Every morning and evening on the daily commute to and from AMIDEAST we hale a cab in an attempt to navigate the streets of Rabat in a timely fashion. To suggest the roads are hectic would be an understatement. Here are the players:
The Grand taxi – A collection of impressively old white Mercedes which appear to fit many more adults then physically possible and certainly more than legal in Canada. Seat belt ratios are not followed.
The Petite taxi –A beautiful blue array of vehicles whose collective aggressiveness puts even Manhattan cab drivers to shame.
Wealthy locals – Driving luxury cars through bobbing and weaving taxis who appear to remain remarkable calm as they come precariously close to colliding with the other vehicles.
Sidewalks – Certainly not reserved for pedestrians. Beware of moving vehicles, parked cars, and cement barriers which serve as inadequate protection from the former.
Pedestrians – Why would you look both ways before you crossed the street?
Lane markers – Simply ignored- especially in traffic circles. Driving directly into incoming traffic is a common occurrence.
Stop signs – Optional.
The result is a choir of horns each with their own song accompanied by occasional shouting in darija from both drivers and passers by. Such activities makes the ride amusing, if not slightly nerve racking when another car’s headlights are 3 inches from your car door. The true cherry on top of the experience is hailing the cab. Picture me, an obvious foreigner, standing in the road waving at all the petit taxi trying to spot one with two available seats before my fellow commuters hail the same car while simultaneously attempting to avoid collisions with mopeds and city busses. I am sure it’s a true vision.