A cacophony of syncopated beats pounded the fume-laden night air as we sat motionless in our attempt to travel the last leg of our journey from Boston/JFK to Monrovia. Our driver, Saah, leaned helplessly out the car window to assess the situation. Cars, motorbikes, Land Rovers, and 3-wheeled kay-kay taxis packed the road as far as could be seen with little more than a pedestrian gap between each. A formerly single lane in each direction mangled into a twisted knot of 5 cars wide facing a single way, accented by the occasional sideways kay-kay having had plans to outsmart the very essence of this nasty gridlock.
Intersecting kay-kays led to minor fender benders that, given the heat of the moment, flared into loud word feuds further complicating the traffic mess as their trikes sat stationary while they resolved the verbal confrontations.
Those who know me will recognize that traffic is not my friend. Roxanne soothed my traffic blood pressure with Vienna finger cookies carried from NY. Being the child that I am, it worked for a while. One and a half hours later we had moved no more than 20 feet. Breathe deeply, Jon…now breathe deeper.
(Caution to sensitive readers…the following may be crude): The effects of downing a full bottle of water was beginning to literally “fill” me with frustration as I sat in the back seats among our luggage with Sharon and Roxanne. I eventually succumbed to the internal “pressure” and had to relieve myself using “traditional” local methods…right on the car tire. Yes, I’m not proud but I was readied for the next hour plus I anticipated it would take to resolve this jumble of wheeled steel. Saah, being the ever-patient African, held the steering wheel quietly and inched forward at any opportunity.
Lacking any law enforcement, a few strong-minded men showed up and began controlling the situation. Ever so slowly fibers of the knot were pulled apart and a looseness in the cords developed that eventually unraveled the mess. Two minutes down the road we turned left onto a bypass road and just like that the roads were clear.
A normal travel time from the airport is about an hour and fifteen. This joyous adventure took 3 1/2 hours.