Posts Tagged ‘Police’

Being Kenyan

Posted: November 2, 2015 by ketihapa in Kenya
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Being Kenyan, who can complain?

“Tao ngapi?”

“Salasa!”

“Niko na mbao!”

“Hiyo mbao yako peleka choo ya kanjo labda utaendesha!”

“Ok, mbao ndio pesa loose nilikuwa nayo…”

“Huna pesa ndogo?”

You proceed to fold up the Ksh 1000 note into four…

“Haha! Kijana uko funny! Dere shukisha huyu hapo mbele!”

 

I have come to accept that being Kenyan is no longer about citizenship. And chances are, you would never trade being Kenyan for anything; not for a second. I have come to realize being Kenyan gives you an identity- a sense of being; a sense of purpose. It gives you the chance to be legally screwed up. Being Kenyan allows you to fuck up, get taken to court- perhaps even the ICC and still get away with it- trust me, my president has set an exceptional example. We can even ignore court orders. It allows you to set up a church and go about deflowering women because God told you to. And the said women will appreciate it. Hell, the news will find it funny and you will feature on headlines; especially if the said women paid you Ksh 310 to get deflowered. I foresee being Kenyan being a movement.

Case 1: Police

Being Kenyan affords you the right to walk in Nairobi. But also affords you the right to be stopped by armed policemen (who or may not be actual policemen) and being told you have to produce a receipt for the bag you are carrying- they won’t bother to check whether you’re carrying weapons. But even if you are, all you will need is a receipt. But that has to be accompanied by an ETR receipt intended for KRA. But let us assume you won’t have either of those; you will be forced to produce tea- chai, rather- and imagine being Luhya! We all know Luhya people would rather go to jail than give up chai. You will be faced with a host of atrocities against the country though. Staring at government buildings suspiciously, idling with the intention of bombing a government statue, impersonating a government officer, spitting harmful substances on a public pavement, disturbing the public with smelly sweat, soliciting for sex from unwilling members of the public… The list is endless. And so are the possible charges you will be charged with.

Case 2: Elections

Being Kenyan means you can basically vie for a leadership spot. And it doesn’t matter whether you lose; You will be the man. You will be accorded the title mheshimiwa. Even if ants will not stop for you when you come across them on the road- actually, you will stop and wait for them to pass- especially if you will be high on weed like most of our elected leaders. You will be a millionaire in six months after the said elections. And you will despise Tanzanian elections for being transparent. In the six months, you will instigate a construction worth Ksh 200 Million, even though the said building will have half a wall. You will also convince the people who voted you in that a wheel barrow is worth Ksh 109,000, even though the teacher with whom you trust your child will be paid Ksh peanuts. And you will somehow convince the people that voted you in, who have lost confidence in you already, that the devil told you to lie to them. You will invoke the spirit; even though your liver will have suffered more from the spirits than your citizens.

Case 3: Music

As a Kenyan, you will be entitled to hours of bad music; riddims they call it. You will dance and perhaps do bend overs if you’re lucky- to music you don’t even understand, whose lyrics probably mean you are an idiot. But you will love it. You will laugh at people that don’t listen to riddims. And for those that will find riddims distasteful, they will tune into Matatu FM each morning to report how they cannot get laid to someone who probably doesn’t even like women in the first place. You will ignore good music; people who try to come up with good music like Eric Wainanina and Elani will be ignored- unless they come up with a sex video like Sauti Sol. And every major TV or Radio station will endorse it. Your life will be reduced to music the lines of “Girl With The Biggest Behind’ or ‘Una jump, una ruka… shida zina shuka…”

Case 4: Food

Being Kenyan means you will get to taste the best variety of food. You will get to taste boiled animal intestines that you will later come to call mutura. You will do the math in your head and decide that mutura is worth more than airtime – which at this time is imperative we refer to as kadi za kujikunakuna as the Tanzanians say- to call the butcher and tell him to reserve some steak for you. And woe unto you if you end up marrying a Kikuyu woman; you will have pizza full of soup and potatoes.  And if boiled miraa if you’re Meru. Or worse, nothing if you’re from Kitui.

