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This is a question Travel

I've had guns pointed at me in many different countries, sometimes even by our own side. I've also sat on my own on a beach on a desert island, which was nice because nobody was trying to shoot me. Tell us your tales of foreign travel.

Thanks to SnowytheRabbit for the suggestion

(, Thu 18 Apr 2013, 17:43)
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Pea-roast, but right on topic
Kenya, 1995. The start of what turned out to be fantastic overland expedition around East Africa. I'd flown with Air Sudan from London via Khartoum - a pretty bad journey in itself. Big tip for those of you who like a drink on your flight. Don't fly with an Islamic airline!
Anyway, got to Nairobi and met up with my fellow overlanders. The deal was that we make our way to just south of Mombasa on the coast and the proper trip would start from there. So off to the railway station it was. This is where the problems began, as the train was "broken". An enterprising local with a bright purple matatu (pimped-up knackered mini bus) then offered us his services. 15 US dollars each for a 5 hour trip. The time was about 3pm at this point, so we should be at the coast in time for dinner. Great. Why not?
So we paid our money and helped secure our backpacks to the matatu's roof. This is when the alarm bells started ringing, as the pile of luggage was almost as tall again as the vehicle by the time it was all tied up there. Then came the realisation that there were something like 16 seats and 22 of us. It was January, we'd all flown over with hardly any sleep from much colder climes and by this point we were too hot and knackered to even think about alternatives. The luggage fiasco had taken 2 hours. Then the Kenyan version of Kwik-Fit were mustered to change the tyres (their jingle being "you can't get shitter than a Kenyan fitter"). 2 tyres each side at the back, 1 each side at the front I think - 3 hours. Then we set off, packed like sardines into every available nook and cranny, with shift rotas being worked out as to who got which seat and when. Just getting out of Nairobi was another 2 hours. We soon learnt that it wasn't wise to have the windows open even an inch as hands were darting through as we crawled alongside the pavements and stealing caps, watches, you name it. The driver kept stopping to pick his mates up and buy large bunches of some greenery that when chewed keeps you awake. Him and his pals were crammed into a separate cab at the front, so communicating with the wanker was impossible. To add insult to injury he was pumping the most dire Euro disco music imaginable into our back section at full volume. We had to rip the speaker wires out half way through the journey to preserve what was left of our sanity.
We finally left Nairobi at 10pm. Then the nightmare proper began...
The very condensed version of what transpired is as follows;
4 burst tyres (thankfully only one rear tyre at a time).
Several near-misses with huge lorries approaching us in the opposite direction. We just couldn't even look after a while - it was too terrifying. We were all totally convinced we were going to die at any minute.
Threats by locals of one village who were wielding bows and arrows and had taken exception to our artificially tall hell-bus tearing down their power lines.

I could go on, but suffice to say that when we reached our destination on the beach at eight the next morning we were all good friends and very very thankful to be alive.

Sorry about length but you know you all fucking love it.
(, Tue 23 Apr 2013, 13:35, 8 replies)
So your story is 'I'm a bit of an ignorant racist cunt'?

(, Tue 23 Apr 2013, 13:48, closed)
To be fair, that's going to be the undercurrent in most of this week's stories.

(, Tue 23 Apr 2013, 17:54, closed)
Well, to be fair
foreigners are very silly people with odd customs and funny faces.
(, Tue 23 Apr 2013, 20:42, closed)
and I was married to a foreign.

(, Tue 23 Apr 2013, 20:43, closed)
I've been in a minibus.

(, Tue 23 Apr 2013, 16:26, closed)
Driving down roads / tracks isn't an expedition

(, Tue 23 Apr 2013, 18:04, closed)
I read this in the voice of Rowley Birkin QC

(, Tue 23 Apr 2013, 21:32, closed)
This works rather well.

(, Tue 23 Apr 2013, 21:41, closed)

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