Rules of the (Muddy Mountain) Road

First of all I’m sitting at a computer where both the letter’A’ and the space bar don’t work so hot, so we’ll see how much I write before I get fed up with this.

I think all of my best TZ stories are going to somehow involve crazy travel incidents. While I don’t have any real stories since my run-out-of-gas adventure (that one was an email, I’ll attempt to include it at the end of this post), I did want to share some of the things I’ve learned about travel in TZ.

Every vehicle in TZ lacks all working dials that might tell the driver about what the state of his car is. This includes gas gauge, oil, speed, engine lights. Everything. I think it’s mandatory.

Vehicles here drive on the opposite side of the road, or at least the steering wheel is on the right side… Usually everyone drives on the same side of the road (where ever is the least pot-holed) and blasts their horns when they come to bends in the road in case any thing is coming in from the other direction.

Speaking of horns. Tanzanian drivers love them, and not your run of the mill car horn. Usually they are novelty horns or sirens. But, while incredibly annoying, especially when the bus rolls through town at 5:30 in the morning, the use of the car horn has probably saved this farm girl’s life while visiting a city that actually has traffic. I’ll give them that much.

Also, as far as pedestrians go, well it’s certainly no Boston. If you get hit it’s your fault. What makes it even more interesting is that whichever path the cars choose to drive down the road must be the path closest to where people are walking with no ditches to jump into if a car passes by too closely.

When traveling long distances, the vehicle will most likely resemble a grayhound bus, at least in shape… It will probably be painted in garishly bright colors, and resemble a slowly decaying 70s disco club. By the way, if you plan to come to TZ, or any East African country and they have not previously traveled by greyhound, they should – consider it cross-cultural training. Inside the bus will undoubtably be at least one more row of seats if not two more than you would think would fit.

It’s always an adventure…

Comments: 1 Comment

One Comment on “Rules of the (Muddy Mountain) Road”

  1. Kristen Says:

    “Also, as far as pedestrians go, well it’s certainly no Boston. If you get hit it’s your fault.”

    Well, I guess it is a good thing it isn’t me in Tanzania! I’d be roadkill by now!


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