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kenya smallNot unexpectedly, traffic is a problem in Kenya. This also worried my Kenyan colleagues the most, before I came here. Traffic rules are only roughly adhered to and the principle of letting the weaker road users take precedence is not very common.

In addition, the streets in the city are not clearly demarcated from the driveways or parking lots and the two-lane main road sometimes looks for me more like four lanes, if I follow the movements of the vehicles. There are sidewalks in certain places, but they serve more as a veranda or shop window. But the biggest challenge is the motorcycles. In recent years, a good business has emerged with motorcycle taxis. And the drivers are good at meandering through the traffic, if necessary also alongside the road.

My tactic now is to look for someone who is also on the side of the road, waiting visibly to cross the street. I place beside this person and follow her or him when she or he crossed the road. Recently, I found a lady, who obviously wanted to cross to the other side. I placed myself next to her and dutifully looked to the left and to the right and waited. And waited. And waited some more. Until I realized that the lady was waiting for me to go ahead and help her cross the street. I looked at her and we both laughed. Then a gap in the traffic opened and we got to the other side.

And if nobody is standing at the roadside? Then I make a detour and walk 200m to the roundabout. There are small islands between the lanes there. They are not really intended for pedestrians, but make the crossing easier: I just have to pay attention to one lane and all the vehicles slow down before turning into the roundabout.

This article is part of the series "Stargardt in Africa".

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