Wednesday, April 28, 2010

OK, Another Local Issue...

I’ll start with a few facts:  Gabon is small and Libreville is a small city.  At night, it gets very dark.  Sure, it gets dark everywhere at night, but here, it’s pitch black.  There are some streetlights, but still, it’s friggin’ dark.  Comparatively speaking, NYC doesn’t really get “dark” at night; there are so many streetlights, open businesses and car traffic that you can still see where you are going well into the early morning hours.
(a pic over the wall from my friends house, pitch black)
I drove to a friend’s house for dinner a few nights ago, after sunset, in the dark.  They only live a few miles from my house and it’s quickest to take some of the back roads to get there.

More facts:  People walk here.  Even when you take a taxi, you usually have to walk a bit because taxis don’t go all the way into a neighborhood; they stay to the main roads.  The main roads are narrow and the side roads are even narrower and they don't have markings.  There are no sidewalks in Libreville.

Last set of facts:  This is Africa.  In Gabon, there are a few French citizens and French military, but 98% of the people are black.

The issue that I have is people walking in the middle of the street, at night, in the pitch-black darkness, wearing head to toe black clothing. 

On the way to my friend’s house for dinner the other night, I almost hit 2 people.  Seriously.  One was a woman who was walking with traffic along the road in a long black dress with no detail.  Fortunately, I noticed her at the last minute because she was wearing an ankle bracelet which reflected against my headlights.  The other near tragedy was a teenager, running across the street as I came around a corner, wearing dark jeans and a black t-shirt.  I hardly noticed him.  I almost hit him.

I don’t like driving at night, I'll stick with the sun.

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