Hell, Welcome


I don’t like Toyota. Even if I were to drown and the only way out was a Toyota boat, I’d still hate it. I’d board but dive immediately I smelt the shore. And I can’t help.

Hate is this emotion where you really have no control. Like you have this workmate whom you have hated from the first day regardless of the smiles he makes around you. You always feel that the lift should fail one evening, the day when he is the last guy to leave office, so that he stays caged and lonely for the night. Better still, you want it to be a Friday evening so he stays there till Monday 8.15 a.m when government cleaners open the doors. Sometimes you try very hard to like the felabut you always backtrack more than you advance.

The reason I don’t like Toyota dates back, back. Taktari was our rogue neighbour who kept disturbing our peace. For every day that had a morning, he played music from an old Sanyo radio that screamed those foolish songs. Each night, the music cut the air like it was war. Then his wives always fought and called each other obscenities, but even that was nothing compared to the green Sanyo thing.

But if you belong to those days you’d know that the issue was not just noise making. That the noise was from a Sanyo meant he was one mile ahead of us in affluence. It reminded us our page and chapter in Maslow’s books of truth. It told the number of meals he could afford. He just had to let it scream and you’d remember that his kids were the only ones who went to school in shoes, who spoke Swahili, who went home to lunch, and who sometimes owned a leather football. Then you’d understand how insignificant your family was. Let’s just say that a family that owned a Sanyo those days could only compare to a family that shops in Dubai today.

So one day, when the Hiace guys were repairing the road at our market centre, we heard loud screeching. Now our market place is so designed that any such drama will be received by almost everyone instantly. We rushed to the spot. Even in that immediacy, word had already travelled that it was a bad accident. Victim? None other than Taktari himself.

I ran. The prospect that we would have peaceful days propelled me to run even faster. I can’t tell what others were going to do. Mine was simple: I wanted to see how the idiot had died. I wanted to see if he had died facing the sky or he had planted his nose into the tarmac. But importantly, I wanted to prove that he was dead as wood.

I remember surging forward strongly and hoping that his trouser be torn and his privates be out just for nature’s poetic justice.

People were crowded. I think I saw some blood stains and the air of death gave me satisfaction. Having passed by Taktari’s second wife screaming, I inwardly nodded and promised myself to be happier once I saw the limb body. There was also this kid who came running and screaming for his departed father. Amazingly, that home had chosen a uniform brand of durable lungs – from the Sanyo, to the last wife, to the kids.

A few metres away from the swelling crowd sat the guilty Toyota Hilux which Sergeant Inengeya had recently bought from his retirement wealth. I was in no hurry and since I wanted to have sufficient foreplay, I first went to the metal to examine the extent of damage. It would be great guessing and confirming how many teeth the bastard had lost before parting with the soul.

The Toyota had smashed its front into a tree in whose shade sat a cobbler on other days. The bumper was completely gone. The tyres still smelled from the braking. Its blood stained bonnet had flung upwards and you could see the sad radiator eulogising the man who owned a Sanyo radio. Now let’s see who will buy the dry cells.

When I turned to go meet the epitome of my happiness, the first person I met was our neighbour’s senior wife who was driving home two big goats. Already…? In her trail walked a proud man in those Taliban gowns and who held his prestigious staff. The story later unfolded of how our bastard had bought four goats at the market and was taking them home when a stray Toyota tried to avoid a pothole and finally ran into them. It killed two goats and missed the owner by a hair.

I have hated Toyota since then. That was justice it failed to deliver. Why miss such a person by a hair? When the Japs (I don’t know who makes Toyota) were making it, did they agree that it should be missing enemies by a whisker? And I pitied the sergeant for using his goodbye wages to buy such a blunt, foolish, and lazy van that would keep missing people by a whisker.

So it is official that I hate Toyota; put it down. I also hate Maths teachers; I hate Maths itself. I hate men with bad manners. I hate job interviews. I hate my landlord.

And apart from hate, my life builds around other hidden blocks about which I can’t help myself either. Fear, love, scholarship, Shotokan, and beautiful women, are all mine.

I fear the female anopheles mosquito, snakes, bedbugs, a cold shower, and a beautiful woman who uses makeup. I read Achebe, Naipaul, Lehane, Chomsky and other liars. I support Leopards, Leopards, Leopards and Leopards. I do mawashigeri and love giyakuzuki. I dislike models who don’t fart. And I still hate our neighbour, his 27 children and the Sanyo – wherever it went.

Now welcome to this space where we rant and rant all day. This is where we say the shit we like and nobody asks a question. We will laugh together, peel onions together, love each other, lie to each other and request that we kindly believe the lies. Who doesn’t lie anyway?

Welcome and let’s celebrate our full site, papawere.com. To (dot)wordpress(dot)com, bye bye Vietnam.