Sure am. Not many who are doing that at this time of the morning.
True enough. Most are heading into the city at this time of the morning. We should have a clear run up the highway.
I hope this does not sound rude but I think your idea of a highway and mine are two very different things.
He laughs again. There is no offence. Even I agree these roads are terrible. I have driven all over this country and I have to agree, our roads are a disgrace.
What, driving as a taxi driver? That must have been a trial.
No, no, as a truck driver. But driving trucks on these roads is no easier than driving in a taxi. I think sometimes it is worse. The road from Mombasa to Nairobi is a dangerous road for truck drivers. For all drivers.
As a truck driver there are too many temptations to drive all day and all night. Companies put us under pressure to drive non stop between the port at Mombasa and Nairobi. Many drivers fall asleep and die. But there are many people who try and steal what you are transporting as well.
What were you transporting?
Well, I have driven for three trucking companies in my time. Two of the companies had me driving all sorts of goods. But the hardest was driving grain. I drove non stop for so long. Then I thought this was a crazy life and brought an old car to drive as a taxi.
This is not an old car.
He laughs. No, this is the fourth car and I do like it. But I saved my money and sold the first car and got a car that was a little more reliable. Then I saved some more money and bought a newer one after that. This is my fourth car and one day I hope to buy a brand new car as my taxi. My family are very proud of this car and don’t understand why I want to trade it . It’s the best thing they have ever seen me own.
I guess the family don’t see much of you in Nairobi if you are out driving all the time.
That is true, they do not see me all the time. But that is because they do not live in Nairobi. My two children live out of the city in a small village about two hours drive away. I go back once a month to see them.
Once a month!
Yes, it is too expensive to do it more often. If I travel more frequently all my profits get eaten up. If that happens I contract to one of the bus companies to drive their buses at night. But that is no life, – taxis by day, buses by night.
Absolutely, I bet your wife would be impressed with that.
Well, no, but she died last year so I am a free man. Free to drive when I want at least, but a prison man in my heart.
(Heck the conversation was not supposed to go here).
I’m sorry that is the case. How have you managed with the children?
I took them back to the village and my mother has looked after them. They are doing very well. One is four years old, the other is two years old. What is sad is that they will not remember their mother.
No, and you end up lonely in a huge city.
Well, actually that is not the case. I have adopted a young student from the country and he stays with me. After my wife died I had a spare room so I thought I would help a poor person from the country come to the city. He has to do chores around the place but he gets to go to school here and has a room for himself and a very safe and nice house. It is nice to do something like this. It takes my mind off my wife.
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