I just can’t understand why anyone would hate being Kenyan. We rock!!!!!

I hate October

October. I always hate October and to some extent, September. Too many bad things happen around these two months. A quarter of the world dies during these two months; wars, suicides, road accidents, laughter… Ok, wait, I am not sure laughter fits there. Then there are tragedies. Houses collapsing, teachers not getting paid, children opening school to study for four weeks (never mind that parents will still pay for the entire term), Kenya beating a team 5-0 then failing to reproduce that form at Kasarani, Airtel cars- that we’re supposed to win if we use their services stalling on roads and causing traffic jams. My neighbour announcing that we can longer be friends because his girlfriend thinks I am better girlfriend to him than her (SMH), never mind that we cooked beef at his place once and we were all drunk. In short, I hate October. Rocktoberfest can’t do anything to absolve this.

And this October still wants to be miserable. For starters, the promised El Nino that was to keep me indoors instead of having to wake up at 5 in the morning to go to work hasn’t happened yet. Only Mombasa citizens have had a taste for it so far. And it didn’t even last three days. Then there are rumours Airtel will move from Kenya soon. I don’t even use their services, but imagine how much Safaricom will charge us once their biggest rival here is gone? I foresee a day when Kanjo will partner with Safaricom and we will be required to pay for public toilets using airtime. And don’t even get me started on the fact that our leadres are fighting. And from the look of things, this will not be okay. Then there are wheelbarrows that civil servants can only afford to buy if they save up for a year. And MCAs that award themselves six million on a whim. And half built markets that cost millions.

I hate October.
And I haven’t even talked about the elephant in the room; that Njoki Chege wants fat women held responsible for their cheating spouses simply because they are fat. I know I shouldn’t wish it on anyone, but the day that insensitive, Subaru hating, insecure, bile loving… (I have ran out of adjectives, sorry)… poor lady gets a husband, humanity will have failed me. Fat people don’t choose to be fat (most of them anyway), it just happens. Some people just have better metabolisms. And some people are just idiots.

I hope you’re starting to see why October isn’t my favourite month, ever.

Never mind policemen who are more interested in money than actually saving your life or offering you any help at all. It’s worse in October because it is a dry month and the farmers don’t really have any food to transport to the market; most of them are preparing their farms for the short rains. Which means that there are fewer people hiring cars to transport their produce, which leaves the cops strolling around town for anyone with anything that looks like luggage; and if you don’t have a receipt for it, you are either forced to pay at least Ksh 300 or go to jail for ‘theft’. Like most of them even see the irony. You don’t believe me? Try carrying a bag full of stones on Luthuli Avenue this month and watch yourself branded a terrorist who stole stones from a government building. And we all know how many government buildings are on Luthuli Avenue.

Then as if I don’t already have enough on my plate, there’s my brother. I love him to death. He is tall, funny and an awesome brother. He is the kind of person that would jump off a cliff if there was any chance his jumping would let you live if you only had one piece of rope between you and that rope wouldn’t support the both of you. He is the kind of person that will find you lying on the ground, in pain, from where a snake bit you and he would literally suck it out without minding what the poison would do to him. But.

There is always a but.

You see, he is what women call a player nowadays. He has too many exes. Most of them are beautiful, young things. And very naïve. As the good brother I am, I always try to be friends with them, because I know being friends with his girl can only get me closer to him. But they are naïve. Too naïve- I don’t try to hit on them, ever- but they are too naïve. Take for instance yesterday. I had been feeling a little down following disappointments in my company and when something great finally happened, I thought I would do something for myself. So I bought myself congratulatory meat. Nyama Choma. Then this lass walks over to me and says hi, she actually says hi. I remember her vaguely but she looks familiar. She tells me she is Ann and she is an ex of my brother’s. I smile. I remember her now. I invite her to my expensive nyama choma and order the waiter to get her two Redds Vodka bottles. Two turns to four. Then six. Then she blackouts.

