Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Rose by Any Other Name...


I have always been the person that looked at people with difficult hobbies and rolled my eyes.
Mountain climbing? Um, no.
Computer programming? Uh-uh.
Underwater basket-weaving? I don't think so.

I've always gone for the slightly easier ones.
Flower picking? Done.
Writing? Sure.
Eating? Um, yeah.

So you will be surprised when I tell you that I have recently become obsessed with an idiotically difficult hobby while here in Africa.  My latest obsession is collecting pictures of bus names.  Though the buses are easy to find -they are everywhere both in and out of town- the difficulty is capturing one on film.  These buses slow down for no one.  Notorious for being the most unsafely operated vehicles on the road, the buses of our country (also called combis) zip around roads at all hours of the day.

There are a number of fascinating things about our combis...

-They can squeeze twenty grown men in a vehicle the size of a large van.
-They do not follow a route, though they almost all loosely meet up with a city center at some point.
-Because there are few bus stops, one person on the bus (sometimes an employee, sometimes not)  whistles or screams down streets as passengers are searched for.
-And they make NYC taxi drivers look like rookies.

All fascinating... if you're not following one.  But nothing is as fascinating, and entertaining, as the strange names these buses adopt in lieu of a route designation.  I'll collect more in the coming months, but here are some of the bus names I've seen (and photographed if I'm lucky) over the past few months:

"Little Hero"

"Cold Power"

 Tiyanjane- "understand each other"

"January 21"  (Not sure what happened on this date!)

 Either "Tears of Joy" or "God's Temple"... can't tell!

 Mafuta- "Fat"


 "Hope Junior"

"God's Time is the Best"

"Street Vybz"

Unpictured, but you'll just have to trust me. Can't believe I don't have these pictures, but they're all real, I swear:
Baby Boy Supreme
Anointed (always spelled wrong, but with about five different companies' logos)
Nothing To Do
Why Not?
You've Arrived
Two Stars Brutus
Fab Five
One Minute More
On the Couch
Oh Baby
Something French 
Red Carpet
No Way Out
Crystal Skywalker
Qualtiy Time
Go Koko Power!
Not Going Back
One Leg Tours
4th Egg of Life
Big Fishy
Franklin Reloaded
Arduous Tours