22 Jun

Of all the things that can produce stress in anticipation of returning to Addis, there is one that is outstanding on our list.  Traffic.  There is one hour of the day when it is not so bad.  Between 4:30 am and 5:30 am.  I actually do not know that from experience because I have never driven then.  At that time of day I am laying in bed with a pillow over my head pretending I can’t hear the megawatt-blaster-amps that announce the Muslim call to prayer.  It is satisfying to imagine what the streets would look like when you can actually see some asphalt in front of or between the cars.  I could discover if fourth gear actually works in our vehicle since in the normal days use I never get beyond third.

I really am convinced that Ethiopian drivers are the best drivers in the world.  They seem to know what the other car is going to do and can move into gaps in traffic flow with a good two inches to spare on each side of their vehicle.  They have great reflex time.  The national average for following distance is ten feet per ten miles per hour and yet they can stop without jerking your head into the dashboard.  I know an American driver who can’t do that on an open road with an opposum.  And Ethiopian drivers are very patient.  In America, in the last year I have been road raged three times.  In Addis the only road rage I saw was by a non-Ethiopian.  The horn tooting in Addis is in short courtesy beeps…”Just letting you know I’m here.”  In America I am used to horn blasts,  gestures and word sentences louder and longer than the horn blasts.  So why do I stress over the traffic?  Well, its different.  Different is not bad.  It would share hope with my heart if I could just view it as exciting.

One Response to “Traffic”

  1. Sarah F June 23, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    I could see Andy loving to drive in Addis!!


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