Hilarious Highlights

Fair warning: This blogpost is a compilation of random wacky moments that we have, funny facts, and silly stories.  For any of you who are allergic to some or all of the above, I would suggest not reading any further.  For those of you who love those things, by all means, read ahead!

Have you ever been dozing off in the front seat, resting your eyes, when all of a sudden you hear the driver (A.K.A. your mom...) say something totally wacky?  I'm sure you've all been there.  Maybe you've been the driver.  But I'd like to tell you what I hear when I'm resting my feet on the dashboard, because I doubt many of you have ever heard this come from the driver's side of the car!!
"Abby, the stoplight is on the wrong side of the road. Is it green or red? Oh, never mind.  I'll go when they start honking behind me.  I'm just a crazy mzungu (white person); no one cares."   
 This is one of those moments when you just open one eye and glance at them like..."that was so crazy I'm not even gonna respond!"
"Abby, see if there are any holes in the bridge."
  ????  Here, I slowly looked up and over the dashboard to check and verify that there were indeed no holes in the bridge we were crossing.  The explanation for why she would say this while driving in the largest city in Tanzania is that there is this one bridge that almost always has one metal piece missing in the bottom, and every car has to avoid it unless they want to get their tire stuck in it.
"Oh goodness, I have to stop again.  The cows are crossing." 

My thoughts right after she said that.  Beef for dinner! :)

If we were driving along a lonely road in the middle of Oklahoma (That's how you spell it, right?), that would be normal. But again, this is in the middle of the biggest city in Tanzania. You will have to stop occasionally to allow the cows, and possibly goats, to be herded across the main intersection.

Side-note: When I started writing this post, it was 8:57 on a Saturday morning....and the humidity was already 94%.  That basically means: you sweat while you're taking a shower. My thoughts almost every single day:

A funny little joke here in Dar is the police.  Now, I know our legal system here has some serious issues, and there are many things that get brushed under the rug.  In the city, about 95% of the time you can get away with speeding, making U-turns and even "extra" lanes when traffic is slow. But once you get out of the city...

In the police manual, there are many things that they can fine people for.  Speeding, passing when there is a solid line, drunk driving...sounds pretty normal, right? Hold your horses.  They can also fine for a dirty or scratched car!   Also, there is a note at the bottom that gives them the right to fine for anything else they feel necessary.  (Just found out: apparently there is, or was, a law in Moscow that allowed the policemen to fine anyone with a dirty car.  Fact. Found it on BBC.)

Hmmm....that will be $20 dollars please.

The joke is that whenever you see a flash of white by the side of the road up ahead, you slow way down, pretend like you're seriously focused, and do not make eye contact, or you will be fined.  The only way they can make you stop is if they run in front of your car.  Ok, I know that sounds stupid, but trust me, it happens.  If they want you to stop, they will make you stop! My dad always says that if they weren't wearing white, they'd be hiring new officers every day for how many times they run out in front of cars during dusk.

I can assure you, this is not all that has happened.  I could probably fill a book of all the things I've seen on the roads here in Dar, but that's another story for another time.  On the bright side, my mom says that with all the stress she's had to deal with driving here, she could probably drive in almost any country around the world.  Then I tell her India's next, and she changes her mind. ;)


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