Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stop Thief (Please)

I am grudgingly impressed with the speed of Arusha thieves. Three minutes to break the lock on your car and nick your spare tyre. Not bad, huh? Now if only that could be chanelled to the greater good. Hmmm.

If I can bore you with the details please:
Went into town to pick up a mozzie net (I have no spare tyre but at least I won't get malaria now. Bloody better not).
Look at all the shop signs on the side of the road. Trying to drive and look for the bloody place without smacking into car/bus/bicycle/child/wooden cart pusher/motorbike/old lady/invalid/beggar/crazy person (another post another time on Arusha driving). Left right left right, where is this bloody shop. Ah! Saheen's. There it is. Right on main drag through Arusha. Wee small material duka (shop) overflowing with the practical mozzie net to the sublimely kitsch Big Five print. Busy busy spot. Park the car. See that dear friend J's car is there too. Oh goody. Park next to her.
Check all the doors are locked.
Go into shop.
See dear friend J in the shop. She is carrying a hundred pillows as she's about to be invaded by her whole family. The pillows are for them to sleep on. Not to fight them off. I think.
Ask owner of shop for my mozzie net please.
J goes outside with pillows to put them in her car and I hear her shouting indignantly.
I go outside and there is a bit of a tussle and J is standing there (with all her pillows) looking PISSED off and indignant coz 4 guys have just broken the lock on the back of my car and rolled off with the tyre! The brazen cheek of it! Two of them waved their arms around in her face and pushed her away so she couldn't stop the other two with the tyre and they are gone gone gone! Amazing, really. Off across the hectic busy street (without bumping into car/bus/bicycle/child/wooden cart pusher/motorbike/old lady/invalid/crazy prson - a miracle in itself) and smudged off into the back streets. Oh well. What can you do? Well. Drive after them I guess. Which we did. To no avail of course. Man in orange shirt with palm trees on. Thats what we're looking for apparently. Ha. Fat chance. Has a scar on his face. He'll have another one if I find him. Yea right. Two minutes in to the search I'm thinking "okay so this is dumb. What am I going to do if I find them?"

"Oh, umm, excuse me. You with the orange shirt. And palm trees. Yes, you. Umm, I'd like to talk to you please. I think that's my tyre you have there. Please could I have it back? No, no, I don't want that big knife you're holding up, just the tyre please. Oh I see you won't give it back to me. Oh. Please please please?? Its just that they're so expensive and we've only JUST bought that. You'd be ever so kind. You want to do what to me? No. No, thanks. Just the tyre. No? Perhaps your four very large scarred friends could persuade you? Hmmm? No chance at all? Oooh, what are your friends doing? Whats that bump? Oh bugger. Ummm, those other four tyres you have now. Please could I have THEM back at least? Just so that I can get home? Please? Or perhaps you could come with me and I'll give them back to you when we get home? Oh that knife again. Oh and a machete. Thats a fine machete you have there sir. No chance? Okay. Off you go then. Have a good day!" Where is my Royal Marine trained husband when I need him? In the Serengeti. Oh shit. I'd better tell him.......he loves his landy.

New something I learned today: People on the streets of Arusha will not try to stop a thief. Unlike Lusaka where they'd be chased down by an angry mob. Oh and ruffian in Swahili is Jambazi (plural majambazi). I like that. Bloody bastards. Must find out what that is in Swahili too.

Over and out


tam said...

The bastards have scored. Apparently if you yell "mwizi" in the streets of nairobi its like issuing a death sentence. death by mob beating.
tell your husband i say pole about the spare. ;)

Janelle said...

i said 6 million pillows on todays posting..so funny! damn bastards. XX

http://reluctantmemsahib.wordpress.com said...

i know. they're brilliantly ingenious. one xmas, parked outside illustrious shaheens trying to be good mother and buying fabric inside so fundi could make barbie dresses for assorted daughters, a thief calmly tapped on car window and announced to my trio of offspring, captured inside, that he had been instructed by their father to fetch the cases of beer in the back of the car and deliver to him. they sweetly obliged, let him in, handed the beer over and told me on my return that that's where the beer had gone (when i shrieked, banshee like, where's the effing beer, where's the effing beer?). I spotted effin beer stalking off into the crowds. I drove round the block three times swearing out of my window as loudly as i could (adding to children's growing repertoire of useful swear words) and treating every pedestrain on arusha's streets to a holy show delivered by clearly utterly deranged white woman whose children were now cowering on back seat. keep writing

Miranda said...

Ha!! Thats HILARIOUS! How very very ingenious! Thanks for visiting. Love yours.