So, here I am, a small, very young girl by my side and a half drank bottle of Redds Vodka. I gulp the remainder and try to wake her up. She doesn’t budge. I do what any self-respecting man would do. I try to get her home. I know she lives in Kasarani, so I decide to get her in a cab. But a cab will be too expensive, especially for an ex that isn’t even mine. I decide to get public transport. Kasarani isn’t so far away. So I pay my bill and drag her off the table. By now, she is basically a zombie. I take her arm and try dragging her towards the stage. Then the worst happens. The cops show up. I won’t bore you with the details, but this is how the conversation went down:

“Do you know this man?”

“Yes”

Do you know where he is taking you?”

“NO.”

Let’s just say nobody likes a man with a drunk woman who doesn’t know where he’s taking her. My Ksh 1000 will attest that we learnt this the hard way. And that is how I was unable to go to Sarakasi Dome to watch a play I had been waiting to watch for two weeks. I hate October.

THIS IS PURELY HYPOTHETICAL

Posted: February 18, 2015 by ketihapa in Life
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Get out of your High Horse and make something for yourself…

This is purely hypothetical.

Suppose one day you woke up and on your way to buy milk and bread for breakfast, you find journalists and cameramen outside your front door.

“James!,” they shout, “Would you care to comment?”

You’re confused at first; your head still isn’t clear enough and your head is buzzing. You are still hangovered from yesterday, and anyone within two inches of you can tell that you’ve been drinking. Your first instinct is to rush back into the house. Still breathing heavily, more from the effects of the booze in your system than from the panic you feel right now, you carefully push a way the curtains, just enough to see what is going on outside. Someone spots the movement at the window and in no time, they’re at the window, trying to catch a glimpse of you and perhaps take a photo or two. You retreat back to your couch and switch on your TV, hoping there might be a news item that could perhaps jog your memory. With the magnitude of the number of reporters outside, you must have done something newsworthy.

But then, a blank screen stares back at you, almost mocking you. You’d forgotten that Kenya made the #DigitalMigration from Analogue TV and you still don’t have DSTV or Zuku. Next, you reach for your phone. 16 missed calls in total and 13 messages. Most are from your friends, Andrew and Adrian, a few from your neighbor and three from a number you cannot recognize. None is from your girlfriend; which is weird because she usually calls or texts you in the morning to check up on you and find out your plans for the day, hoping to sneak in an hour for lunch- which you will inevitably buy if she has her way. You dial Andrew first. No answer. Adrian next. No answer. You try your girlfriend’s phone- unreachable. You try logging into your Twitter hoping you might find some information that could help you. Nothing.

In full panic mode, you walk over to the cabinet in the kitchen and take out a bottle of Vodka that you had left there a couple of nights before. You take a huge mouthful and wince at the taste of pure, undiluted Vodka. You light a cigarette and smoke hurriedly, hoping it will calm down your nerves. Another sip of the Vodka. Nothing seems to help. You still have this cloud over your head telling you that you did something very bad. But what could it be?? You ask yourself. Finding no answers in your head and absolutely no clues, fear starts gripping you.

You then decide to try to retrace your steps. You fumble your way to the bedroom and start inspecting the clothes and shoes you wore yesterday, hoping to find perhaps a receipt, a piece of paper that could help you, anything. Nothing is missing from your wallet as far as you can tell, and you don’t have any blood stains on your clothes. You let out a sigh of relief, but that is short-lived because as soon as you check yourself in the mirror, besides the usual bloodshot eyes, you have a bad bruise on your head. You wonder why it doesn’t hurt. Now, you’re in full panic mode. You’re terrorized and a hostage in your own home.

Then, you sirens outside your door and before you know it, there’s loud banging on your front door. Police. It has to be the police. Nobody else uses sirens save for the ambulances. You almost pee on yourself because now you’re almost certain you committed a terrible crime and they’ve come to arrest you. The saddest part is, you have no idea what. You give in to your frustration and sink to the floor, bottle in one hand, cigarette in the other. You take a huge gulp, again, from the bottle of Vodka, but it’s too soon. You feel like throwing up. You try to suppress it but it’s no use. In no time you’re kneeling on the toilet floor retching. Your wipe your mouth with the back of your palm and take another sip to wash the foul smell away. You flush the toilet but just as you do so, you hear your door give in. They’re IN the house!!!

