I want to talk about Mutatus for a minute. A mutatu is a form of public transportation in Kenya. The funny thing about these "mini-buses" (they have technically around 12 seats and look like the smaller volvo vans) is that they are all privately owned.
If anyone dies in a car accident in Kenya, you'd better bet there was a mutatu involved. They are wreckless! They will drive right into you without thinking twice, and they have an average of about 20 passengers inside that don't seem concerned in the slightest! The drivers honk incessantly, they pass people on the left or right (doesn't matter, wherever there's room), they throw passengers out while the vehicle is still in motion, and they definitely have no concept of general traffic laws.
They all have different themes and are decorated to fit the name or concept on the sides or back of the vehicle. I wanted to just give you guys a list of some of the themes and just try to imagine how ridiculously they are decorated. I will put a slight disclaimer on these themes because I have no idea who is reading this blog (some may be like PG-13ish?) Also, some are sad or more serious so don't think that all are meant to be comical...
Only on the Facebook -one of my personal favorites)
Snoop Doggie Dogggg -yes, there were 4 g's
Pound it -paw prints all over this one
Original Gangster -starting to pick up on a genre here?
The Nuns of the Night -had the Virgin Mary painted on the side of it
Motley Crew -Hehe this one had a huge picture of Will Smith on the side of it. He wasn't a part of the Motley Crew!
In Style -Couldn't even tell what the decor used to be because it had been smashed in and horribly repaired so many times.
Risk or Die Hungry -interesting considering the spirit of the people here. I thought this was really profound.
Mzungus Only -white person mutatu only?
Live in the Glory -had random Bible verses on the sides
Mary y Juana -get it? what kind of leaves do you think were all over it? :)
Black Mamba -it was painted green, maybe the driver is color blind? Or maybe the joke's on me.
Obama-nator -he was born in Kenya so they are a huge fan of him here, regardless of his policies.
Non-smoking -funny because there was a cigar box on the front dash
Jay-Z's Ride -the driver of this one had a grill and all kinds of bling
Kibaki's Back-up -Kibaki is the President of Kenya
Zero to Hero -only if you make it to your destination
Tusker Tank -probably the biggest export in Kenya. :) It's beer, and a great source of pride for most Kenyans. I've had a few and they are pretty good, but this mutatu probably gets stopped by the cops a lot so they can get beer bribes only to be disappointed that there are only a dozen terrified tourists inside.
Luxury -let's just say the theme didn't match since there were about 30 people crammed in!
Disco Divas -purple with a disco ball hanging from mirror and brightly colored seats
B.J.'s fast and easy
Last Chance -....to pray before you step into my death trap! :)
Guy and I never take mutatus because they are very dangerous and usually waste so much time trying to accumulate as many passengers as possible. I am lucky that he is nice enough to take me around in his car that is much bigger than most of these vehicles, yet he drives kind or like they do. :) I was told that the younger more adventurous people in the area Guy grew up in would choose a mutatu based its theme. Why someone would get into the "Pimple Mobile" is beyond me.
I hope everyone is doing well and are enjoying these blogs because I really look forward to writing them. :)
Also, I read that there is now cheese in Mwanza...and I'm stoked.
Love love love,