Of Cute Cops and Replacing Lost Cards

Boris Kodjoe, not a cop but you get my point.

Boris Kodjoe, not a cop but you get my point.

Any student in a Kenyan (public) university will tell you to always stay at least 100 yards away from a policeman. The rules are: one: never be within 100 yards of a cop (am not sure how long is 100 yards but what I mean here is a reasonable distance away..), two: never approach a policeman(whether to report anything minor-like a disturbance that is not violent, or to say hi.) three: if by any chance you find yourself face to face with one, treat him with all the respect you can muster. If you can’t, fake it.

Being a policeman in Kenya is not a glamorous job. It may be in movies, maybe novels, just doesn’t happen here. And there is this perpetual enmity between university students and cops, who take every chance they can get during a strike to hurl a tear gas canister at you, or if they catch up with you (you need to be fit to get away from cops during a strike!), woe unto you because they will club you to unconsciousness. If you are unlucky, you might not wake up. Perhaps it was the day Lord finally called you, and you catch a bullet ‘apparently fired in air to disperse the rowdy students.’

I’ve been waiting for the thief who lifted my phone and wallet from my room to return my IDs…and since I can’t sit around forever, I decided to take action and move on. That is how I found myself at the Police Station, and I was feeling like a character in the (unscripted?) Kenyan comedy, Inspekta Mwala. With this semi-fearful, semi-respectful expression on my face, I asked if I could report a theft.

The cop at the desk was really courteous. He asked a few questions here and there…then brought out this big book-the biggest I’ve seen so far, and wrote for sometime. I was watching him all this time, nothing else to do since the walls are bare of posters or anything distracting. Cute cops exist in movies…but once in a while in real life, surprises come your way. Like a young, good looking and courteous cop.

Objectively speaking (humour me)..he was tall dark and handsome, young too. And professional. He had these long tapering fingers with clean, short nails. He spoke a mixture of Sheng and English. A legible handwriting…I wonder what else I noticed. Or did not notice…

Anyway, I’d expected some bureaucracy and was not disappointed. I got the school ID abstract free, but if I wanted one for the ATM card and national ID, I had to pay Kshs. 50 each. And I had to go to the Thika Police Station…asking where it is in Thika, the cop was like:

“Si you know the City Hall?” The few places in Thika I know are the supermarket, the stage and the bank. City Hall? Why would I know it? So anyway, I decided to ask the conductor of the matatu I would take.

Thinking I might kill two birds with one stone, I went to the bank to cancel my ID and met myself in an un-air conditioned room full of humanity and dirty floors. Equity Bank really needs to install air conditioning in their banking halls as well as their ATM centers. They should also clean their halls…the floor was really muddy. Maybe it has much to do with their clientele…my friends have been telling me I need to change banks for image’s sake. But I ask whether they can withdraw Kshs. 100 from a Barclays ATM. The least you can withdraw from some banks is Kshs. 500, but much lower in Equity.

The queues at the bank were long…and am not a patient person. Previously, I’ve never been one to use the main hall, the ATM did it for me. So I gave up for that day…and decided to come back the following day early.

Finally here I am with a waiting card for my national ID in two months, a promise of an ATM card in two weeks, and waiting to reapply for the school ID. The other miscellaneous cards will be hard to replace…I don’t even remember where I got some of them. I also had enough of family and friends’ passport photographs that used to rotate for the place of honor (display ‘pocket’ of the wallet). They will be replaced gradually. Let’s not even think about the 1000 (I think) numbers I had in both SIM cards and phone.

As for the cop, he did joke towards the end of writing in the big book, something to the effect of lunch. I laughed appropriately and said I’d be back, of course I haven’t been back. But you never know…besides, he has my number (not like that…he needed it for the official record in the big book) and I don’t have a phone yet. But still…

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11 Responses

  1. Looks like Stella, eh, Savvy’s looking to get her groove on, eh? lol

    A uni student and a policeman… This sounds like promising blog fodder.

    Am not promising anything yet, don’t get ahead of yourself..

  2. Wewe! You didn’t ask me for permission to plaster MY guy’s yummy body for all to see!

    I didn’t write copyright @sibbie? My apologies..I still keep those photos I googled up..

  3. er … hun … last i checked, you could use a single abstract for atm and all cards lost at the same sitting … and when i got one, it cost me five bob … but maybe that was pre-recession **grin**

    sheng’ speaking cop? with no standard kiganjo accent? melikes 🙂

    The economy is bad, CB. Five bob? When was that? No accent, early twenties…I could go on and on

  4. You should have taken the law into your own hands……that’s what I do every night. lol!

    Never had a cop for a boyfriend before…might consider it. I like the phrase taking the law into my hands..

  5. Cops get me upset.

    You think they excite me? Usually, I stay away from them….I abide by those rules I mentioned. It turned if I needed to replace the cards, I need police abstracts.

  6. in this episode of cops in china…

    This episode might just have a sequel.

  7. a cute courteous cop?! now that is a rarity! i think i would go out for lunch just to have the experience of being on a date with a policeman! maybe you should try it 😉

    Replaced my phone..now waiting for it to ring.

  8. I never report anything to the cops. I don’t trust myself around them, and vice versa. Maybe a fly cop lady might change that and just like Tamaku al take the law into my own hands.

    I wasn’t really reporting so they’d do something, I just needed the abstracts to be able to replace my plastics. And as I said, surprises occur in real life, you await yours.

  9. i second Bomseh. wasee wengine wankaangu tu ma-suspect and going to the station is a clear please-lock-me-up.
    But tis a good thing. Never thought of that.

    Equity ni Bank ya wakulima , wanafunzi na wananchi kwa jumla. Usipige roho 😀

    I generally have no complaint with my bank since I just deal with the ATM most of the time…so navumilia tu. As for cops, abide by those guidelines of mine, never approach them unless with a respectiful expression. And some cash if the situation warrants.

  10. I hear copas make good dates. See, they protect you like this. Only they’ll never take you home. Their quarters are enough to smash hopes of any closeness.

    I guess their quarters are not the best..LOL, All that magnificent smart uniform and shining shoes, their houses need upgrading.

  11. hey have u ever thought of making money out of blogging..

    http://www.proudlykenya.blogspot.com

    http://www.twitter.com/ragira

    I think about making money all the time.

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