Dallas, Freakonomics, Zim$

Crime Freakonomics
I am now reading Freakonomics, the fascinating book about an economist interpreting everyday questions with unique perspectives. Driving home through a traffic jam yesterday got me thinking about traffic police and roadblocks in Kenya. Some Q’s to consider:

  • Do police actually help the flow of traffic? I’d argue not and that they make it worse on some routes by holding up traffic for 10 minutes on some roads while letting others pass.
  • Do roadblocks actually help reduce crime? Some do and I know people in hijacked matatus who have been rescued by police. But many more roadblocks are simply cash points that target matatus and lorries where random checks are lax and since they are usually stationed at the same points every day, crooks know to avoid them.
  • Are the man hour’s armed policemen spend at roadblocks and checkpoints better used elsewhere? They should be used in roaming patrols or undercover work and the police should hand over traffic control to another body like the National youth service (NYS).

One less bell

Kengeles Yaya is no more. There will be a new restaurant opening up there soon with new owners. Good luck buddy!

The problem with shared ATM’s

Barclays Bank ATM’s were not working for most of Saturday and Sunday, inconveniencing the weekend social activities of many of their customers. Barclays run their own network and outsiders can only use their machines with visa-branded cards. But what if the same happened to another large network like KCB, Co-op, Kenswitch or Pesa Point? I used to use a Kenswitch and if the network was down, ATM’s of all the member banks would dispense cash (if they could) based on the previous days’ account balances. Anyway, it’s important to know your bank network and have access to another system for emergencies.

Zimbabwe Goldmines

Was chatting about my SA trip and some of the recent troubles in Zimbabwe which I shared. A frequent traveller buddy then offered a tip that we should travel to Zimbabwe with US$ and buy up real estate, minerals and other commodities in Zimbabwe which are greatly under-valued owing to the currency crunch in the country. Once the political situation improves in a few years (we hope & would be taking a huge risk) the investments will give tremendous returns. Oh and suddenly everyone what to know what a blog is that can get one to South Africa gratis

Arsenal for sale

Someone is buying up shares of Arsenal FC at about ₤5,000 pounds each i.e. 700,000 shillings per share


Is someone at the Standard reading this blog? Recent speculation here about Safaricom’s next product appeared in the newspaper today.

Mimi Couch ‘Tato pia

KBC is going to show re-runs of the TV show Dallas i.e J R Ewing & co, starting tonight and on Wednesday nights. How will the show fare, how has it aged, and how much of its lustre has gone? KTN have a comedy block on Sunday that runs back-to-back episodes of Different Strokes, Sanford & Sons, and the Jeffersons. Between them, I’d say that Sanford has held up the best and is still watchable, with the Jeffersons slightly behind because it was being copied so much and no longer seems racially revolutionary, while Different Strokes has aged the worst because of what happened to the kids (in real life) when they grew up.

True or False?

In a case of extreme cost-cutting at an investment bank, employees will pay more to use the staff canteen for the convenience of being able to eat closer, the bank has installed a sprinkler system which will drench anyone smoking for more than five minutes and toilet cubicles doors will automatically open five minutes after staff have entered to do their business.

16 thoughts on “Dallas, Freakonomics, Zim$

  1. Mitzy

    I’ve been to the Southfork Ranch where the show Dallas was filmed. The house and pool are not as big as they appear on TV. It was a great experience though. Incidentally, the ranch is in Plano, Texas which is about 10 miles or 16 km away from Dallas. I guess the show should have been named “Plano”? They had a 2 hour Dallas reunion show a few months ago on CBS, which did well in ratings. Sue Ellen Ewing was the orginal Desperate Housewife!
    As for the Kengeles-Yaya, I always found it weird that it is so close to the gas station.

  2. coldtusker

    Well, just like M… your work has been plagiarised! I knew I had read about the service earlier (at your blog) when I read it in the Standard!

    You should write to them & complain to give you credit!

  3. Ryan Shen-Hoover

    Roadblocks: Not sure about Nairobi, but in Lesotho they serve little apparent purpose other than to bolster revenue for the police department.

    Quite sure the police’s time would be more economically spent elsewhere, but I probably wouldn’t be able to convince a retrenched police officer of that.

  4. Couch 'tato

    aint no shame in it

    @mitzy i thought the ladies from Knots Landing were the original Desparate Housewives

    @banks:such a shame did u know dana plato died from a drug OD
    gary coleman…a watchie?!

    buuyt jeffersons is interesting
    – i love the sassy maid florence(who went on to do 227)
    -i love the theme song done by that lady from Good Times Janet DuBois…which until recently i thot was pronounced Du-bo-is kumbe ni du-bwa


    Dallas was a classic and will so remain

  5. Kenyan Pundit

    In another case of plagiarism, noticed that one of the financial columns in a local Kenyan magazine (can’t remember the name)is called Bankelele…that isn’t you, is it?

