Have you ever taken a taxi in Sierra Leone? If so then you’ll probably understand this incident that happened to me about two weeks ago, Nov 19th to be precise. We had taken the car to the garage and as usual, it was there for 4 days and it came back much worse than it went in.
Anyway, on the first day that it went, I decided to take a taxi to pick the children from school. This taxi was brought to me that truly looked like it was going to fall apart sooner than later.
Most taxis here are in truly bad condition. A typical taxi, just has enough barely to get by and during the day.
Here are some of the characteristics of a typical taxi in Freetown
- Very old – 15 years old or more – I have NEVER seen a newer taxi let alone a new taxi before
2. Very dirty & smelly – wearing white and sitting in them is a BAD BAD idea:!:
3. No device to wind up or wind down windows. Don’t know what happens when it rains.:?: I’ve sat in a taxi(years back when we were here on holiday) where the driver had get off and come to the passenger side to pull the window up:!:
4. Most don’t start without an extra effort so the last thing you want is for the engine to stop. I see this literally EVERYDAY! People getting out of taxis because it wouldn’t move anymore.
*****End Of ASIDE*******
Anyway back to my story, we agreed a price of Le17,000 from Lumley to Signal Hill
and back and started chugging along. Regent Road Lumley was bad enough and I could feel my bones rattle with every dip into a pot hole. Slowly we started making our way up Spur Road and that’s when I noticed something was wrong. To confirm my fears, just past the British High Commision the Taxi just ground to a halt:!:
Dear reader, I had to laugh, the situation looked so pitiful, I couldn’t do otherwise without completely freaking out!
The driver explained to me that the engine was HOT:?: And it seemed like no big deal to him. Like as if he was saying “Yeah , this happens all the time, nothing new!”
I mean what do you pay for a service like that? I gave him Le2000 and called my friend to pick me up, something I should have done much earlier.
This truly can happen only in Africa! 😛