RiTara Williams
RiTara Williams
South Africa 2014 - 2015
My name is RiTara Williams and I will be working at an internship in Cape Town, South Africa. I will be working with African Impact and The Happy Africa Foundation. Read More About RiTara →

Hilarious Encounters

You never really realize how much of a role internet and Wifi play in your life until you are constantly struggling for a connection.

So after being told that I speak good English and unknowingly making morning travel buddies I have decided to write a blog about some of my mini bus taxi weekly travels experiences.

I have had many interesting encounters with people in random places but the mini bus taxi takes the cake as my daily entertainment. Growing up I used minimal public transportation due to the lack there of and over protective family members so this is all new to me (not that there is anything like a mini bus taxi in the US).

So some may ask what a mini bus taxi is. It is as simple as it sounds.
They are 14-16 passenger vans that you can catch almost anywhere to get you from point A to B. The route I take only costs R7 ($0.70) each way each day. When the bus starts moving all you have to do is pass your money up and get change when needed. The driver knows the total of how much they should have. I am not sure what happens if that total does not add up but I pray that I will never know.

Now, there are vague routes that the drivers take but each day can
produce a new adventure. In my first week of riding the bus taxi another intern and I learned that you must let the driver know when your stop is coming up because if nobody says anything they will drive past where you need to go. Going on a tour of Noordhoek was not how I thought I would start my work morning.
My first Friday riding the bus was one of my funniest rides so far. When you get on the taxi and see a large bottle of Coke and a bottle of liquor, you just know that everything that is about to happen is worth writing about. The three gentlemen in front of us decided to get the party started in the taxi and started pour drinks for each other. On a Friday the only thing I am thinking about is getting home so I can take my clothes off and relax after the workweek so I was quite impressed that they thought far enough ahead to bring cups to mix drinks in their mobile bar. Our ride is pretty short so we were at our stop before we knew it. Before we could say anything to the driver someone up front ask for him to stop. This being a tightly squeezed taxi it was difficult to get out of the back row. Without noticing our struggle, the driver started to drive away. Thankfully some of the Xhosa speaking passengers got the drivers attention and stopped him again for us. Jessica, the other intern with me
at the time, thanked the driver for stopping again and that is when one of the gentlemen decided to make his move and flirt with her. His expression of how much he liked her voice was returned with total silence. Jessica refused to say another word until we escaped from the taxi that seemed to not want to let us go. We both laughted about the encounter the rest of the way home.

January produced some good stories so I am confident that I will keep you entertained.

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