Slowly, you rise from the floor and start walking towards the living room, the bottle still in your hand, and you take yet another sip. By now, the hangover is gone and you’re just as drunk as you were yesterday, as far as you can tell. In fact, you realize you’re staggering and you have to support yourself with the nearest wall to prevent yourself from falling over. But then, a police officer is already with you. You put down the bottle and raise your hands above your head in surrender.

Laughter.

Why aren’t they arresting me? What is so damn funny!?

“Sir, you’re James Mwangi Kamau, ID number 27123456, right?” a policeman asks, amid bouts of laughter.

“Yes. WTF is going on. What did I do?” You ask, bewildered.

“Sir, calm down. We’re here to take you to see the President. He wants to see you urgently. I suggest you sober up. And fast!”

It isn’t a request. It’s a bloody order. But at least he doesn’t draw his gun or handcuffs.

“Please, would someone tell me what has happened? I am dying of panic here!” you plead. More laughter.

“You’ll find out more at the State House. All you need to know now, Sir, is that you’re a lucky son of a bitch!” he says, which helps you calm down a little, but it still doesn’t put you at ease. Slowly, they lead you outside, where the reporters are in a wild frenzy trying to get statements from you and photographs, and into an awaiting cruiser. You black out almost as soon as the vehicle takes off.

At the State House, when you’ve sobered up enough and had almost a bucketful of water at the president’s orders, you will learn that the girl you were dating, your girlfriend, is actually the president’s daughter. The president just wanted to meet his future son in law. You will laugh about it with Andrew and Adrian later and realize how gullible you are. But you really don’t care, because you are about to become a President’s Son In Law.

***********************************************************

You’ll ask yourself, WHY THE FUCK doesn’t this happen to me? I’ll tell you; because it is just a purely hypothetical scenario that will never happen. It is about time you got off your high horse and seized the opportunities accorded to you. Work for it. Make something for yourself yo!

A smile is a powerful thing

You asked for the sequel. I present part II of In Pursuit of Redemption.

He sits nervously in the chair in the waiting room, nervous; anxious even and he wishes he had the cigarette he threw away the night before to calm his nerves. The stares do not help; in fact, all they do is make him feel more miserable. Only the soft leather of the expensive seat he sits on seems to give him a little warmth. But at least, a little of the guilt he felt last night is gone.

He looks down at his hands and knows there is no other way. He’s still in the same clothes he wore last night. The hand cuffs around his wrists glimmer in the bright lights of the hospital waiting room, but regardless, all he feels is a sense of freedom. He knows neither the two policemen on either side of him, or anyone else for that matter, would understand.

To the world, he’s a criminal that attempted murder. In fact, the woman who just passed where they’re seated just a while ago proved it. One look at him and she got hold of her son’s hand. Like the guns the policemen have with them wouldn’t be enough to assure her of security. People can be so judgemental, he decides. The law does stipulate he’s innocent till he’s proven guilty after all. None of that matter to him right now however.

He remembers sharply the events of the previous night and how they unfolded. Almost like a movie. The police probably think he’s the dumbest criminal still alive. None of them could understand how anyone in his right senses could just walk into a police station when they’re being sought after. Especially for murder. Well, in his case attempted murder.

He’d staggered all the way from his house in Ngara to the Central Police Station, so drunk his president Uhuru would befriend him; not caring or fearing that anyone would jump him along the way. Just as he was about to turn himself in, a call rang on his cell phone. A certain doctor Kimana from the Nairobi Hospital, saying that his wife had barely survived a stab wound and that she wanted to see him.

Of course the wonderful doctor that saved his wife’s life didn’t know then he had been the ‘bugger’, as he’d called him, that had stabbed his wife and left her for dead in his best friend’s house.

