Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Maintain your Helium!

Wasn't planning to do another entry today - BUT - my other favourite site Helium is down for maintenance :(

One wonders, do they just fill up the bottles with more gas? :)

So ........ what to talk about?

Have you ever noticed that every other bugger on the road is a useless driver? Here in Zambia, driving is an art form. Since at least 70% of the drivers on the road never passed a drivers test, it can be quite a scary thing getting in your car to do the weekly grocery shopping trip. I never cease to be amazed at the creative ways drivers manage to write off their cars - it takes a lot of doing to end up on the wrong side of the road, backwards and up-side-down in a ditch! Amazingly, most of these drivers do live to drive another day!

Car maintenance is kept to a minimal - cars with no brake lights (or brakes quite often), no headlights and beltching black noxious fumes are a common sight on our roads. Tyres with tread are an optional extra!!

Very few drivers seem to understand the principle of 'dipping your bloody lights' in night time driving. They work on the idea that in order to see the many kamakazi pedestrians, other cars and so forth, you need to keep your lights on FULL at all times! Making rude signs out of your car window is actually against the law here, as is splashing pedestrians with muddy water when you hit those inevitable pot holes that take the bottom off your car and leave your tyres in shreds!

Some bright spark in the Roads Department here has discovered.... SPEED HUMPS! (and I blame the British for this!) We now have speed humps placed strategically on the main highways. Part of the game is to find them before you hit them at 120kms/hr!

So driving in Zambia could be considered a 'National Sport'. For visitors to the country it is a 'Terrifying Experience' - all part of the 'African Experience' that foreigners are so keen to have :)

Anyone need that coffee?

1 comment:

Brit & Grit said...

Hi Jayne,

Here in Memphis, Tn we have another driving problem, 70% of the drivers on the road do not have insurance! The test to get a license is so easy, I suspect my dogs could pass. We do have a law requiring proof of insurance to purchase a vehicle, but there is no follow up on the policy, so people buy one, buy a car, never pay the insurance bill, and .....

Just another reason I like driving my old, dinted truck ;)

the Grit