  6. Kudrinketh

    banks yaani you’re now a safaricom watcher, did’nt know such a title existed.He couldnt even call you an analyst!

    The guy is obviously too proud to acknowledge that he sourced from a blog, lest he be accused of reducing the ‘respectability’ of contemporary media(topic for another day).

    Its common for names to be mismatched with the actual place, in favor of the dominant city.(obviously because everyone know dallas,unlike plano).

    Example, Dallas Cowboys dont even play within dallas city limits, its in Irving(soon to move to Arlington),should it be called Irving Cowboys, or even Arlington Cowboys! does’nt even sound right.

    @All them Dallas lovers
    All this reminscing over Dallas is showing your ages.I guess yall were old enough to follw a soap opera in the 80’s.That would make most of you at least 35yrs old. did i miss anyone? lol.And dont tell me ati you’re watching reruns either.

    Talking about ages, i just turned 28 today! yaani uzee inazidi!

  7. Kagz

    Kudrinketh: Happy Birthday
    (PS: Ati “That would make most of you at least 35yrs old.”…
    Me i speculate Cold Tusker is 40+..ha ha ha)

    Bank Man : Whats the 411 on the reason for Kengeles move?

    PS: I recently used a toilet that flushes automatically. It kinda senses you are done with your business! Only in America…

  8. bankelele

    Mitzy: Thanks. Yet to watcd a DH espisode – but in Kenya has all these spanish soaps which appear to have copied the Dallas formula

    Kengeles had a deal with Kenol petrol stations which also host their resturants at K. St, N. West and I think Thika Rd. (which was also to be sold)

    Coldtusker: Anway, I read the Standard, so I suppose its fair.

    Ryan Shen-Hoover; Same in rural areas here. Someone shoudl do a formal survey

    Couch ‘tato: Was watching Champions League, but I flipped to Dallas a few times. Seems to be the early years of the show maybe it will get better later

    Kenyan Pundit: Thanks for looking out. If it’s the “Financial Post”, I’ve written two pieces for them.

    Kudrinketh: Don’t know about watchie (PS: I worked airport security once), maybe the Standard reporter was there, but I’ve never seen any news report about the BC lunch.

    How are the Dallas Cowboys looking this year, any whiff of another Super Bowl?

    Oh, and Happy Birthday

    Kagz: I think they have been trying to dispose of their unprofitable restaurants for some time (see: http://bankelele.blogspot.com/2005/02/open-your-own-kengeles.html)

  9. Ed

    There’s one particularly notorious road block on Jogoo Road- on your way from town, which is seldom manned especially after around 8pm. You wonder how soon some bandits may decide to take advantage of this not mentioning the jam it causes.

  10. Unyc

    Bankelele, I love ur blog page!
    The best one so far that i hv come across.
    I have learnt alot from your blogpage n will make daily visits 2 it.
    Dallas? I seem 2 be the only 1 who doesnt know about it.

  11. Unyc

    Oh, and i think roadblocks do help alot but really sad about what hpnd at the roadblock on Waiyaki way.
    Luckily the grenade dint detonate. But eight officers injured!!! They shld hv bullt-proof vests all of them whether in patrol or manning the roaadblocks.

  12. Ig-know-rant

    The only way we will get out of this police-matatu mess; bad and uncouth matatu drivers and their conductors; a minister suspending the law for the ‘good’ of the matatu industry; etc etc is by building an efficient passenger railway system. When we’ll do that, we won’t mind living in Naivasha, or Naks or Karatina or Machakos and working in Nairobi or elsewhere for that matter. And the economies of the small kenyan towns will stop being reliant on the primary school teachers’ salaries. One can build a whole economy around a good transport system. And who says it can’t be done? Kwani how did Nairobi start?? My rant for the day.

  13. Kudrinketh


    Glad you asked about them Cowboys!
    The most bizarre thing happenned today, their leading receiver, T.O. allegedly tried to commit suicide!I guess it could’ve been worse.

    On the field,I think they’ll do just fine, maybe win a couple of post season games.They’re sitting pretty in their NFC East division(NY Giants and Redskins are not looking good)

  14. propaganda

    Banks: The Standard once mentioned your blog in one of its magazines. Shortly thereafter, you started blocking anonymous comments.

    Looks like they just didn’t attribute (which is considered fair if they think other people have the same idea). Plagiarism would have been if they pretended it was their idea.

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