May 18, 2006
Aug 03, 2006
Once inside, you're jammed in, their hauling butt, blasting beats and swerving. Entry and exit is NOT done at full stop, adding to the experience.
Our friends in Kenya have "all the same sh*t over there as they got over here", to quote Jules from 'Pulp Fiction'. Instead of pimp my ride, they pimp out their Matatus to attract potential riders.
Two feet, public bus, taxi and Matatu are all ways to get around Kenya. The first are obvious, but the Matatu is a real African phenom. Matatus are privately owned and operated shuttle vans that run local routes around town, or between towns. You can hail and jump on a Matatu for about 30 cents for a 15 minute ride. However, there are Matatus and pimped Matatus - the pimped ones come in a few flavors: reggae, rap, hip-hop, R&B and Fashion. The outside and inside of the Matatu is decorated within these themes. For example, I rode in the 'One Love' Matatatu which had paintings and pictures of Bob Marley on the inside and out. I also rode in the Karl Kani and 50 Cent Matatus. What's best, is the music seems to match the decor - you'll hear rap in the 50 Cent vehicle, Reggae in One Love and soul in the Kani bus. Brilliant. The marketing got me - I demanded to wait, while a few unmarked Matatus passed, for interesting rides.