Tuesday, September 2, 2008

THE MORNING COMMUTE -- CONGO STYLE !!

So here I was driving down a street next to the train track (there is only one train track leading into Kinshasa) about 10 to 7, and I ran across the daily commute train (there is only one commute train). In an earlier post I had a couple of pictures of the train going home at night, but these possible pictures were too good to pass up. As you can tell, since there is only one train, everybody possible is going to be on that train. And when you say "on it", we really mean that. They are on top, on the engine, in the windows and the doors. Everywhere. The train was stopped here to let more people crowd onto it. I can't imagine that there is ever any accounting for revenue -- how would one possible push through the crowd to collect fares or tickets. You might try to set up a "toll booth" at the station downtown in Kinshasa, but they jump off the train before you get to the station, as it only ever moves about 10 - 15 miles an hour.
No space goes unwasted -- even the engine is a place for riding, or standing. Note the people standing on the front of the engine.
So here's the morning commute -- Kinshasa style!! For years I rode BART in the San Francisco Area -- sitting in a comfortable seat, going 80 mph between stations. And to think that we used to grumble a little about BART. Now in our home in Utah, we have two systems -- TRAX, which is a light rail system in the Salt Lake Valley; and FrontRunner, a heavy rail system that does now, or will cover a distance about 35 miles north and 45 miles south of Salt Lake. The name comes from the Wasatch Front -- as our mountains are called.
FrontRunner takes on a whole new name when you're riding on the front of the locomotive for the morning commute!!
And they combine commuting with their morning exercise. A lot of those surfing on top of the train dance as the train rumbles along the tracks. Makes even the morning subway train that our New Yorkers (Seth and Kendra) ride, seem tame by comparison!!

4 comments:

heidizinha said...

wow wow wow. It's amazing how these things are just part of everyday life for them.

Chris Keller said...

what a colorful life these people live and how wonderful you are to capture the details for all of us who are loving your ethnography.

President, you are looking skinny and very happy.

Diane said...

My son just got called to the congo mission and will be in Cameroon in December. Just found this blog and would like to ask questions
Diane

Diane said...

My son just got called to the congo mission and will be in Cameroon in December. Just found this blog and would like to ask questions
Diane