Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Splashed on by arrogant drivers

It’s a rain season once again. I am never really sure when it’s the rain season. Sometimes, you just think, “this dust is mob” and, voila, rain!

Then sometimes, city authorities thinks, “Let’s dig up this road and try to make it better. Let’s hope it does not rain heavily soon.” Right on cue, the rain god in charge of freshly dug Dar es Salaam roads let’s loose a shower. And mud comes, and pedestrians reach home on high heels of mud.

My worry about the rainy season is splashers. Someone was complaining about most offensive drivers being owners of Bajaj. I thought he was overdoing it, until Mr Blue Bajaj Splasher did the needful.

Before I continue with my narrative, some definitions are necessary. A splasher is someone who has the talent and arrogant nonchalance to habitually use his car tyres to remove water from potholes, regularly splashing them on whoever is in the vicinity. Then, a wet-dirtener is what you call a splasher who has successfully splashed water on someone’s clean clothes. This is, of course a direct opposite of a dry-cleaner, who has to be paid for his services.

Well, Splasher saw a golf in front of him swerve to dodge a water-full pothole, in order to avoid splashing water on on-coming traffic. I was unfortunate not to have coincided with the Golf at the pothole.
Instead, I got the Bajaj man who perfectly displaced all the water and mud in the pothole all over the driver’s side of my car. I was miffed; boiling actually, but Bajaj Splasher man was well on his way, and I was just left shocked by the rudeness of some people.

That’s not to say that I’m innocent. I’ve ever been a Splasher, but I had no advance warning like the Bajaj man.

My splash was a work of art, you might say. Back when the Old Bagamoyo Road was full of potholes courtesy of the former mayor and his cohort of incompetent road contractors, I was driving home after a downpour, and was quite enjoying a conversation, when I forgot one pothole on account of it being covered by rainwater, and resembling the rest of the road, when it happened.

There are two phenomena that have to be imagined before full understanding of the scenario can be achieved. The first is that of the law of displacement.

By some odd law of nature, the shape of a pothole and a car tire are more or less a perfect fit for each other. When said, tire enters the pothole, at appropriate velocity, the contents of said pothole exit, at a fairly similar velocity.

The second is that of a baseball batsman being tossed a simple ball, and swinging for the fence. My tire was the pitcher, and the batsmen were the victims of the splashing action.

Back to the action. I arrived at pothole and proceeded to release a mighty splash. The boda boda man saw it, but from two feet away, he had no choice but to get drenched, along with his passenger.
I stopped by the roadside, partly because he turned and followed me, but also, I wanted to see my work.

The madam passenger was wearing a white skirt before the splash; now it was a white and brown, and some sections had mud-coloured leopard print.

The rider, meanwhile was looking cleaner than before the splash, and was wiping his face. They could hardly manage coherence in English, I barely blunder in Swahili, but through various hand gestures and mumblings, we finally managed to agree on an exorbitant price of a bar of soap, which I paid.

As for the Bajaj man, if we ever meet near a water-filled pothole, let’s just say that I’ll do my best to redecorate his 3-wheel craze in water paint; brown water paint.


Post a Comment