Wow! This morning I or should I say Tabuche encountered our first MAJOR traffic jam while heading to the office. It was totally insane – I have never seen anything like it, not even in Paris or Casablanca which both have crazy drivers.
There has been some traffic in the mornings but nothing compared to what I was use to in Toronto or other larger cities. As we approached our last roundabout before turning down the main street off which is located the subdivision containing my office Tabuche exclaimed. He never exclaims! I looked up and saw a major back up of traffic but what was unusual was it was also completed backed up in our left turn lane to get to my office. And the traffic was simply not moving.
After idling for about 15 minutes, Tabuche shut off the car and prepared for a good long wait. However, about 10 minutes later we were able to creep forward. At first Tabuche and I supposed that maybe it was parents dropping off children at the school which is located just below my office. My thought was if that was it make the little buggers walk so the rest of the traffic can move through. Tabuche didn’t know what to make of this…I had to eventually explain that I didn’t really mean it…of course he will never know that I did!
But after continuing to just creep along I figured that it must be an accident. As we finally made our way around the left hand turn and got onto the side road we had a full view of the chaos. There were five lanes of traffic where there should only be two. Three or four vehicles were all angling trying to get into the same spot to drive forward. Cars were driving up over the sandy shoulders. I know that I can not even begin to describe the scene of chaos other than I turned to Tabuche and said “and this is why I don’t want to buy a car and drive in Gaborone”.
Once we made the left hand turn again which took us right by the school we were finally able to see that yes, there had been an accident and everyone and their dog was trying to steer around it and didn’t care how they did it. Thanks to calmness and a sense of purpose Tabuche was able to fairly easily navigate through the never-ending chaos and jockeying for position and slipped up a side street to take a back route to my office. I arrived only 15 minutes thanks to his expert driving (we are usually 15 minutes early in the event we hit traffic so all was well).
On our drive home tonight I continued to amuse Tabuche. After an exhausting day I was more than a little tired. As we were zooming along I notices some animals grazing by the roadside…not unusual here as livestock roams free to graze on whatever nourishment that they can find. I could only see tails swishing and assumed that it was calves roaming and started to tell Tabuche how I love cattle and grew up on a farm. He just smiled at me and agreed and then politely pointed out that they are actually donkeys. I will never live that one down.
Well I really earned my Pulas today as Oscar tossed me gleefully into the fires and I loved it. This job will certainly be a challenge but it will also be a wonderful learning environment for me. I was promoted three times today to what they call Deputy Chief (Oscar is Chief) and than fired just as many times including once by the computer network installer who wanted to send me back to Canada…no I won’t say what I did to deserve that…
Oscar and I are off to Zasane tomorrow after some nail-biting this afternoon about whether our funder would actually pay for the trip or not. Oscar played ball, won and we are off with his promise to try to take me over the border to Zimbabwe to Victoria Falls http://www.zambiatourism.com/travel/places/victoria.htm. How great of a boss is that! Chobe Park and Victoria Falls all in my first week of employment.
Good bye for now, I am not sure whether I will be able to access internet when I am up North and travelling. So the next post may not be until Sunday evening but I promise that it will be a good one!