Bus Tickets are for Satisfaction: The Sequel to “Oh, That’s Normal!”

After spending three months in Kigali, I really shouldn’t be surprised by some of the happenstances that are bizarre in my mind, but are perfectly normal by Rwandan standards. Here are some of the best moments of (ab)normality:

Every time you take a bus, the man who is in charge of  collecting the bus fare hands you a ticket. When the bus ride is almost over, he begins to collect the money, rendering the ticket utterly useless, because you are already on the bus. During one particularly eventful bus ride, Matha broke the ice and started talking to the fare man who was staring at her from approximately six inches away. We asked him,

Every time you take a bus, the man who is in charge of collecting the bus fare hands you a ticket. When the bus ride is almost over, he begins to collect the money, rendering the ticket utterly useless, because you are already on the bus. During one particularly eventful bus ride, Matha broke the ice and started talking to the fare man who was staring at her from approximately six inches away. We asked him, “Why do you give these bus tickets anyway if they aren’t used for anything?” His response, “The ticket is for customer satisfaction!” So there it is.

Also saw the Twitter Pub and the WhatsApp Pub.

Also saw the Twitter Pub and the WhatsApp Pub.

Never fear, there is always a scale to be found on the side of the road so you can check how much you weigh during the morning commute.

Never fear, there is always a scale to be found on the side of the road so you can check how much you weigh during the morning commute.

Need to drag a ten foot pole across the city? Nothing a moto can't handle.

Need to drag a ten foot pole across the city? Nothing a moto can’t handle.

Cat looks pretty comfortable. Maybe they had no guard dog?

Cat looks pretty comfortable. Maybe they had no guard dog?

Good to know gender roles have changed!

Good to know gender roles have changed!

Dude is rocking quite the outfit

Outfit on point

On the last day Sr. Anna insisted on bringing us to a

On the last day Sr. Anna insisted on bringing us to a “woman company.” Turns out they were a mushroom distributor. Pretty odd, pretty cool. Sr. Anna was thrilled.

Hilarious billboards

Hilarious billboards

Road construction on our street means a different maze every day.

Road construction on our street means a different maze every day.

It's dry season, it hasn't rained in a month.

It’s dry season, it hasn’t rained in a month.

A normal breakfast with our friend Justin

A normal breakfast with our friend Justin

Gotta love the patriotism here. Too bad I never thought of painting my bike like this.

Gotta love the patriotism here. Too bad I never thought of painting my bike like this.

Some really safe scaffolding

Some really safe scaffolding

Our friend Remember brought us to a stream that he called

Our friend Remember brought us to a stream that he called “sweet water” and offered for us to try it. We politely declined, skeptical of what might make the water “sweet.”

Traditional meets hilarious

Traditional meets hilarious

Eid al Fitr was like waiting for a snow day: you won't know if you have school on Friday until it's announced on the radio Thursday night.

Eid al Fitr was like waiting for a snow day: you won’t know if you have school on Friday until it’s announced on the radio Thursday night.

One Monday, we had chips (fries), rice, and sombe, which is a sauce made of ground cassava leaves. As each of the teachers came into the dining room, they exclaimed,

One Monday, we had chips (fries), rice, and sombe, which is a sauce made of ground cassava leaves. As each of the teachers came into the dining room, they exclaimed, “Chips on Monday! We only get chips on Thursday!” Then ironically my brother sent me this epic snapchat on that same day.

Kitchen cabinet

Kitchen cabinet. At least there’s no junk food.

We were told that people who live in the section of town called Nyamirambo like to wear super trendy and hip clothing. When we found this shop, we knew the rumors MUST be true...

We were told that people who live in the section of town called Nyamirambo like to wear super trendy and hip clothing. When we found this shop, we knew the rumors MUST be true…

Jean Marie at work on top of the water tower

Jean Marie at work on top of the water tower

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2 thoughts on “Bus Tickets are for Satisfaction: The Sequel to “Oh, That’s Normal!”

  1. Brittany, I was surprised to see that the wet floor sign was also written in Arabic. Is there a large Arabic-speaking community?

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