Wednesday, June 20, 2007

dala dala

for 250 TS (about .25 US) you can ride in the luxurious public transportation via the "dala dala." these are vans meant to sit anywhere from 12-15 people that literally carry between 20-25 people on a slow day. once 5 or 6 people have crammed in each row, they start filling the aisle, standing, pressed body to body. for a little extra room you might hang your torso out the window while your legs are pinned inside. only a handful of mzungu partake, despite being such an oddity, you may still find yourself holding someone's baby while its mama wedges into an "open" spot. if there seems to be too much breathing room, the driver will pull over and the assistant- that man hanging outside the door as it zooms around- will shout at passers by to get in. at some point a hand appears under your nose full of coins- who it belongs to in the throng is hard to say- and jingles for you to add your fare. for a little extra shilling, the assistant will strap on whatever you want to the van--produce, a mattress, a load of sticks...
there doesn't seem to be any particular map or path they follow, so unless you are particularly adventurous, best to get out whenever the people near you do and hope you can walk to your destination.

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