Conflict

I witnessed an almost fight today.  The way people drive here it’s inevitable.  So I was riding to the grocery store in a Matatu (basically a beat-up van crammed with as may people as possible).  Matatus are known for crazy drivers but this time a guy pulled in front of us.  As the guy was going by my driver threw a piece of trash at him.  The guy stopped of course, got out of the car and started yelling at my driver.  My driver then exits the vehicle and gets up in this other guy’s face.  Before you know it, there are spectators forming a ring, yelling at these guys and egging them on.  Keep in mind this is in the middle of the road completely stalling traffic during rush hour.  Eventually the other guy returned to his car, but before he got away my driver spit in his face.  The other guy returned the favor and we were back on our way!

Slightly related, was my recent run-in with the Kenyan police.  Fun fun.  I was actually walking to the same grocery store (hmm…) when two cops pulled me aside and asked me what I was doing.  I told them I was going to the grocery store.  They then asked for my name, where I lived and what I was doing in Kenya.  I reluctantly told them but not before asking why they were questioning me.  They gave me some bogus answer about protecting travelers and communicating safety information (they wanted a bribe).  They then told me police in the US question people all the time.  I told them police couldn’t without a reason… Finally they realized I wasn’t budging so they gave up and let me go.  First time being asked for a bribe though, I’m sure I’ll have many similar experiences in my African travels.

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