But, a police lady had recognized him at the station and he had been cuffed. Thankfully, the police inspector he’d found on duty had agreed to allow him see his wife, supervised of course, at the hospital. He, of all people, saw the hurt and regret in his eyes. And that is the reason he was now sitting in a hospital waiting room, with two policemen on either side of him holding guns, bearing the hushed sounds and the stares from everyone around him.

Just then, a young doctor, whom Alfred assumes is the Doctor Kimana, walks towards them. He doesn’t bother hiding the disgust in his face. Alfred knows it’s finally time for his most dreaded moment; it is time to see his wife. No words are needed. He motions for them to follow him and he leads them to room 48. Alfred takes a deep breath.

The sight of his wife lying on the bed in bandages and a drip that leads to the needle sticking in her left arm almost breaks him to pieces all over again. He feels her anguish; her pain. It’s true what they say. You lose a part of yourself whenever you take a soul. Yet, when she sees him she smiles. A weak smile, but a smile that is full of love and hope nonetheless.

She tries to lift her arm to call him out, but she’s too weak for that. He sees it anyway and takes a step forward. And another. And another, till he’s standing two feet from her bed. She takes his hand and cups it in her grip, the strength of which astonishes him. She’s pulls him closer to herself and when their faces are almost touching, she plants a kiss on his forehead. It is a kiss full of love and concern. Alfred feels the tears trickling down his face and his heart shatters into a million pieces with guilt. He fails to understand whatever the hell he was thinking to hurt her. He makes up his mind to forgive her cheating.

They both know they wont have any time alone. He’s a criminal afterall.

“I am sorry…,” is all he manages to say.

She nods her head and smiles yet again. That smile. That same smile was what had drawn him to her in the very first place. He hopes she finds it in her to forgive him.

He takes one last look at her and turns his head away from her, unable to bear it anymore. He starts walking away, but if he’d turn around the look he’d see on her face would tell him she forgives him. The guards follow him, never more than three feet behind him, their hands on their triggers in case he attempts anything stupid.

Finally, he knows he’s ready to face the judge; to face justice, and his inevitable fate. He takes one last look at the room he’s left his wife… and into the rain pouring outside towards the police car awaiting them…

Yayha Jammeh, the self proclaimed king of Gambia that cures AIDS

It’s my phone ringing that wakes me up. I’m a little buzzed but clearly not drunk enough because I still have the capacity to know it’s 2 am. I’m also fully aware I have the right to reject that call but out of curiosity, I check who’s calling. No Name. I remember her vividly, No Name. We met at a club earlier on before I decided I’d had enough and called it a day. She’d given me her number, but as usual, I managed to forget her name, hence No Name in my phone book. Begrudgingly, I pick it up; again, out of curiosity.

“Joe, I need your help. Please. I’m in jail and I need cash to bribe the police. I’m desperate and I don’t know who else to call…”

Well, at least she remembers my name; the made up name I told her that is. At this point, I realize I have a stupid decision to make. It’s fine by me if she wants the D; but why on Earth would I in my right mind go to a police station drunk in the first place? It’s way past Mututho time. Not that it matters, Mututho stated I shouldn’t have any more drinks after 11, which technically means I can drink up to 10 drinks, right? Anyway, at this point, I’m pissed off. More at CCK than at myself for giving a drunk gold digger my number. If CCK had kept their end of the deal, hell, none of this would be happening. I probably gave her my number with full confidence that at 12.00 am 1st October her phone would be switched off. Bastards.

To be honest, I’m not quite sure I know anyone who’s phone has been switched off. In my honest opinion, I think it was a scam to get people to finally buy new phones. I assume No Name has probably not paid her Okoa Jahazi debt and Safaricom have instructed CCK to wait till their debt is settled. Or maybe she downloaded the app from China that supposedly prevents your phone from being switched off. Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that phones whose vibrations are louder than their actual ringtones that are made in Thika Road are still on.

I decide to play FIFA 13 so that I can sober up enough to make the stupid decision I know I still have to make. Ok, technically, I’m using No Name as an excuse to play FIFA at 2 am. Yeah, I guess I’ll forever be alone. But hey, on grounds of common sense I refuse to commit my life to a person who spends more time thinking about what men think than the actual amount of time I actually spend thinking. So, don’t judge me if I prefer to play FIFA and drink instead. In fact, FIFA 13 is so realistic, if you start your career mode with Joey Burton you start from jail.

