May 31, 2007
Posted by archer under motoring
Update: For personal reasons, I have removed the pics of Helen & Helen Bandia
It has come to my understanding that my beloved Helen just might be gone for good. It’s a very long and convoluted story that I myself don’t understand. In short, let’s just say that she’s missing. The car wasn’t sold, it wasn’t in an accident, but it somehow vanished into thin air. You don’t buy that? Neither do I!! How does someone misplace A CAR?! That’s some strange ish right there. Kwani do we have a Bermuda triangle in Kenya where cars go in and never some out again?
So the folks have been trying to appease me by offering me a Starlet. A what? Shopping basket? Don’t get me wrong, not that ati nanaidharau gari, coz a Starlet is a car that you only have to fill up the tank (with like only 2k) about once a month. Fuel consumption is THAT good. Lakini who am I lying to that I’ll fit my 6″ 0′ frame there (reminds me of my bathtub. Yes, THAT bathtub. M shaddup!) I have tall friends, and there’s also not enough rear space for hanky panky. That is very essential when choosing a “modofieko”
In the end I had to settle for Helen’s twin sister. That’s only coz the folks really went out of their way to look for the only car that I’d appreciate, and finding a 1990 model vehicle in Nairobi that’s still in good condition, is not easy. Well, Helen Bandia is the same model as Helen, only that this one is two years older. (Have I made any sense? *smacks self hard*) back in 1990, they didn’t come with power steering or power windows as standard. (Helen’s a ‘92 model, came with all the extras) so with Helen Bandia, either I chapa a heavy breakfast or I might as well forget the idea of reverse parking into tight spots as well as making three point turns.
The car has required quite a lot of work to get it up to standard. The previous owner knew exactly what he was doing when he sold it coz it needed new tyres, exhaust, major service, rims, radio (NO RADIO?!)
Don’t despair, for I, Mishale, am an innovative man!
Who remembers my shower radio?
Quit laughing, at least it does its job! Mluhya bila radio ni kama ugali bila mboga! Ama aje Bomseh?
I’ve been browsing through www.cardomain.com and found some very good ideas for souping up Helen Bandia. Souping up a car in Nairobi is hard coz there are not many garages/companies that do a very good job. Definitely NOT Mash Auto, those useless fellows who only have like two or three templates that fit on every car regardless of its make.
That’s Helen Bandia
Now say hello to Helen/Bandia of the future!!
Now, who’s still laughing at my shower radio? During one of my recent trips to the garage, I came across this 1969 Jaguar E-Type Series II, although in dire need of attention. (I don’t think the owner would be too pleased that that someone has put up pictures of his car on the internet, so I’ll censor his number plate) I haven’t yet seen another Jaguar E Type in Kenya (have you?) Which makes this an extremely rare vehicle in Kenya. You might remember it as that shaggadelic Jag from Austin Powers.
Front end bila the engine and the hood. Looks like a piece of junk, but the body is completely accident free! Not a single dent on the car.
E Type upande
That’s the hood that’s been taken off
Omera how will you know?
I’ve previously expressed my desire to (when I can afford it) buy a classic car as a shell and to re-build it, all by myself. In that spirit, I figured that I may as well enquire as to whether the owner of this Jaguar would be willing to put it up for sale. I was willing to look for some cash to make him an offer. I was informed that he’s strongly attached to the Jag and that he’d never sell it for any amount in the world. Apparently he’s fixing it up for this year’s Concours D’Elegance.
When I returned to the garage the next week, I was informed that an Asian man had seen the Jag (in it’s current state) fell in love with it, and made an on-the-spot offer of….(hold your breath) TEN MILLION SHILLINGS!!! Yaani Ksh 10,000,000/= which was promptly REJECTED by the owner! (And here I was thinking I could swing him like a loose 300k and forget his story!! Hehe!! Shock on my diabz)Anyway, look out for this Jaguar at this year’s Concours D’Elegance. I do hope the owner does something about the colour though. Bright red would be good. Or Opal black. When it’s done, it should look something like this:
Ok away from wishful thinking, here’s a project that is more affordable to a car enthusiast. I’m sure you all remember the Volkwagen Kombi (Volksiebus) the one that looks like a loaf of bread.
