Dienstag, 25. März 2008

pimp my ride

in haiti, like in many other poorer countries of the planet, public transport vehicles are often turned into elaborate works of art. jeepneys, tuk-tuks, bemos, tap-taps and gua-guas on all five continents are adorned with blinking lights, oversized sound systems, dozens of rear-view mirrors, elaborate paintjobs, extra-wide wheels, pictures of saints, gods and superstars, and whatever else strikes the fancy of the driver as being cool. one of the things i like best, however, are the slogans and names the drivers put on their vehicles. there's nothing like a motto to the tune of "fate alone guides me" to instill trust in your passengers...

going through port-au-prince today, i jotted down some of the slogans on the tap-taps. many were religious, such as "dieu est eternel," "psaume 94, verse 17," "le don de dieu" or the bit more puzzling "sel jezu ki ka fe sa" (its only jesus who can do that). some were a mix of the religious and the mundane, such as "no problem, god bless me, you speak i work." another one that had me puzzling was "marianne say me thank you my mother," while "pensez vous a demain" seemed like sound advice. "u don't know me, oke?!" sounded a tad menacing but the main prize of the day goes to the two tap-taps with miniature jet planes on their roofs, one labeled "air argentina," the other "air florida."

my all-time favourite, however, is still the minibus in rural rwanda which proclaimed, several years after the end of his presidency, that "bill clinton is a mighty force in the world."

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