Great Look Alike

Shared by David Simbiri on February 28, 2015

As usual after days of planning for a trip to Dar es Salaam which I kept postponing due to reasons at work, one evening without much notice I told Peter that we would leave for Dar es Salaam the next morning. We would be leaving at around 4 am in order to get to the border early so as to avoid the rush at the border by buses, tourist vans etc. The Namanga border got extremely busy from 7 am and one could easily spend one and ahlf hours there trying to cross.

I remember Peter waking me up and I teling him to give me just a few more minutes of sleep. Peter always got up early and I late.

'Devo, si tuta chelewa?' I heard him asking as if in my dreams I had slept a whole other half an hour since he first woke me. I got up in rush and told Peter

'Pitaa (Peter) twende' I Usually packed everything and left them in the car when I was going to Dar this way I wouldn'tforget anything. I was still so sleepy so I let Peter drive. We finally got to the border.

I had told Peter he would only need a temporary pass but had forgotten to tell him that he would also require passport photos.

I realised this problem right after we picked the temporary pass to fill.There right at the top right hand corner was the blank square with the words "Passport Photo" written inside. I asked Peter if he had any passport photos hoping that somehow he had brought photos of himself. He hadn't and it was still  too early to get any place to take pictures. Looked like we would be delayed after all.

We might as well have something to eat as we wait, I looked into my wallet to get some money and realised I had passport photos of myself.  People always confused us so I told him he would use my photos. We agreed to do so. I was scared that we might be found out. He filled out the forms, stuck my photo on the in the picture section and together we went to the counter. The same immigration officer stamped both my passport and his temporary pass while having a convesation with us and noticed nothing. We were through on the Kenyan side. We went through Tanzanian immigration also uneventfully I couldn't believe it.

We laughed as we drove into Tanzania. We had a great three weeks there. However something very interesting happened while we were in Tanzania just  a night before we left. There was a robbery at a bank. The culprits were at large but were believed to be Kenyan. We left Dar the morning after the robbery on our way home. I was driving my car which had Kenyan number plates. Just as we were leaving Dar, we tnoticed a long queue of cars. It was the police checking every car as it left Dar in search of the thugs. We had all but forgotten about the passport incident and we had not bothered to change the pictures. We were both in  a panic. The police got to our car asked for my drving license, my passport and Peter's passport. We handed him all these documents. He asked us to get out of the car. He scrutinized our documents. Handed them back and waved us on.

We were still quite shaken as we drove off! Thank God we looked so alike!

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