There are very few of those on the roads these days. (My old man had one way back in the 70s!) While in South Africa, I once saw one that had been souped up, it was too deadly! The owner had chopped off the roof and made it into an open top, lowered the van and added some serious 20 inch chrome rims, an assortment of amplifiers, subwoofers, DVD screens, tweeters and what have you. It even featured in some kwaito video, I don’t know the name of the song though.
This will be my first car project in the next few years. It’s not that hard or that expensive to find a shell, something like this:
You see trash, I see potential!! I’ve been told that the Voki can accomodate the engine of a Subaru Leone (1.8 litre) without having to make any major modifications to the engine bay. So that’s precisely what I’ll do. I’ll have the body stripped down completely and re-built from the ground up. I’ll have a transparent fibreglass sunroof, a comfortable lounge for five complete with DVD, leather couch, fridge, Playstation 3, some mad ass sounds. For the exterior (visualize it with me) I’ll have it painted bright metallic orange, lots of chrome on the bumpers and around the wheel arches, chrome running boards, body lowered a few inches with 20″ chrome rims, front bull-bars, chrome of course….
Er………is there anyone still reading this?
What’s on my Playlist?
Sema – The Only One
May 28, 2007
If you haven’t noticed already, there’s a new header picture on the blog. Si I told y’all this blog is a work in progress? I came across the photo while trawling across the internet, along with a few others. When I tried them out, this was the only one whose colour didn’t clash with the overall colour scheme of the blog. I have no idea how a photo of an eye ingianas with the general theme and title of the blog, but me likes it none the less. It’s better than that ka tunnel that leads to sijui where….. Ama mnaonaje?
So now I’ve got to come up with a name for Mr Halfaface. Any suggestions? He’s the new watchie up in the blog and he sees everything! So thugs and hackers (jackers, crackers, buckfutters, whatever) and any other pathetic miscreants up in my environs beware. And vile he’s got a ka mean look, you don’t want to find out what he’ll do with you when he catches you. (Maybe he’s a GSU for those guys back in the day) Can you see that silhouette of a crossbow in his eye? Utameza mshale bana! Don’t mess!
Anyway, any suggestions for a name for my new friend? I’m open to any ideas coz all I can come up with is Bwana Jicho, but those initials….hehe! Wacha tu!
In other news, I missed the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix yesterday!! Aaaaaaaaargh!! But at least my team McLaren Mercedes represented vilivyo with Fernando Alonso winning and Lewis Hamilton not so far behind. (Bankelele si you join us now before it’s too late!
Kwanza you did you watch the race?)
Now I know I really have to get DSTV coz the morons over at KTN and NTV do not consider Formula 1 to be newsworthy, yet the same idiots will show you highlights of the qualifying stages on Saturday’s sports news. PUMBAVU NYINYI!!
Kwanza I have just the thing for you…
FOKOJEMBES OF THE WEEK
KTN and NTV Sports teams:
1. Robert Soi, Mike Okinyi, Bernard Oduor….nyinyi wote.
Is there any better way to spend a Sunday evening than to tune into the Capital FM Jazz Club? (hosted by Jack Ojiambo and some others) I’m really developing a liking for Jazz even though the only Jazz artist that I know is Duke Ellington! Why?
In 2005 we had this tired ass Macro-economics lecturer who would send an entire lecture theatre of 300+ deep into slumberland.
Kwanza his lectures were in the afte…in summer when it’s kedo 30+ degrees outside, and it just happened to be on that day of the week when the school cafeteria had a special on half chicken stewed in sweet and sour sauce. (Mluhya lazima a-represent pwana!)
So one day at the Mall I came across a Duke Ellington CD on offer so I bought it SPECIFICALLY to assist in the Economics lecture slumber! When the TA starts yapping, with sijui graphs of what and what….. plug in the earphones, press play on the discman and zone out. (Probably explains why I failed that module in spectacular fashion…)
Speaking of Jazz, while in SA late last year I copied lots of music from other guys’ computers, and I found this gem among the numerous un-named folders. It’s a South African Afro Jazz song that’s currently top of Archer’s favourite ngomas list. I’m not a lovey dovey lovesick fool like I once was, but this song takes me places. You’ve just got to listen to it! Lovely voices and the instrumental is tight. (If you can catch the dude’s voice in the background of the chorus, you’ll see what I’m talking about)
I don’t know the name of the track or of the artist, so I’ll just call it “What you are to me” I wonder where I can get more of this kind of music. Does anyone know? Anyway, I insist, download the song and listen to it on full bass. It’s beautiful.
