Saturday, May 14, 2011

Getting around in Haiti

We take a tap-tap everywhere - so called, because there are no buses or bus stops in Port au Prince, and you bang twice on the truck when you want it to stop. These are small trucks, like a Toyota, or Nissan etc, and are about 30 years old. People pile into the back of the truck which has two plain wooden benches put in. If there is room in the back, these small trucks pick up anyone, anywhere, and just stop in the middle of the street to do this. I have been in many of them and all of them have big cracks across the windshields, likely from all of the potholes in the road. They have a cover over the back, and people try to get seats in the shade if they can, but it is just as hot inside especially when you are crammed in between other people. You get into the tap-taps by climbing over the bumper, and as many as 10-12 people are crammed in it, with some people just hanging on to the frame. There does seem to be an internal city grid system, because the tap-taps are area specific. If you want to go to another part of the city, you get off, pay the driver, and then find another one at the next meeting point.

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