I had my first real run-in with a Zambian bus driver today, when he decided to ignore all traffic rules (which is a very popular national past-time for drivers here) and drive up the middle of a busy road, seemingly unaware of hitting cars on both sides, knocking wing mirrors in and generally causing chaos. Only when there was lots of horn-honking and shouting through open windows (I may have been one of those shouting!) did he stop moving forward before he sideswiped me. There was nowhere for me to go due to large rocks placed on the side of the road (to stop the popular ‘off-roading’ around backed up traffic).
I drove on a few metres and pulled off the road, to check the damage and try to figure out what I was meant to do.
After some locals threatening to call the police (amidst accusations of drink-driving and carelessness), everyone cleared off (the first to abandon ship were his paying passengers). Another motorist and victim of his reckless driving was speaking to him in a local dialect ( of which I understood the word ‘brakes’, ‘alcohol’ and ‘drunk’ in English and the Nyenja for ‘stop it’,) when I asked her ‘What was he saying about brakes?’, she tutted, ignored me and left as well because she was late for a funeral. Which left me standing at the roadside with the alleged drunk bus driver and his helper. I was only still standing there because she said she was calling the police and I thought she might need my statement! Joke!
Luckily I was unharmed, and the wing-mirror was merely knocked out-of-place – there is a trace of paint on it where he knocked it back, I was amazed it didn’t fall off. Good job, Nissan.
Having taken his license plate details myself, I am now wondering what exactly to do with it?