The other day, I narrated to you how showers came in different forms.
While Aggrey and I were being drenched by the rain as we sat in Afande Niko’s pick-up, a serious clot of saliva flew in at breakneck speed and hit Niko straight in his eye. During the mid-90s, there was no penalty levied for spitting.
Judging by the weight and volume of the saliva “missile” which hit Afande Niko’s eye, I guess the culprit could have paid five times the current rate.
When the “missile” struck, it was as if the world had suddenly come to an end. Afande Niko screeched the pick-up to an abrupt stop and immediately rolled out to take cover under the car.
His girlfriend shrieked with panic, as she attempted to follow her hero for cover. Aggrey and I jumped off as well. We crawled and snaked our way into the nearby bushes for safety. What was happening?
Meanwhile, our fellow passengers were doing the Usain Bolt 100-meter race along the road. It appeared to us that they were chasing after a Minibus full of strangers.
The driver of this taxi realized that trouble was approaching. That is why he engaged his highest gear and hit the accelerator! At this point, you could have mistaken him for a rally driver.
He cruised so fast, leaving our fellow passengers panting helplessly.
So we all emerged out from our hiding places and enquired for some explanations. Afande Niko was too furious to talk. Instead he barked orders for us to quickly get back on the vehicle, lest he left us behind.
It was our fellow hitchhikers who whispered to us about the fiasco. Apparently, a passenger had opened the taxi window to spit, only to fly straight to Afande Niko’s eye.
From behind where we were crouching, we could notice Afande Niko’s hand nursing his eye.
I guess the impact of the speed had taken its toll. What Afande Niko needed at this juncture was a real optician. Our friend, Jean Claude offered to drive the pick-up for the rest of the journey. Reluctantly, Afande Niko agreed and surrendered the steering wheel.
They squeezed themselves like sardines as Jean Claude, once again showed us his motoring skills.
Half an hour later, we were safely entering the heart of Kigali. Our stomachs were already complaining and we had to find a restaurant very fast, before they closed their doors. There was this eating-place in Kabeza.
We whispered to Afande’s girlfriend to convince him about the idea. ‘Yes’, she confirmed. So Jean Claude steered the pick-up to Kabeza Restaurant.
Several people were already lining up for the buffet meal. We joined in as well. A plate of food cost 600 francs only. The queue became longer as customers entered for the delicious meal. We served ourselves with so much food. No one was talking.
The mood was still not good after what our boss had gone through.
Looking around this restaurant, you would think that a thousand hills were cropping up on the tables. This is because most plates were so mountainous with heaps of chips and matoke.
As the customer walked to his table, you could sense that his hand was trembling under the heavy weight of the plate. Sometimes, the overfilled soup would leak out and leave stains on their attires.
It was time for settling the bill. We were seven in total. So the waitress brought seven different bills. Each one of them showed the right cost.
Apart from one! Afande Niko’s bill showed 1,000 francs instead of 600. Why? Was there any discrimination? Is it because he is an Afande?
Still seething with anger, Niko demanded for immediate explanations.
Ah, you see Sir; your bill is higher because of one reason. Sir, you loaded your plate with four pieces of meat instead of one. That is why the amount is different, Sir.
We all kept silent as we tried to hold back the laughter!