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That Time I Drove a Tuk-Tuk

"Mora, Mora!"


“Mora Mora,” is a common expression for the Malagasy people in Madagascar. You will hear it over and over again. It translates as: slowly, slowly, and it is a common expression used in daily life because everything in Madagascar time comes slowly and easily. No one is in a rush or hurry. (Unless they are a taxi/mini bus driver and then suddenly everyone is in a frantic rush to reach their destination although they are most certainly going to be 5 hours late!) To sum up, the expression “mora, mora” is a hearty reminder to take life easy and calmly and slowly.
Now, here we were, my mother, myself and my-now-husband, plus the driver of the tuk-tuk and our Malagasy guide all crammed together. Oh and don’t forget the chickens. In total 7 passengers-including the two chickens-on a three-hour drive back to our hotel after a long day’s drive on top of it. Three hours in a tuk-tuk is not the most ideal but we decided to make things interesting and asked our driver if he would allow us to try our hands at tuk-tuk driving. He agreed. First was Christian and then myself. Now I happen to be a bit of a rally driver, having driven daily in Egypt for my commute to and from work, I had picked up some driving habits not unfamiliar to the locals.
Myself, my mother and Christian
I stepped on the throttle and sped away in the rust-bucket of a tuk-tuk at the speed of—oh who am I kidding it probably has a top speed of 20mph. The two Malagasy men, surprised at a blonde woman’s driving style, both death gripped the handle bars and tried to avert their eyes as I raced around the many craters in the road. They couldn’t contain their nervousness and shouted, “Mora Mora!” Christian was kind enough to race about outside the tuk-tuk and try to film but luckily for him and the frightened men, the potholes slowed me down enough to allow him to catch up and jump inside.
The two chickens sat calmly in the back seat with my mother. This was obviously not their first tuk-tuk experience.

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