Being someone born and brought up in the Gambia, and never left his country, of course, would give an etch face seeing certain things that I’ve never seen before, simply because it doesn’t exist in the Gambia.
Certainly, the manner in which drivers drive and how they comfortably flaw traffic rules got me gobsmacked. I have always seen drivers stop whenever the traffic lights blinked red, but this wasn’t the case in Mauritania. I’ve seen drivers completely disregard traffic signs.
Rough driving is also the order of the day in Mauritania; perhaps they are experts in driving.
You may be surprised to know also that the four-passenger taxis in the Gambia are actually six-passengers in Mauritania. Instead of four passengers, the drivers in Mauritania decide to put on board up to six. The first time I boarded a taxi in Mauritania, I sat at the front seat and was indeed shocked when I was told to move towards the gearbox a bit in order to allow another guy space to sit.
Full of surprise I was when I also decide to turn back and check on the back seat just to see that there were actually four people seated there. Very weird indeed.
Again, because the country is an Islamic Republic, I’ve also noticed that men and women do not sit beside each other in a taxi. Amazing to some extent, perhaps because it was my first time seeing these things.
Read out for episode 13
MY MAURITANIA EXPERIENCE
Cherno Abdourahman Bah