On Friday afternoon Mike and I enjoyed a little levity after
a few long days of getting stories in Port-au-Prince
and beyond. There have been way too many seemingly endless car rides. The last
thing we were looking forward to was another lengthy trip.
We were headed to our live location, the Project Medishare
field hospital near the airport. Under ideal conditions the drive takes about
40 minutes. However, conditions are hardly ever ideal in Port-au-Prince. Roads were bad
pre-earthquake, now there are people walking in the streets to avoid piles of
rubble. There are few intersections with traffic lights. Stop signs?
Haven’t seen one yet. The sound of horns blaring is the symphony of the
So we decided to count the number of times our driver Franz
honked his horn. Franz is a taxi driver by profession and has been doing a
great job getting us around. Like a conductor wielding his baton, Franz drives
with his palm strategically placed—always ready to deliver a well-timed
Traffic was especially bad and the ride took 58 minutes.
During that span Franz hit the horn an impressive 82 times! But that only
tells part of the story.
Attached is the score sheet. The asterisks indicate
prolonged beeps; the circled ones were really
long. The one with a ‘6’ denotes a rat-a-tat series of baby ones.
And the check marks? Well those are two times Franz didn’t honk. He
stuck his head of the window and yelled at the other driver. An hour car ride
never went by so fast.