Sunday, April 24, 2011

Driving: Botswana's Extreme Sport

Driving is an extreme sport in Botswana. Every time I get in the car I fear for my life and deliberately have to distract myself from the near-death experience that will almost certainly occur. First of all, people drive on the opposite side of the road from what we are used to in the United States. That, in and of itself, is scary because I live in existential fear that we are going to collide with an oncoming car. And, honestly, this fear is somewhat warranted because the Motswana drive wayyyyy too fast and they "overtake" (i.e. pass) cars just for fun. Literally. And the overtaking is frightening in that they will be inches away from the car they're passing and the next oncoming car. Add the donkeys and cows and chickens and goats that line the roads and could jump out at any moment and it is kind of like living in a game of Frogger. I am grateful that Peace Corps doesn't let us drive, wary every time we have to get in a car to go someplace, and excited that we get to see another part of Botswana simultaneously when I see a car. I never thought I could be so scared and so excited about vehicles at one time.

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