Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Stopped in Traffic

 Everyone tries to leave the office by 3 or 3:30 to beat the traffic.  Even the Kenyans do it.  Not sure who works till 5 or 6!  We left by 3:30 today but in the parking lot, our friend Peter found that his truck had a flat tire.  As Elder Torrie is not only the financial secretary but also the housing coordinator and the fleet manager, he suggested that Peter take a different truck.  That truck's battery was dead.  So his friend tried to boost it and the friend's battery died.  So we pulled up to boost Peter's truck but it was dead as a door nail.  So we moved to a different truck.  LeRon was able to give them hints about boosting and eventually it worked.  He boosted or tried to boost three trucks!  He got his white shirt all dirty.  Oh well.  I have a washer and . . . oh joy . . . a dryer!  (Most people hang their clothes on the line outside but we were warned not to as flies lay their eggs on the clothes and unless you iron them, you can get parasites from the invisible eggs!)

So we left later than usual and got into a bit of traffic.  So fun!  All the hawkers were selling their wares.  I took notes of all they were selling . . . corn on the cob, ties, colorful handbags, fruit (mangoes, oranges, bananas, grapes), potato chips, a Scrabble game (!), aprons, bottles of water, hats, dish towels, candies and this badminton racket-type thing which we think is an electric mosquito swatter.  I was just about to roll down my window and ask if that is what it was when the traffic started moving.  Darn!

Other interesting things we saw . . . motorbikes zipping in and out and around and about.  They function as delivery men and taxi men as well as for personal transportation.  They wear helmets thank goodness!

There are many kinds of taxis. . . there are motorbike taxis, uber taxis (which are very economical and convenient), 3-wheeled taxis, handcarts pulling people or goods, small buses called matatus (like the Jerusalem sheruts for those of you who've been to Jerusalem), and larger city buses.  We've been encouraged NOT to take the matatus.

Today on our way home, we saw cows grazing between the two lanes of traffic and men and women sweeping the sides of the streets with straw brooms.  If the cows don't cut the grass on the mediums, then men go along and cut it with scythes.

So interesting . . . living here in Nairobi.

I'm going to add some internet pictures.  I didn't have my camera with me today.

These Kenyan men are so STRONG!  They pull or sometimes push handcarts loaded with goods (or people) up hill and down.

Handcarts again.  They share the road with hundreds of cars.  Thank goodness the cars are only going 40-60 km/hr.
Here's a matatu (toward the left).  Nice picture of the traffic in downtown Nairobi.

In Thailand we called these three-wheeled carts "tuk-tuks".  Not sure what they're called here in Nairobi but they're all over the place.

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