19 November 2012

[19] flood

I was really hoping it wouldn't come to this winter nonsense. This morning I was thinking that this weather reminds me of Halloween in Michigan: cold rain falling on brown, dead leaves.

Then it started pouring, and I regretted wearing flats when I had to walk down the street. For a city that experiences rain most of the year, this one is remarkably unprepared. On my way back to the office, the corner was flooded and my only choice was which shoe to douse first. I sloshed back to work with water-filled shoes. And on the way home from fighting class, I drove through at least six or eight flooded sections of road.

Did I ever mention the time the road flooded in Liberia? The last time I was there; obviously it flooded many a time when we lived there in the 1980s. Witness: the mud pit on the way to the LAC hospital when my mom was in labor with my sister.

But anyway, in 2006 I dropped off a couple of other law student interns at the airport in Liberia. I was driving a little sedan that was not fit for dirt roads, but the road to Robertsfield from Monrovia is paved, so one would assume not a problem. Except. 

One of the low-lying areas was flooded a good 18 or more inches deep, and some enterprising young men had set themselves up as a ferrying service. The problem with driving a low car through water is the engine, of course. The big Land Cruisers with the snorkel intake have no problem with it because they are not taking water into their engines. 

I turned off my car and put it in neutral, and these guys pushed us straight through the water. On the other side, I paid them a dollar or so, started up my car, and drove off. We did the same thing in reverse when I came back through.

(worst photo ever - it is hard to take a photo while steering through deep water)

One of the things I miss about living in Africa is having people around to just literally move your car where it needs to go. Dropped a wheel into a random hole*? People will lift it out. High-centered your Prado on a rut? People will lift it off. Sometimes they will accept money for the help and sometimes they will not. I miss that.

* And oh, there are many random holes. I have done that in two countries.

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