Living Vicariously As A Peripatetic Shutterbug

{ More musings from the Cantankerous Old Mule }

Why I don’t go out at night (much)

I don’t go out at night. Much. While living in Canada I did. A lot.

If I wasn’t going to be fed somewhere, going to the movies, to take photos, or do my weekly grocery shopping, I would just randomly walk around the neighbourhood to clear my lungs and head. I was told that I was taking my life into my hands because the chances of coming across a grumpy black bear were high. The wildest, scariest animals I did ever see were numerous deer and a fox or two.

Here in Madagascar, though, I try to get home early evening. Of course, there are no movie houses in Antananarivo and grocery stores close early but apart from that it’s just too dangerous to be out at night. Rather than wild animals, the danger here in Madagascar is the dark itself. It holds vehicles driving without lights (ready to pounce upon one from any direction) people walking in the road (rather than on the sidewalk) and dogs – lots of dogs – waiting to dart beneath my scooter or bicycle. And then there are the buses, whose drivers seem to have a death wish – for the cyclists and “scooterists”.

Last night I did indeed go out to supper at some friends and found myself heading home on an unfamiliar route. It was recently tarred and seemed in pristine condition for a Malagasy road. But all was not as it seemed. While an oncoming truck was blinding me, the road took the opportunity to open up and try to consume me. Thwump, I drove into a deep, metre-long pothole, and keerump, met its far edge, before lurching back out onto the smoother tar like a wounded bumblebee.

I rode the rest of the way guardedly, cursing under my breath at the unexpected obstacle, while swerving sporadically to avoid several of the aforementioned dangers. But, I must admit, apart from being able to see better than at night, the daytime isn’t a whole lot safer on these roads.


5 comments on “Why I don’t go out at night (much)

  1. gleeflower
    April 17, 2015

    Funny, the state of the roads was not what I thought of when you talked about whether it was safe to go out at night. Nice twist!

  2. Andy
    April 17, 2015

    And, suddenly, your scooter has a much shorter wheel base…

  3. themofman
    April 19, 2015

    Where in Canada did you live, and how long have you been in Madagascar for?

    • Robin
      April 20, 2015

      Hey there, thanks for coming over here too. I was up in the Cariboo.

  4. There_Lot
    April 21, 2015


Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on April 17, 2015 by in Madagascar, Travel and tagged , , .
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