February 23, 2011
So, we've been here now 201 days as of today. So you figure we've gone on about 400 taxi-be....adventures let's call them...and mind you, each ride is just that, an adventure. With every taxi-be ride there is a story. So, here is my story from yesterday. First, however, I'll give you an appetizer from last week.
So, like Randy said in an earlier blog, you can't pick your taxi-be or your taxi-be driver. I stepped on a fairly full taxi-be and had to sit in the aisle. This is where some taxi-bes have an extra seat that you swing up and hook on to the other side and others have a peace of wood that you tuck under each rear end on either side of the aisle and then you sit down. Now, some of these pieces of wood are plenty long and ensure a fairly stable seat for you. Some however, unfortunately this one, are a piece of wood that is supposed to be cut to the exact length you need in order to just lay perfectly on these tiny little metal latches on either side of the seats beside them. That's when you do the following. First pray that it will hold you up and then sit....very carefully. It's best to put one foot underneath the seat and one foot on the floor in front of you just to ensure catching yourself if/when the seat gives way. Now on this particular day, as I said, it was fairly crowded on the bus and I couldn't fit my legs or feet anywhere so my knees where touching each other with one foot way to the left and one foot way to the right. Bump. White girl now squatting on floor with board stuck between my knees and my butt. I tried to find gripping on the seats in front of me, the lady next to me puts her hand under my arm pit to help me get up. After a few grunts and groans between the two of us and having “sat” back down I looked at her and said, “Tsi mety...Misoatra besika tompko.” (That didn't work. Thank you).
Well, that turned into a full meal rather than an appetizer didn't it. Ok, here comes another doosey. So today I got on a taxi be and had to sit right behind the driver. We were stuck in traffic so the call guy (the man who stands in the back of the taxi be and shouts where we're going and collects the money) jumped off and ran to the gas station with a plastic container. He then ran to the driver's side door and poured out the gasoline right in front of me down a hole into the engine! It stunk so bad! The motor still running, thought it might be the last thing I ever saw! We finally kept moving forward and I got to the stop where I was supposed to meet my friend. I asked the taxi to stop but apparently this one didn't stop at all the bus stops, including this one. So I shouted, “azafady!” (please!) He stomped on the breaks. The taxi be was FULL. And when I say a taxi be is full I mean redonculously full! So I couldn't get out the normal way. The driver looked behind me and saw all the people, so he told me to crawl through a little window that was between me and him in the front seat (like the windows you can open and close when you ride in a limo...expect this one was smaller and had no glass in it any more). Um...ok, what could I do? I climbed through the window to the front seat landed on the person's lap that was in the front seat and went out the side door. It was definitely a sight. Thankfully I learned how to laugh at myself years ago!