This is not a paper I would turn into grad school that was proofread, spell checked, and cared about but never or barely read. This is a blog that people will actually read but not grade. I write like I think and talk, which is not organized or correct in many ways. I was diagnosed with chronic sarcasm as a child, its genetic.

The views expressed on this website are entirely my own and do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Taxi

So. My taxi. Walking in the taxi rank is always an experience- its way bigger than the one for Tshamahansi <my training site> and ppl REALLY aren’t used to seeing a lagoa <white person>. After being solicited a million times for people to help me with bags and shit, and people trying to point me to the Pretoria bus <clearly that’s where they think I want to go> I finally make it to the 4 taxis for Mapela. I am not sure if there is any rhyme or reason to where the Danisani one is, but I just always ask around. If the queue marshal dude sees me he immediately takes me to the right one, (my supervisor hooked it up and talked to them) but the place was a shit show.

I finally find the right one, look on it and thought it was full. I first noticed the suitcase sitting outside of the taxi, then saw the large number of bags full of produce and Jiggys <i cant even explain rt now>. Literally there was not one place to step b/c there was so much stuff. I went to put a folding seat down, thinking that was the last spot when the Gogo’s <Gogo- granny/older woman>  informed me ‘AOWA. BACK’ I look, and although there was no way to get back there through the piles of produce I counted only three adults and one child in the back. There was no physical room for me BUT I had to do it.

<please envision me, in a long skirt that I trip over with my two HUGE bags full of lettuce milk and chocolate to last 2 weeks, it was probably funny for them to watch, or painful, not sure>

I moved some of the plastic bags under a bench, put down my really really heavy bag, climbed over everything and everyone. Turned around to where the open seat SHOULD be, but that was occupied by a Gogo butt cheek, and plopped myself down, on her.

It was actually impressive how over the first ten minutes we all gelled together and I somehow mushed between the Gogos.

I had one bag on me, but the other was too heavy for anyone to pass back and it really wouldn’t have fit on me all things considered, so it stayed in the second row under some Jiggys, hoping that no one would steal anything in it, most importantly, my chocolate.  After the last person got on the taxi the driver lifted the suitcase, shoved it somewhere, and then managed to get 4 more bags and a flippin BIKE on there. I’m pretty sure the taxi could have flipped and no one would have budged, we were packed in there like pickles.

The best part was the wedgy the Gogo smush caused, my booty was hungry, as Hill would say. Oh. The pain. As I attempted to extract the material the Gogo’s didn’t budge, I think they must have known.

I noticed the seat/bench moving, thought it was weird, but whatever. Then when we took off I notice the bench move again, and realized it was, in fact, not attached to the ground. Details I suppose.

We stop for gas, which for some reason took about fifteen minutes, then we were off the Sandloot, Maseyna, and Danisani. Luckily for me I was not the first off, so when it was my stop it was only half the shit show that getting on was.

And that, my friends, is a typical ride home from town. Magical.

Someday i might post about my work and living situation. Maybe. Until then, these stories are more fun.

Also, tonight was the first time i cooked in 10 days. I want a gold star. Oh, and today at work we had an improptu Shangan dance session- big skirts and all. ya know, the usual. 


  1. Sami you crack me up. I love your sarcasm and the way you write. I can just envision it exactly as you describe. We take our cars for granted here in the USA. Kudos to you for what you are doing. :) Miss you and your sarcasm.

  2. Sami, your description of an African taxi ride is right on the money and absolutely PRICELESS! This is what Elizabeth and I went through almost on a daily basis while in Swaziland. Oddly enough, although it does get a bit easier with practice, it's always slightly amusing. Thanks for sharing your stories!! xoxo -jp

  3. I love your life. I can only dream of wedgies like that. I'm going to visit before I get preggos. THey just approved overtime at work = three extra shifts and I've got myself a plane ticket.