BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA
Machakos governor Alfred Mutua has narrated how he was cooned off $11 dollars by a taxi driver during his visit in the United States.
He told a local newspaper about his ordeal.
“When we arrived in New York, my friend Dorothy was a bit flustered, and so I offered to take her to New Jersey, which is where she was going to start school,” Mutua says.
“She had about five suitcases. I had one brown one. It was a Sunday, not a busy day. And so I asked someone how to get to Edison in New Jersey. The person told us to take a bus from the John F Kennedy International Airport and alight at the Grand Central Station, from where to pick a train to New Jersey. Dorothy and I took the Manhattan-bound bus.”
On that bus ride, Mutua drove over one of his American landmarks, the Brooklyn Bridge, and so the man from Masii in Mwala constituency knew he was in familiar territory.
But after being dropped off by the bus, Mutua looked around and couldn’t see the Grand Central Station, or what his idea of it was from the books and movies he’d read and watched.
Mutua decided that they had been dropped off at the wrong location, and so “because mimi najua mambo,” Mutua hailed a cab and asked the driver to drop them off at the Grand Central Station. The cab driver did his rounds and soon Mutua and Dorothy were at the train station. Mutua paid $11, leaving him with $189.
But on getting off the cab and pulling down their six suitcases, Mutua looked around, only to spot the corner where the bus had dropped them off, not too far away from where the cab had now brought them. All he had needed to do after alighting from the bus earlier on was to simply turn a corner, then he’d have seen the Grand Central Station. But because he thought he knew how to navigate America, taxi-hailing and all, he had just offered the cab driver free dollars for a fake trip.
“We had been conned,” Mutua says. He had officially arrived in real-world America.