Car horns honking. Engines revving. Street merchants and vendors selling newspapers, fruit, and water to people heading to work, school, and everywhere else. It is 8:00 a.m. in Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania. There are over three million people here, and they all have places to go. So, how do they get there?
There are many ways to get around Dar. The main way people move throughout the city is by public buses. These city buses are called daladalas in Tanzania. These mini-buses are usually Nissans imported from Japan. The buses are small and packed. They do not run on schedules. Do the buses run on time where you live? In Dar, the buses essentially move when the conductor decides there are enough paying customers on the bus.The daladalas have two people working. The driver (dereva in Swahili) and the conductor. The conductor stands in or near the passenger door and collects the money. It's a lot of multitasking as they have to remember who gave them which amount of money. The conductors know all the new street slang. So far, I've only seen male conductors, but I've heard there are a few women. The daladala conductor also calls out the name of the bus route from the door. They also announce each stop. They are the eyes and ears of the streets of Tanzania.Did I mention that all cars, buses, vans, and other motor vehicles drive on the left side of the street, and that the steering wheel is on the right side of the vehicle?