Monday, 19 December 2011

Caravan Dispatches - Flashback - Of Big Malls and Well Maintained Roads

Some flashback ....

Written on the 29th November 2011

Hibberdene, South Africa. Photo Courtesy of 
Today it is sunny in Durban. The kind of sun that you wish you had time to go for a deep swim. We are on the road heading into town in what will be a one hour plus journey. Our hosts have  been gracious at Hibberdene, the area we have been putting up.

Today we change places and get nearer to the International Conference Centre, where the Climate Change Conference is taking place. What has not stopped amazing many of the caravanites is the road network here. The roads are so well done. 

For Kenyans especially it is a culture shock to be driven around on roads that have no potholes. The drive we have is one of the longest l know yet if it were in Kenya it would take us more than 3 hours to maneuver through traffic. The lanes here are also a shocker. They are mostly four to six lanes. No not 3 for each direction but 6 for one direction. And no, it is not just for one road like that of Thika road in Kenya. It is most roads. The minimum lane road is like the one we are on right now. It is two lane. Compared to Kenya cars here move fast. Sometimes it is all the six lanes coming at you.
Courtesy of

I remember wanting to cross the 6 lane road yesterday from the conference centre and asking one of the policemen, ‘how do you cross these lanes?’ He simply answered, ‘ Wait until the robot stops them.’ The traffic light that is.Seriously, well done and maintained.  The country side is beautiful and clean. You should be here to see it.

Then we noticed something yesterday. The traffic police are mostly women, beautiful women in pretty uniforms and white hand gloves. Oh my recipe for accidents in Kenya. No seriously. These women are pretty. Just noticed them especially yesterday when we were leaving the conference centre. Oh and they stop the cars and the motorists stop. 

Can that happen in Kenya seriously? Yesterday we went out to print some documentation we needed at a mall that is near the centre. It was fully packed. I wondered aloud, ‘Don’t people have anywhere to go other than sit around and have coffee?’ To which the local who was taking around said, ‘well this is a popular bus stage hence the big number of people.

This place is big on malls.Oh they are big and splashy. While in Kenya we have just a few and others coming up, South Africa is way ahead. Indeed a culture shock for me. Note to self-Kenya needs to attract more investors.

By Maria Wanza

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