Monday, September 12, 2011

Transport-Lusaka Style

For me one of the hardest things to get used to is being immobile. We are pretty much always dependent on others to get around. Either we ride with our roommate who has a car or we call taxis to get wherever we want to go. There is also one other option: the minibus. All the non-locals also known as ex-pats have briefed us about the minibuses. It seems most expats don’t prefer them because they are so tightly packed. These buses are all over the city. This is how a lot of Zambians get to work. People literally cram into these buses where personal space is not an option. You may be sitting four people to a small bench seat.
Recently, we rode one. We were coached on what was too much to pay and how the system worked.  We were told there is a driver and usually a conductor, who also serves as the salesman. The men hang out and try and get you on their bus. The men walk up to anyone in the vicinity and says “minibus minibus”.

I had my rules and norms for minibus riding and I was ready. We approached the minibus stop for our first riding expedition. In my nonchalant but firm voice I say “How much?” I kinda keep my pace so he knows he may lose his sale. He replied 3 pin (equals about 50 cents in USD). I pause to make it look like I was contemplating his offer and then I say ok. Will and I jumped on and we headed down the road. Success!!!

I love the minibus.  It is one of those things that makes me feel like I am getting immersed into daily Zambian living. Our first experience was delightful which I am sure will lead to many more transports by minibus.

The beloved minibus.

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