West African Buses

West African Buses
Porto Novo, Benin West Africa
Saturday, September 16, 2006

I really like the transportation system in the West Africa countries I have visited. I have taken what I call a group taxi 90 percent of the way from Cote d’Ivoire to Benin, a few bigger buses like things. Most of the time some station wagon full of a few fat women and some men.

The African people are clean, they do shower daily I believe, the body odor is minimal for the world. To sit in a bus, taxi, anything that is having a contest to see how many people they stuff inside can be difficult. To constantly be wedged into a seat meant for three people and maybe they have five, and even six with a child is intimate. Take that two of the people will be women so fat they roll down the street; it makes for a fun ride. I am always fascinated that we even can move, it is a marvel that these vehicles do work, but in reality normal for the planet for many countries.

It is all about making as much money as possible with no worries about service or care for the person in the car.

I have to empathize and remember, I am not a normal traveler. I am the one in 1000 traveler that will even think about coming to Africa, and to actually come is maybe one in 10,000 of the tourist on the planet. There are many backpackers on the planet, and tourist. Yes, this is correct, maybe one in 10,000 comes to Africa, then the ones that do go to South Africa; I suspect it is nothing like the normal Africa. South Africa is easy trip; I will save until I feel like doing easier.

In India many travelers purchase a Motorcycle, in Africa many people do an overland 4-wheel drive trip. I see this as a way to avoid the people, in India I can almost believe it is worth the effort as the people do stink, smell, and do not take showers.

I traveled many cities in India in the same manner as I am traveling in West Africa, I got up, told people the city direction I was going and they pushed me in that direction.

I think I figured out one frustration, in India, if you write something, say something, they all are looking for a way to get money; they get you on the bus. Yes, it is like being in a blender made of people, with constant noise, constant shuffling, constant moving, however it functions easy.

West African Buses


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