Click HERE to download What you are to me.
If you like the track, you can see me sideways and I can hook you up with a few others that I have. I can upload them onto my 4shared.com account for your downloading pleasure.
To those who are into Jazz, where’s the starting point for someone who would like to know more about the genre? I’m trying to expand my musical knowledge.
(Hii maneno ya hip hop ya upuzi tupu, sijui msee moja anakaa
kama wanugu anataka kunyorea wengine…..usiresi!)
I’ve noticed that Jazz is really catching on in
Nairobi especially among the younger peeps (mid 20s upwards) and I hope that it’s only a matter of time before we have more of our very own local Jazz artistes. We have a few good ones already, but we need more. Are there any Jazz nights in
Ministry of Health Warning: Ku-hanye na Methu na Bantuts ni harmful to your health!!! We found ourselves at K1 on Wednesday night watching
Milan hammering Loserfool (You Never Wa*k Alone) shortly after we were grooving to some mad ass kao tunes…! Wacha tu ni-censor ma details.
My only beef with that night is that for once I was the SHORTEST person in the crowd, vile Methu up theeeeeea is like 6″ 3′, Bants and some other damsel I was with are both like 6″1′ and I was down there at 6″ 0′. And the three idiots kept rubbing it in that I was short… You guys are so mean. SHINDWE!!
May 22, 2007
Posted by archer under motoring
Traffic in Nairobi is ku-rayzi this morning! It took me more than two hours to drive to town, a trip that would normally take about 45 minutes in normal morning traffic (and 14 minutes when I put the pedal to the metal, bila traffic) and driving a car without a functioning stereo for two hours is pure torture!
In such a situation, unless you’ve got good company to make conversation with, you’re screwed. I normally have a very moody mama Archer already making conference calls (this one yells into the phone) Not good, not good at all.
Anyway, my mind had wandered off into other thoughts of how to spend the rest of the week. There’s the Champions League final tomorrow night. Where am I going to watch it? K1? Sherlock’s Den? (Hopefully Milan do their job!) I’ve got a dance to go watch on Thursday evening which clashes with a dinner that I’ve been invited to for my pal’s graduation, and the graduation to attend on Friday, and a bash thereafter. I think I’ll be home alone this weekend so I’m also thinking of which clande to hola at!
My mind was brought back to the road when I noticed this fine looking thang on the lane adjacent to mine. What’s that? A Benz? No, it looks more like a Lexus. (Hapana, sio hiyo Leghisas ya jana!) Which Lexus is that? Anyway she was a pure beauty. Looks like a medium size executive saloon. It’s about the same size as a Benz E-Class.
Nikasoma label pale nyuma. Toyota Mark II Grande. Wow! Impressive. You all know what Toyota means. Fuel economy, affordable spares and after-market parts and generally cheap to maintain.
The one I was following was beige and had tinted windows and the guy had hooked it up with some serious chrome rims, about 19 inches, so it was quite tight.What else to do in traffic? I whipped out Mr. Nokia, did a quick Wikipedia search for Toyota Mark II Grande, not much information there. Did a google search, found out all the vital information about the car: Engine size, horsepower, interior features, price. Very good. (Note: I have not said that I can afford it!!)
Then I called up a couple of dealers in Nairobi and asked if they had the car in stock and they did. Did polite enquiries and asked if they had one that I can take for a test drive. They did. All this before I even got to the office!
So guess where I’m off to this afternoon!
(Who wants to come along? You jua it’s sijui wacky Tuesday so there’s B.O.G.O.F* on Pizza at Mobil)
*BOGOF: Buy One Get One Free
Mrs. Francesca Alouch Indeche
I’ve just seen the obituary in today’s papers. Mrs. Indeche was my primary school headteacher way back in the day. It was actually 15 years ago that I left Kilimani Junior
Academy. But she still remembered me every time that we’d run into each other on the streets of Nairobi. “You’ve become such a big man! I remember you when you were a very tiny naughty boy when you first came in 1989.”
