Incorrect use of indicators!!

A phrase shrieked at volume to any pour soul unlucky enough to be stuck in a car with me after dark. But SO true!

Basically over here in Moz as soon as the sun goes down – as elsewhere in the rest of the world – car headlights are switched on. No problem.

Cars over here – as elsewhere in the world – have indicators to ‘indicate’ to other drivers. No problem.

However…for some absolutely inexplicable reason, which can only be explained by the phrase uttered with alarming regularity out here TIA (This Is Africa), drivers over here have an inability to correctly use them…

BIG problem.

This is how indicators are used in Moz to ‘indicate’;

1) when about to turn left or right – correct.

2) outside indicator on to inform the driver behind you that a car is coming in the opposite direction and therefore you should not attempt to overtake – INCORRECT!

3) inside indicator on to inform said driver he may now overtake as the coast is clear in the opposite direction – INCORRECT!

4)…and this gets the biggest shriek…to inform the driver coming in the opposite direction where the outside of your car is!!

I am absolutely not kidding here!! It’s to inform perfectly sighted, perfectly able, perfectly intelligent drivers where the outside of the oncoming car is!! Bear in mind here cars out here are not some special design where the headlight is not placed…oh yes…on the outer edge of the car…oh yes….right next to your indicator!

ARGHHHHHHH!!!

I’ve stopped driving after sundown!

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You look fat

I SWEAR it’s a compliment over here! And the first words to tumble out of the mouth of my Mozambican accountant. It means you look well or you look healthy…but even so!

After a nice long break back home for Christmas and a journey back to Mozambique something akin to Planes, Trains and Automobiles thanks to the British snow, I have swapped my minus 3 degrees for plus 30 degrees.

 Snow in England looks picturesque but makes getting anywhere quite a challenge!

Mum and I slip and slide to the shops!

Everyone needs a break once in a while to recharge the batteries and simply switch off from work mode but now I’m back and raring to go.

I wondered to myself on my journey back what this year has in store for me.

2009 was quite a learning curve year, not just work wise but on the culture front too!

I was educated by my Mozambique colleagues on the finer points of what life is REALLY like in Mozambique…not surprisingly it’s not all seafood and scuba diving!

Stories from the slightly scary of being forced into hiding in the reeds of the riverbank every single night for several years during the war through to the slightly surreal of having an audience will you consummate your marriage on your wedding night peppered my working day!

And without a shadow of a doubt I have laughed til I’ve cried from some of the single funniest one liners from my ops manager!

The oddities which once made me wonder whether I was mad moving here have now become the norm (and are actually quite fun!)…I am confident in the pitch black of an evening powercut I could locate torches, candles, matches within 30 seconds, could rustle you up at least a 2 course meal to be enjoyed by candlelight, we could watch a DVD movie and I would certainly have enough water stored for you to have a nice bucket wash!

In fact during one night time powercut, the laptop battery having run out, having finished my last decent book, it being too late to go out and take refuge at a friends house and at 8.30 was too early even for me to go to bed, that I managed to paint half decent looking butterflies on my wall (by the light of my trusty head torch)!

Let me explain…it’s impossible to get decent pictures out here! Ah ha…no problem for Misshelen…take one paintbrush, a pot of paint, sanddown and repaint a reclaimed window frame et voila!!

Oh yes, how different life is out here!

Every person has a story to tell and I learned last year that no matter how busy life gets it’s worth taking the time to stop and listen to their tales – I fully intend to practice what I preach in 2010!

 As for 2010; I’m going to be an aunty again, I’ve a couple of new year’s resolutions which i’m trying to keep and I think the big bosses might have a move in store for me…but other than that who knows what’s ahead…?!

 Happy new year to everyone!

Let me know what your new year’s resolutions are…

       …..have you broken any yet??!! 

                                 Never too old to build a snowman!