Ode to KehKeh (Tuk-Tuk)

What is Kehkeh? Kehkeh is LIFE. Some will say Kehkeh are the three-wheeled taxi used for transportation in Liberia or  just the capital city. They come in various colors, make and models. In Asia, they’re known as Tuk-Tuk…Well, in Thailand that’s what they called it during my study abroad. I think I fell in love with then there, but forgot how much I enjoyed them until I got to Liberia. If you ever ran into me while in Liberia and I wasn’t in a Kehkeh, it wasn’t me! I even had an assigned Kehkeh with a guy named Roland. We had a relationship much more than just  passenger and driver. I spent so much time with Roland that I even knew his family and where he lived. Roland knew my friends, family and all the conu-conu (Secret spots). You see, I worked in the rural parts of Liberia and they did not have any Kehkeh there. So during my few visits to the capital, Roland and his Kehkeh was a huge part of my days. I went to lunch, ran errands, visited families and friends, etc all while smiling and observing the craziness of the overpopulated Monrovia. Riding Kehkeh was cheaper, but also offered the best view of all things Liberia. I could jump in and out of a Kehkeh if I saw street food worth trying. Or I simply took Instagram Stories as I rode along. Sometimes I just sat there and enjoyed music and sipped coconut water from the shell. I can not think of a more efficient way to travel and enjoy any city. I got a front eye view to people, places and traditions in a way I never thought I could. Some people told me Kehkehs are for poor people. A police Officer even told me “people like me should not be Kehkehs”. I had a friend tell me “I can’t be serious” when I showed up for lunch in a Kehkeh. I am not going to get into the socio-economic ramifications of Kehkehs. I just want everyone to get a piece of my life in Kehkehs. This is for Roland and all those random times I asked him to play music even when he didn’t like it. This is also for all those so-called rich folks who taught they were better than me because I showed up in my Kehkeh. We all were at the table eating though…Nah? 

 

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Thailand 2009- Where it all started….
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Back seat Chilling
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Mechlin Street-Roland was not around that day
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Waiting to head to lunch. Kehkehs are not allowed on the main roads so we had to wait on the back streets. Why not make use of the time?
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Kehkeh Parking Lot-Meclin and Carey Streets
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Interestingly enough, the vehicle taking me to town had a flat tire. Kehkeh to the rescue!

 

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This is my friend Roland. He owns this Yellow Kehkeh. This day he waited for me over 3 hours to make a simple Bank Tranaction- “System Down” they say…SMH
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Roland!! Oh, Roland.
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Roland came to pick me up from home (Banjor) on a Saturday.
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Waiting to buy Scratch card (Phone cards/units)
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Roland found a Kehkeh that matched my outfit. We stopped the guy and took this photo.

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“To travel is to Live” Kehkeh is Life. The next time you visit Liberia or a place where you see these little things, hop in and thank me later. 

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