RAMBLING MIND: Classifying the Helmets

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Rambler is back. He has been in recession, suffering from the side effects of the Global Financial Crisis but thank God the bail out stunt has worked.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Rambler is back. He has been in recession, suffering from the side effects of the Global Financial Crisis but thank God the bail out stunt has worked.

I am back with fresh and consistent ideas. This is how we are going to start. This will be in the interest of only those who, just like me, have intentions of owning a car at a certain time, but the time is just not ripe yet.

So, while the car remains only in our wildest dreams, for the meantime we can only afford ‘Moto’, these two wheeled affordable ‘monsters’ which roam our roads. Quite economical in the sense that Sept-Cent can take you around Kigali, or at least hitch you a ride, say from Nyamirambo to Kimironko.

However my escapades with Motos never seem to end, thanks to my very bad French (What’s with these guys and charging fares in French?). While Trois-Cent could not appear anywhere in my mind, Sept-Cent sounded like money from mars when the guy said that’s what I had to pay.

“Sept-Cent?” I wondered. To me Sept, since it is almost like September, I thought it was somehow close to 900, so I quickly fidgeted for a quick bargain, offering a paltry 800 (Huit-Cent), he looked on in amazement, as if to say this guy is God sent, giving me an extra 100 of what I asked for?

I jumped on the thing, slipped on the helmet and off we went and this when I started to think about the possibility of rambling on the helmets we wear everyday and guess what? Classify them.

1. The old, worn-out
 These are for world cup, they are all over and I am starting to think there is a particular place they sell old helmets. Very old with scratched paint thanks to the many falls the biker has hard. Better still, they do their job and they are the most common in Kigali.

2. The new, neat
 You will be very lucky to land on a bike with a new helmet. Chances are, the biker will be wearing it himself and he will pass on the old one to the passenger. Like I said, on a lucky day you will get a new helmet and am sure you will need to save the guy’s number and call him every time you want to move.

3. The nip-tucker
These one are also common, not for the big heads, small that when you wear them they literally nip at your ears, like they have teeth. You have to keep inserting a finger to let go of your ears. They literally bite, quite irritating and am sure when you remove, only if ears could speak, they would say ‘thank you Jesus’.

4. The strapless, lousy
These ones are almost like the old ones but a bit different though. They are so old that the strap is either non existent or just not functional.

You have to hold the strap onto your chin every time you approach traffic policemen. They are so lousy, they move sideways when you hit a bump and I am sure women and boys who love their hair get bad hair days after a ride, because they tend to disorganise the hair.

5. The haggard
These ones are so old that the cushions and lining inside are non existent. They are very uncomfortable and have rough edges hitting the head every time you hit a bump. If they were like medicine, you wouldn’t be wrong to say they are expired.

6. The Greasy, smelly
These are the most disgusting. The cloth lining inside is smeared with all kinds of hair oils and sweat from bald heads, skin heads of men if you can call them. In the middle of the day when the heat is at its peak, they emit a terrible stench, thanks to the mixture of pomade and sweat. Doctors says don’t wear these.

7. The just dirty and dusty
Somehow I think washing a helmet reduces on its lifespan, so some motorists think. Some helmets are just water resistant like the Quartz watch.

They would rather have dust pile up on them for years, to form a sticky coat that becomes a permanent part of the helmet. They make you want to get a bank loan and buy a car.

8 The sick, wounded
These ones, thanks to the many downs and ups (read accidents), they somehow still survive and they still do their job, but not without straps of cello tape (you know these sticky things like plaster?) plastered all over the wind shield (that glass on the helmet).

They plastering means that its almost impossible to see through the glass. Its so blurred that you have to keep lifting it to see where you have reached, lest, you go past your destination.