Good news! I've got a vehicle! You would think it wasn't that hard, but indeed it was a bit of a challenge. Zambia drives on the wrong side of the road (thanks Brits!). There are limited quantities of right-hand vehicles. And because Zambia is landlocked, everything is pretty expensive--honestly I don't know how most people manage. In fact, the cost of living versus the daily wage is something that keeps petty theft and poverty high.
But I was really blessed to get this little 4X4 for $5500 US. That's actually a REALLY REALLY good deal on this side for a 1994 truck with 200+kms on it. It's a diesel and really rugged. When the rains hit, I should be able to manage the back roads--although I will need to invest in new tires soon. My friend Aymie would definitely say this "is a Natasha car". My favourite is that it's 1/2 blue, has tons of gadgets (like fog lights and wipers for the headlights) and it called "Spirit". Yes, all you Jesus-freaks can make the necessary jokes..."carried by the Spirit", "moved by the Spirit", "transported by the Spirit". haha.
Here are some considerations when driving in Zam:
~ You have to drive on the wrong side of the road: I was really worried about this transition. Luckily I've only driven on the WRONG wrong side once--and survived!
~ Most traffic rules are suggestions rather than rules (just like Quebec! lol): This suits me just fine. I can now come to a rolling stop without guilt. And should the need arise, simply use the shoulder as an extra lane, pass anyone--even in a construction zone but ALWAYS stay alert!
~ Speed bumps and roundabouts: there are lots! You're driving along, all happy and bang! Speed bump.
~ Parking: see note on "suggestions". Any spot is a potential parking spot. I saw one guy parked in the middle of the roundabout today.
~Bribes and police checks: there are lots! One construction guy asked me for 1000 kwatcha to let me pass through the construction zone (see comment on cost of living vs. theft). Kinda sad as that is less than 25cents. The police have been nice though and I pray when I go through their checks for invisibility--Activate cloaking device!
~ You get to live out all your 4X4 fantasies! Mud, bush, rough terrain, sideways slants--bring it on!
By the way. Today was the first time it really occurred to me--I live in Africa now! Wow!
Click on the pictures to zoom in!