Civility: The Way We Drive
Kuendesha gari Bongo needs an extremely high level of patience and indulgence. Watu wanaoishi Mbezi Beach au Kimara nina uhakika wanatumia masaa zaidi ya manne barabarani kila siku...and this is not entirely about narrow roads or lack of ring-roads, it is about the way we drive.
And, yes, the way we drive says a lot about us – as individuals and as a society. Everyone I know is complaining that roads in Bongo are getting less civil. It takes a lot of effort for me to calm myself down and stay on my lane…wakati kila mtu anataka kupita the opposite lane, or kwenye sidewalk, ili kuwahi, na gari za hiyo opposite lane hiyo zinapokuja kutoka mbele kila mtu anataka kukuchomekea, tena bila hata ya kuomba. Hata yule unayemruhusu aingie kwenye line…anaingia bila hata ku-acknowledge....anaona kaingia kwa ujanja wake.
Kasheshe nyingine za jam zinatokea kwenye makutano ya barabara au roundabout. Kila dereva anataka aende yeye kwanza...matokeo ni logjam. Kwanini hakuna courtesy au patience tunapofika kwenye maeneo haya?
Vilevile, increasingly watu wanaona kutumia indicator kuashiria ni optional. Mko speed kwenye barabara, ghafla mtu anapunguza mwendo na anakata kona! Na wewe nyuma unapiga breki za upesi kuzuia kumvaa. I can understand that may be people are distracted in the car – using mobile phone or chatting up or listening to music. Lakini may be we are increasingly becoming a narcissistic society….kwamba everybody barabarani think the road belong to him, and being in the car absolves him from any obligation to other drivers and to society.
Another thing ni kupiga honi. We really like to honk in Bongo. Unaweza ukawa umesimama kwenye traffic light, labda uko mtu wa tano from the first car on the light. As the light turns green, wakati yule wa kwanza ameshaiona na anaanza kuondoka, mtu wa nyuma yako (wa sita) anakupigia honi, wa saba, wa nane nyuma nao wanapiga honi. I cannot understand.
Vilevile, hapa Bongo mtu akiwa anaendesha gari, halafu watu wamekusanyika pembeni kuna ugomvi au kuna mwizi or something, lazima kila mtu atapunguza mwendo almost kutaka kusimama – hii inapunguza sana flow ya traffic.
Daladala nazo, ndio haina hata haja ya kusema. Siku hizi tuna Bajaj, na mtu wa Bajaj akishika lane haachii, anajaa katikati….unless…unapiga honi!
This one time I took a taxi, and we were rushing somewhere, so my taxi driver kept on insulting and shouting at other drivers (as idiots, fags, and other profanities) wakati yeye mwenyewe alikuwa anaendesha kwa fujo. Roads seem like battlefields now…kwamba you get into the car unajiandaa for a rough world out there. Hamna civility. What about ile idea kwamba Wabongo ni watu wastaarabu? What if you are with kids kwenye gari?
Of course there are pitfalls in judging a society on the basis of driving habits of the few...but since these few are the most powerful in the society, it is critical we examine their sense of "community" (i.e. the community of road users).