We're Jason, Beth, Lee Anna, Sawyer, and Sarah Claire, a family of five living, learning, and laughing lots in Northern Africa.
We hope you can learn a little (and maybe laugh a little too) as you read about our latest adventures.

Friday, May 30, 2008

On the Road

We got a new little bitty camera, so I feel a little more comfortable snapping pictures of things like this while we're on the road without looking quite so conspicuous. So over the next...well, I don't know how long...we're going to try to share with you some of the things we see regularly when we're out and about. These guys are transporting some animals in this truck--goats, I think--and I guess there just wasn't enough room for the last guy, so he's just jumped on the back. This truck was probably doing 30 mph down the street. But that's a little deceptive. We use metrics here, so he' s doing 50 on the speedometer in his truck. And this isn't a farm road out in the country. This is a major thoroughfare in the biggest city on our continent. This is a fairly normal occurence--the truck carrying animals, the guy hanging on the outside of the vehicle....
And I wanted you to see this intersection because it's just so much fun. It's one we drive through frequently, and it is complete chaos. Several roads are merging here, and in a work of engineering genius, it is arranged so that most of the cars from the right are trying to get all the way to the left, and vice versa. The unwritten rule for driving in a situation like this is that you just try to keep moving and fill up all available space. If each person is careful not to hit anyone with the front of his car, the other people will take care not to hit the other three sides. You really can't worry much about the guy behind you--even though he is so close behind that you can smell the garlic on his breath.
To the untrained eye, this looks like people weaving out of their lanes. What the trained eye might see, however, is evidence that someone needed a job (painting stripes on the road) and all of the useful positions were already filled. The lane stripes serve no purpose in the movement of traffic. One just drives where one finds space for one's car.

1 comment:

  1. That's exactly how they do it in Istanbul too. And China, for that matter. :)