The Toyota Wish Is the New Emergency Taxi….
That was the thought that flashed in my head when I was bundled in the back of a metallic black Toyota Wish with no number plates and Tinted windows…
Ever since the government decided to use the guise of lockdown and COVID to get rid of commuter omnibuses one does not have much of choice when waiting for transport to commute as the designated public transporter ZUPCO is grossly under-capacitated to ferry everyone efficiently.
Sometimes for a particular route you may have to wait for the bus to go and then come back and pick you up, but if you are running on schedule, well you take what, you can get and sometimes that could be a Honda FIT or a Toyota Raum or Wish known colloquially as Mshika Mshika or zvipipipi from the constant sound of their horns to attract customers and boy do they pack you in there like sardines.
Its almost reminiscent of an era I half remember from before the mini-van taxis but after the collapse of the ZUPCO Public Transport when the only transportation available was pirate taxis mostly in the for the Peugeot 404 Station Wagons which were known as Emergency Taxis or E.T.s for short…
The Wish is the New Emergency Taxi
I thought of this as I checked out the rest of the people packed in the car alongside me, 11 people including the driver, that’s how many people you can cram into a Toyota Wish. People who would much rather be anywhere than in this death trap, weaving in and out traffic driving recklessly, as they silently offering prayers that they arrive safely to their destination.
The Wish is the New Emergency__
The thought didn’t quite finish forming in my head because after a high risk three point turn, the car took a detour down a derelict route that seemed like the kind of route that would be taken by kidnappers who are going to strip you off your valuables and maybe even leave you for dead down a deserted service lane….
I have heard and read in alarm, reports about the increase in the number of robberies and assaults happening to people who catch lifts from unregistered vehicles…. Police warn people to desist from hitchhiking lifts, but really do we have a choice?….
The Wish is where I will die
This was the new thought in my head as I thought about how I would die in a Toyota Wish and no one would ever know of how I was ordering my recollection of the trip so if I lived to tell the tale I would write about it…. Well you are reading about it, so clearly I made it out alive to write about it, or could have drafted it in the ice cold silence that was in the car, broken by the lady next to me who asked me, where the car was going.
I looked back at her and shook my head to show that her guess was as good as mine, we had been standing together by the roadside when the metallic black Toyota Wish with the tinted windows and no number plates had pulled up and the driver said, said one word “Town?” We got into the car and a few more stops later the car was packed…
...And now it was headed for destination unknown
The lady beside me gestured for me to ask the driver where we were going. I took a deep breath and called out to the driver
He looked into the rear view mirror and our eyes met, his were quite bloodshot “Madii Rasta?” he asked meaning whats the matter Rasta?, from the rear view mirror he could see my locs.
“Muri kuenda nekupi?” I enquired, asking which way we were going.
“Police iri kunetsa” He replied referring to how the police had roadblocks out to stop people like him from making money..
People like him being people who drive a Toyota Wish. If you drive a Toyota Wish and there is more than one person in your car then best believe the police will stop you to see if you aren’t pirating and if you are, of course, it becomes a conversation that will relive your wallet of several dollars, unless you fancy being arrested and your car being impounded.
We eventually made it into town and the driver had the audacity to pull right into the main Taxi Rank and drop us off next to a ZUPCO Combi and started calling for passengers going where he had just picked us up, sometimes you reach where you are going, sometimes……
The Wish Is The New ET