Another week completed, and I congratulated myself in my head as I rode home in a very hot, very slow, very dirty public taxi with about 20 other people.
The scene trying to catch a taxi in the centre of Kigali can be described as nothing else but complete chaos. In the taxi park, about 20 mini-van taxis haphazardly park wherever there is an inch of space, waiting to fill up their capacity before heading out again in the city. Each taxi has at least 2 yellers: when I say yellers, I mean young guys that run around the taxi yelling out it’s final destination. These yellers often fight with each other for customers, and they are full-out scuffles.
So, for example, maybe you get in one of these taxis, and maybe you wait about 30 minutes for it to fill up before you actually get to leave the downtown core. Once it’s full, the yeller gets on board, and in your head you freak out while the driver tries to negotiate the road with the other chaotic taxi drivers and yellers. Finally you are driving. But of course, not too fast, because Kigali is all hills and there are 20 of you in a beat-up old taxi van. You think to youself, are we going to bottom out on the first bump, or better yet, am I going to fall out of this door I’m smushed up against?!
So that is the scene.
Despite all that, I have to say I love taking the taxis! They are so different than anything you’d find anywhere in Canada. When I get to sit up against the window, especially if it’s raining, I just listen to the scuffle and watch the scenery and I’m really content to let it all just happen around me.
Another week completed. Somehow this is all feeling more normal.
I can imagine not being ready to leave, not being ready to go back to normal living. I am having flickers of that, just little flickers. When or where else in the world would I be living this life?