Now, Mrs Indeche was a tough African woman, about 6 feet in height. Woe unto you if you ever got sent to her office for misdemeanor. She’d grab you by the ears (back then we were tiny little kids) and lift you about a foot off the ground. Then she’d put you back on the ground, but not until she followed that up with two swift slaps to the cheeks. Now imagine a 4 foot kid who doesn’t know WTF ran into him, staring into the eyes of this beast who’s all the way up there, wondering which part of his head to rub first, the ears or the cheeks. Or whether to cry.
As class prefect I once took a couple of my classmates to her office coz of noisemaking, and after seeing what went down, I vowed never to take anyone back there again! Best believe they never spoke to me for the rest of the term! (Sorry guys, ilibidi!)
But Mrs Indeche was mostly a very fair headteacher, warm and very affectionate, and she was generally loved by the kids. By the time of her passing, she was the Principal of Compuera Academy in Nairobi.
May 21, 2007
The following events are based on a true story, believe it or not. I’m still trying to believe it myself!
I happen not to have a very high opinion of Kenyan cops. That’s due to the fact that I’ve had to part with hefty bribes several times in the past for this or that. Kwanza that time for Breathalyser, wah! I hated cops kabisa. They always found a way to extort money from me for whatever reason. If they didn’t catch me for drunk driving (which I never do) then it was for a dead bulb in the brake lights cluster, or a tyre whose tread was slightly worn.
There’s once they cleaned me out completely, on my way TO the hanye! (Those cops for Ngong Road and Kilimani are ruthless!!) Now with a 2 sok in your pocket, which hanye are you going to? Piga U-turn and go back to Club Duvet featuring DJ Pillow. Now, that’s one club that’s guaranteed to kick any day!
I was driving to The Mall on Saturday night at about 9:30pm to drop a pal of mine who was meeting someone for dinner. There were four of us in the car. We got to The Mall, drove round the bend to Kenchic, made a three point turn and drove back to the entrance to the Mall. There was no available parking on either side of the narrow lane, and anyway it’s not like we were planning to stay. So I stopped the car on the side of the road, put on the hazards, my boy opened the back right door and got out.
Suddenly a double cab 4X4 pick up, those red, yellow and blue ones for K.K. Security pulls up behind me hooting and flashing headlights, then two cops jump out brandishing AK47s and rush towards my car.
“Gichana unapark gari kwa barabara? MAGHENDE!!”
The cop then gets into the back right seat and slams the door, and tells me to drive to Parklands Police Station. He’s a short fucker, about 5″ 5, with a big round head, looks like he shares some genetic qualities with a saskwatch. Kwanza his boots were filthy, plus his breath gave away hints of a dinner of onions and hot tea.
The second cop walks a few metres in front of the car. It’s evident that the cop want us to toa kitu kidogo, that’s why he’s got into the car so conveniently so as not to be spotted receiving a bribe. I told the cop that I hadn’t parked the car, I was just dropping my pal.
The idiot starts talking shit, telling me that “umefanya hatua” and if I’m not going to “ongea vizuri” then I might as well go to Parklands and have a word with the OCS.
So now me and my two pals are trying to vibe logic to the buffoon. We asked him to show us any single available parking space on either side of the street. We asked him to define what parking a vehicle is. We asked him which motorist we had inconvenienced during those few seconds that we were dropping my pal. Hell we even asked him if he’s a traffic policeman, and if he is, could he show us which part of the Traffic Act (if he even knows which Cap the Traffic Act is) says that dropping someone outside a building is a Traffic offence.
The cop is at the back still insisting that I talk nicely or I drive to Parklands. The fool figured he had stumbled upon some spoilt rich kids to harass. Sio leo boss. Dude was wasting my time and I had a bash to get back to in Nyari before the hawks grabbed all the fwyne women. And I was getting very agitated.
“Kwanza wewe afande ndio una hatua. Unaturukia kama sisi ni majambazi ati kututisha na bunduki, ukaanza matusi, unaitisha kitu kidogo, alafu umeingia kwa gari yangu na hizo viatu chafu. Nani alisema huwezi kuniambia sheria kutoka nje? Ofisaa, please get out of my car.”
“Unafikiri ati I am not gwalified kuingia kwa gari yago? Gwani imebadilika imeguwa ni Leghisas?” (Lexus)
*ok that one for Leghisas I’ve made it up! Hehehe!*
While the dude was still talking shit, the three of us got out of the car, left it right where it was and went to vibe with the other cop. You wonder why there’s always a good cop and a bad cop. This “good one” realized quickly that he wasn’t dealing with idiots. He told us to hurry up with the bribe and bounce. We told him we’re not paying anything coz they’re not even traffic cops in the first place, plus they can’t even define what traffic offence we had apparently committed.
