From point A to point B..

Daladalas are everywhere and they’re cheep. But each mode of transport here has its pros and cons:

Daladalas lined up in the main bus terminal. Its usually more chaotic then this.
Daladala ride from Bagamoyo to Msata. I’m squeezed in the back with 4 people. Thankfully the ceiling was high enough so i didn’t bonk my head the whole hour trip.

For 5x the price of a daladala I can get to the town center on a bodaboda (paid motorcycle) in 1/3rd the time, with 10x the fun, 1/4th the walking, 5x the exhaust/dust, 1/7th the swetty discomfort, 4.5x the risk, and 100x the poofy wind hair.

Johanna overly excited (aka acting natural)

A taxi will get me places for 3x the bodaboda, 10x the privacy and comfort, 2.5x the time, and 2x the likelihood of cost sharing.

My time here is worth about 1/3rd as much as usual, and my expectation of comfort is about 1/2 of what it normally is. But money sometimes does buy happiness, when that happiness is not smashing into a daladala and not getting into trouble after dark.

So this is what I think about as I make my daily transportation choices. And all over the difference of $0.20, $1.00, or $2.30 (and varying multiples of those based on distance and time).

Helmets are sometimes available. Thankfully speeds are generally slow enough to keep anxiety down while in the chaos of town.

I returned to Arusha yesterday from the coast in Bagamoyo 570km miles across the northeaster part of the country. I took two bodabofas, packed into the back of a daladala, and jumped on a greyhound like bus for the whole 11hr trek, all costing me 41,000 TSH ($18.82). Not too shabby.

Betting from point A to point B is all part of the African experience. Its often hot, loud, cramped, and unpredictable (our taxi got two flat tires on the way to bagamoyo), but its also fascinating and a great way to rub shoulders with life outside the Western bubble.

Some frequently travled spots in Arusha are stared. I live in the upper left and Laura and Tarik live in the bottom right.

One thought on “From point A to point B..

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