Heroes and Villains
Sorry i haven't written in a while. We've been rushing round a bit.
Since the last diary entry Vic, Lindsay and I have become experts in reading the necessity for bribes in Kenya and Tanzania.
In short, the general policy should always be to keep driving forward until you are stopped by
a) a barrier or
b) an official with a firearm.
The only exception to this rule is the Kenyan-Tanzanian border at Taveta where this policy allows you to find yourself in Tanzania without a stamp in your passport. For all I know, that misdemeanour carries the death sentence or a lengthy spell in an East African jail cell.
In addition, whenever you meet b) you should compliment him on his weapon and then ask him when was the last time he used it.
Well we've certainly met some interesting characters en route and this provides an excellent opportunity for another rant.
- George - chief negotiator man in Kilimanjaro Curio Shop- "just put it all in basket - Then I'll give you good price" - yeah, right.
- Drunken boy while hanging off side mirror - "I am hungry, give me money." - no my friend, i am afraid you're just drunk.
- Boy working for Kenyan customs department - "you need insurance in Tanzania - you need to give me something for helping" - you're Kenyan. Don't worry about Tanzania, mate.
- Kenyan customs man - "you have no stamp from the car hire company. Any disgruntled employee could have forged this document, do you agree?" - no
"do you think Kenya is the most developed country you have been to, apart from South Africa?" - yes, if you stamp our papers we'll agree to that.
- Isaac from Lake Manyara luxury tented camp - proving that corruption in Africa can sometimes work in your favour (almost)
- Surly woman in tshirt shack - there cannot be an excuse for this level of gloom in a customer facing role.
- Whichever baggage handler stole my nice camera. Taking other people's possessions should not be considered a valid form of income, irrespective of how poorly you perceive you are paid.
The rant now being over, I can assure you that we are having an amazing time in Africa so far. Hence...
- Jula taxi driver "we're avoiding the traffic"
- Drunk Kenyan revenue authority man - this is the new customs building - can you give me a lift to the Tanzanian building?
- Vic - keeping the Toyota on its 4 wheels on the ngorongora crater rim road.
- Ngorongora official happy to pocket our $100 dollar bribe rather than charge us the $150 official fee.
- Emmanuel the ngorongora guide. What he lacked in knowledge about animals he made up for in his ability to operate a car jack.
- Aggy the waitress at K1 pub and club in Nairobi - if only the staff at London nightclubs were this willing to rave it up with the punters.
- Tammy and Mark - for facilitating the best 40th birthday celebrations ever.
- Joe, Ellie, Lee and Vic - thanks for an amazing holiday folks. I will never forget it.