After some minutes he told us to forget the story and just drive away. So we went back to the car, where Saskwatch was still ensconced in my back seat. My boy took the keys and we all got into the car and requested the cop to get out.
“Gichana nagwambia hiyo siasa yako twende nayo Bhaklands uambie OCS!!”
“Siendi Parklands! Mi naenda nyumbani. Kwa hivyo we jipange ujue unaenda wapi.”
“Blah blah….mumefanya hatua….blah blah…. *onion breath – quick, roll down the window!* …..blah blah….kumbafu!”
Haiiiiyaaa! The cop had refused to get out of the car and was still insisting on the “bribe or Parklands” story. Na ameanza matusi on top of that. My pal had had it with his nonsense and he drove off. When we got to the junction for the main road, dude asked the cop a final time
“Afande unatoka ama hautoki?”
“Nitoke gwa nini! Si nimesema twende Bhaklands!”
“Parklands my ass!”
Dude turned the car right towards the Sarit Centre roundabout but instead of turning right to go to Parklands, he turned left and drove on past Sarit, took a right onto Peponi road and kept going.
“Gwani gichana unaenda wabi?”
“Si tulikuambia sisi tunaenda nyumbani. Kama unataka kuja na sisi hiyo ni shida yako!”
Here I am in the co-driver’s seat wondering WTF my pal was doing, but by then the speedometer had already pitad 120 km/h and Spring Valley passed like a blur. The cop has shangaad at what’s going on.
“Weeh! Simamisha gari!”
“Si tulikuambia utoke ukakataa?”
The car turned right at Thigiri Ridge, up the hill and kept going. That’s about the time that the cop realized that we weren’t going to sing to his tune so he requested us to take him back to Westlands and that story dies there. Dude must be joking! Ati we turn and go back to Westi? Are you nuts? My pal stopped the car at some dark ass joint huko Thigiri Ridge and asked the cop, very politely, to get out of the car.
“Sasa mnataka nirudi Westlands aje?”
“Si munisambazie 50 bob nipigie gari ya batrol iguche kinichukua?”
“Ata ka kitu kidogo hamtaniachia?”
The cop slowly got out, then before he shut the door he was like
“Lakini msijali. Si tuko pamoja?”
Tuko pamoja up in my ass! Stupid man! And with a skid start, we drove off. How he got back to Westi, I have no idea and I really don’t care. But we drove the rest of the way laughing hard coz I’d never imagined showing such madharau to a cop before. But he deserved it, sivyo? My boy had mad beef with the cops coz he had to part with 5k recently when he was busted “on top of things” by cops on patrol. So I understand his bile.
Piece of advice:
1. Kenyan cops will find every and any reason to solicit for a bribe from you. Always make sure that the basics are in check i.e. lights, tyres, seatbelts, insurance and road licence. That reduces the list of things that can get you acquainted with Saskwatch or Homer Simpson.
2. Most cops are rather dense and don’t know the Traffic Act. But they know that YOU don’t know it either. If possible, get yourself a copy. It would be a good idea to read through it, underline a few things here and there to show that you’ve read the thing (highlighting in bright orange would be best), then leave it in the glove compartment and when confronted by a cop for whatever reason, proceed to hand over the Traffic act and ask him to show you where that “hatua ambayo umefanya” is. Or just have a lawyer pal on speed dial. (Ichiena niaje?)
(The Traffic Act is Cap 403. I’m on my way to get a copy as soon as I’m done with this post)
Question: Is it just me or do all Kenyan cops have either one of two distinct accents regardless of which part of the country they come from? What is the language of instruction at Kiganjo?
What’s on my Playlist?
Due to the slow internet speeds, I’ve not been able to download some nine or so audio tracks for a music post that I’ve been working on. So I’ve decided to try and have one track at the end of each post. Today’s track is “Mr. Policeman” by K-South which so aptly applies in this situation. Imagine a late night encounter with a couple of cops soliciting for a bribe. This has got to be, by far, one of the most hilarious Kenyan track ever produced.
Click HERE to download Mr Policeman.
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