Skip to main content

Mr. Toad's Acceptable Mode of Transportation

Tuk-tuks are fun.

That's what I learned this week.

We have a driver but no car yet. We discovered that regular taxis are difficult to procure and can be inconvenient. But little yellow auto-rickshaws, or autos, which are also called tuk-tuks in some places, litter the streets here and are a cheap, fast transportation option. When we need a ride someplace that's just a little too far to walk, Mike sticks out his arm and like magic an auto pulls up to whisk us away.

I'm sure I'm not the first American to say something along the lines of, "It's like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride." But I can't help it. Riding in one is sort of like being on an amusement park ride. You're encased in a little bubble and you're holding on tight to the railing in front of you. You're concentrating on keeping your hands and feet inside the auto while you zoom through traffic in straight lines, then slow down to a crawl to go around corners without tipping over. There's the smell and the sound of those little engines. There's a pleasant(-feeling, not necessarily -smelling) breeze while you zip along. And they are all painted bright yellow with various designs and pictures.

And if you've had a particularly harrowing shopping experience and you're hot and tired and just want to go home, you can say, "Let's get the tuk-tuk outta here."


wereposa said…
I agree! I love tuk-tuk transport. Word of caution: if you have long hair, and you take a rather fast tuk-tuk ride, and it is a sweaty hot day, and you sit or lean to the edge to catch the lovely breeze, you may just be giving yourself a brand new side sweeping hairstyle that gel, starch, and a blow dryer can't even compare to! :)

Popular posts from this blog

The Acid Bug

My blog will now join the short list of results that pop up when you search for "nairobi fly, acid bug" on Google. Mike was hit by one over the weekend.
The Nairobi fly is a small beetle that does not bite or sting, but based on its nickname acid bug, guess what it does? The insides of the bug are toxic, and if you smack it against your skin the juices cause a burning rash. They are common throughout East and Central Africa, and it's the season for them here in Burundi. We think Mike and his friend rode through a swarm of them on their bikes over the weekend, because his friend has some burn spots, too, and the spots appeared on both of them after they returned from the ride.
We've heard of two remedies to soothe the burning, but Mike hasn't tried either yet. One is to use toothpaste, the old-school white kind, and the other is to cut a potato and rub it on the burn area. Both the toothpaste and the potato are supposed to draw out the acid. If you wash the area imm…

What Goes Through My Head When I Lock My Door

When I'm alone in our apartment, or alone with Muffin, I lock the deadbolt, day and night. Here is my thought process:

I'm walking down the hallway toward my door. I nod "Hello" in a neighborly way to a man also walking down the hall. I enter my apartment (having had my key ready since I first got into the elevator because women are conditioned from an early age not to be fumbling for their keys in an area where the distraction of doing so might make them vulnerable to an attack) and close the door. I put my hand on the deadbolt but I don't turn it right away.

What if the guy who just walked by thinks I'm locking it because I'm afraid of him? 

It's not about him specifically, though, it's about being a woman alone in an apartment building. 

So what if he's offended? 

It's none of his business if I lock my door or not, unless he was planning to enter the apartment, in which case fuck him, I did the right thing by locking the door.

I'm a nar…

Book Review: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

After you've read something, please consider leaving a line or two on Goodreads and Amazon. The authors appreciate it!

Here's my review as it appears on Goodreads.

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked this book in the beginning. I grew up in an old haunted house in New England, yet I'm always a skeptic. (99% of supernatural activity ends up being the wind or a cat — and cats are creepy as hell.) I liked reading the stories behind the stories, whether they debunked the legends or gave credence to them. I’ve always been interested in history and nonfiction and ghost stories are the old “fake news.” Entertaining but you shouldn’t necessarily take them at face value. As the book went on, I found the stories themselves no less interesting but the format became tedious.

A couple of the stories really stood out to me. There are many cases of ghost stories being used to control a narrative that makes people feel sa…