Monday, March 3, 2014

The Zimbabwe Traffic Smorgasbord

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Traffic starting to build up in Harare behind a tractor.
Harare is a wonderful mix of rural and urban, changing from block to block. 
Bet you didn't think this was in the city proper!

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Living in Africa can mean some interesting traffic experiences for ex-pats.
Sometimes trying to get anywhere can be very....well, frustrating! It is always an adventure.
Vehicles going in multiple directions, people hanging out of vehicles, and naturally a truck barreling toward you.
(Patience and a good sense of humor gets me through it!  It's definitely the biggest culture shock in Africa for me.)

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And an aspect of Zimbabwe I hadn't guessed? 
The amount of people who film the procession for a wedding celebration---outside the window!

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I've seen some crazy things in traffic all over Africa but possibly the most endearing and scariest of all? 
The amount of people who ride in the back of vehicles. For an expat, we immediately think seat belts! car seats! etc!
While it seems a little dangerous (and scary!) to me, it is also such an endearing aspect of many African cultures: the community aspect of helping one's neighbor get somewhere so of course he'll be offered a lift.

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One of my favorite things of Africa?
Its street vendors, especially when they get creative. Every day these guys sell their flags, their sports balls, and swimming pool toys.
Makes me think of this guy, my favorite type of Senegalese street vendor.

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And what do you do when you see 20+ minutes of waiting at each repaving construction site in Mutare?
Wisely sell the hot, disgruntled people stuck in traffic cold soda! Brilliant.

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Why yes, let's just haul a trunk full of skulls of assorted animals.
Thank you, Gaborone, Botswana, for this gem!

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There is something always burning in Harare.
It took me awhile to get used to the raging fires at night that people set, often to burn trash, that then just go left unattended.

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