2.47 am and I still haven’t decided yet whether to be the knight in shining amour for No Name. Somehow I decide to call her and ask what police station she’s been taken to. Thika. Great; just great. I hate Thika police station. It’s the same place my pals and I were locked up in for allegedly trying to rob an ATM machine. We were drunk, mind you. Policemen sure do know how to over-estimate people’s abilities.

To be fair, they have made a few right calls over the past few weeks; more specifically, Waititu’s case. It was a good decision you will all agree with me, to arrest a politician who seems to forget that hate speech is exactly what caused the Post Election Violence back in 2008. In fact, the 2 million cash bail he paid is not enough to repair the potential damage he may have caused. I presume his role model is probably a moron like him, like say, Yahya Jammeh, the Gambian president. The idiot claims he can cure AIDS if he kisses you and as a result, he should be made King. Which King executes people by firing squad?

Anyway, I decide this saga has gone on for far too long and that it’s about time I ended it. I have made up my mind to tell her that I am sorry I lied to her. I am not a teacher and I do not have a Ksh 13.5 billion salary increament backdated to July. Also, my uncle is not Kenyatta and that the money I used to buy drinks with was my HELB that has since been spent on drugs and other related activities. However, just then she calls back and tells me she’s been bailed out by a friend of hers who knows people and she appreciates all the help I was planning to offer. Also, I shouldn’t call her in future. She hangs up.

I’m seething with rage. I’m not sure why. But I assume it is the kind of rage Baraton University students had to dare to go on strike because they were being graded based on Church attendance. Brats. If someone gave me the opportunity to quit reading and get marks instead of going to church I’d gladly do it. I’d even get saved. Ok, maybe that I wouldn’t do, but seriously! At least UoN students had the decency to give absence of lecturers as a reason for setting up a strike within a strike. Inside information however indicates they went on strike to demand that the lecturers’ strike be prolonged- someone on Twitter called it Inception.

Again, I check the time. 3.40 am. Perfect. Now I have one less booty call whose name I still have no idea and my sleep is gone. The only good thing is that in Gay.K.U.A.T people never sleep and I’m sure I’ll find some party with more Dicksons than Punani to crash and I’m sure there’ll be free alcohol. Good thing I was in bed fully dressed, or Commando, as some of you would call it. And if I don’t I’ll just bask in the glory of knowing that Justin Beiber vomited on stage during a performance which proves she’s pregnant.

Expensive handshakes are the order of the day in Kenya.

On Friday my friends and I decided it was about time we went out, drinking indoors wasn’t quite working out. Let me mention in advance that this was, as usual, an alcohol motivated decision that was largely influenced in part by absence of female company. Being in absolutely no state to drive, we decided to travel to town by public means, though that may also have been due to failure to secure a car earlier on, a story I will recap once I am over the trauma caused by Mr. Malenje’s dogs.

The journey was uneventful, although we almost got thrown out for singing. According to the conductor, we were scaring all the would-be female passengers away. Nobody moved an inch. Not even Elvis, who soon befriended the conductor when he generously offered him a couple of gulps of the concoction we had been consuming… Don’t worry; nobody lost their sight… yet.

Anyway, one hour later we reach Thika, our preferred destination for our drinking spree having paid nothing for the trip. We conclude the conductor is either really drunk or he knows not to bite the hand that feeds him. We get to the club and there is some ‘big star’ performing so the entrance fee had sky rocketed. This we did not mind until we realized the conductor did charge us but he didn’t return any change and we forgot to ask. Conniving bastard drank our Ksh. 2000 alcohol didn’t return change! Now, if you’ve been with a drunk, you will know that reasoning is at a minimum, especially if another drunk is with him. In this case, we were four of us. It was unanimously decided our drinking spree could wait; we needed to find this conductor, fast.

