameona fisi.” She replied pointing at a police land rover vehicle packed some yards away.
That’s when it hit me that I was in the middle of an NTSA alcohol blow test point.
Attempts to explain to her that I’m a devout teetotaler fell on deaf ears as she handed me over to a certain Kiptoo to process me for the test. A few minutes later, the results were disappointingly negative. I could tell from Kiptoo’s face…as he ‘congratulated’ and bid me kwaheri after my first and only ever alcoblow test.