We hit the streets once more but he is nowhere in sight. At this point somebody comes up with the brilliant idea of reporting the idiot to the police. We agree they will help us best. Somehow on our way to the station one of my pals notices a Pesa Point ATM machine and like sheep in the big city, we follow. After all, more money can only do us more good in alcohol terms once we have accomplished our quest for justice. We are almost done when a police Land Rover passes by. Somehow in our stupidity, we decide to yell that they should come back. We were on our way to see them in any case and now that they found us, it would mean we wouldn’t have to walk to the station. A good omen!

What we didn’t realize is that the police are sinister people. In fact, if a man ever steals your wife, don’t tell them; to them, there is no better punishment than to let him keep her. The police happily drive back to where we are standing yelling after them. Two of them jump out of the back and from where we are standing; I notice that the back of the truck is loaded beyond capacity. It’s barely been one month since Michuki left and the police themselves are flaunting the same rules he fought so hard for. Anyway, I decide the people in the back are idiots for getting caught. By this time the two men are with us.

“Vijana mnafikiria nyinyi ni nani kusumbua watu usiku?”

“Afande tunahitaji usaidizi wenu….”

“Nyang’au nani amekuuliza!? Jibu maswali na majibu sio vitisho!”

“Apana, si vitisho…”

“Kwanza mnafanya nini nje ya bank usiku?”

“Hawa wanapanga kuiba!”

At this point we start protesting in earnest because it now occurs they think we are the criminals. We decide to proceed to the station to see their boss. These idiots clearly don’t understand we are the victims here and we need a man who poses grave danger to society apprehended.

“Kama unaeza kimbia haraka kuliko bunduki toroka!”

We stop dead in our tracks, not quite believing what is unfolding and alcoholic levels in my bloodstream have suddenly fallen enough for me to vaguely understand what is going on. You see, in Kenya, the police assume everybody is guilty of something until proven otherwise. Here you can be charged for anything including ‘Loitering with intention of murder’, ‘Looking at government buildings suspiciously’, ‘Smoking with violence’, ‘Soliciting for sexual favours from unwilling female customers’ and ‘Smiling like a terrorist.’ I found myself panicking but the worst was yet to come. We were ordered into the truck which was almost as depressing as the man that was arrested for indecent exposure then released for “INSUFFICIENT evidence”.

I need not describe our state at the back of the truck. Two armed policemen at the far end, people on the floor and those that did manage to find a seat were seated in twos- one on top of the other- even PK doesn’t have it that rough. The journey wasn’t really long, but when all you can smell are people’s armpits and feet, it is unbearable. It wasn’t uneventful either; a fat woman was fighting with a boda boda guy for ruining his bike. Apparently she was so big the bike literally, got smashed, ‘ilibondeka’. The police didn’t want to know whose fault it was- they were both dumped into the back with the rest of us and told ‘The issue will be sorted out at the station.’

I think I may be the only person who still knew the whereabouts of his phone by the time we got to the station. Anyway, we try to explain ourselves to the police once more but they hear none of it. According to them, we were going to be booked for standing outside the bank with intention for pulling off a heist in addition to being drunk and disorderly, but we could be let free if we knew what language paper talked. It didn’t take very long for four drunks to pay up. Quite literally, fools were soon partying with their money, just not the way we had hoped. It was the same case with everyone else except the poor girl accused of prostitution. I hoped her freedom wouldn’t have to be purchased along the lines of what I was already thinking.

We did eventually have our drinking spree; it was to end with me in hospital with severe alcohol poisoning characterized by loss of vision for a full day thanks to the same ATM machine that got us arrested in the first place. The difference is that we were accompanied by our new body guards, the police, whom we learnt are a kind lot once you are fluent with this language of paper. They even offered to catch the conductor and inform us the moment they did. We also learnt two things; never get arrested in front of an ATM machine, and if you do get caught, don’t panic and cause headlines by turning into a goat like the Nigerian man back in 2009; there is a language spoken by paper that you should be fluent in – bribes. It has no rules, no grammar ninjas, nothing. Oh, and if you don’t drink and drive, don’t drink to die either.