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Taxi in sky blue

Harar in east Ethiopia is the town with full of historical atmosphere. Blue colored taxies run about in the town. All the taxi is Peugeot 404 Sedan. The "Peugeot" is French car manufacturer. And the "404" is a model name. It's made more than forty years ago.

It used to be usual using a Peugeot as a bush taxi in Africa. It's so popular as much as a bush taxi itself was called just "Peugeot taxi" But that's a story in former French west African countries. A model is also different from the one of Harar. Peugeot 504 seven seater wagon (also called Sette Place) was popular. However I wondered, on the eastern edge of African continent, in the country which has no colonized history, why such a huge number of Peugeot 404s have outlived like the coelacanth, an ancient fish.
Actually Harar is also known as the town where French poet, Arthur Rimbaud lived and ran a trading business. But probably, he wasn't the key person to the answer. So I looked it up little bit. Production of the 404 was finished in 1975. However it continue to be made outside of France and exported to African countries until 80s. The 404 in Harar maybe the survivors of that.
Anyway it's sure the classic car and the antique town with charm is well matched. And it makes me remember Cuba. The cities of Cuba were filled with 50s American cars too. It's a heaven for the car mania like me.

The sky blue taxis were standing by every where in Harar. And people take it together. It's a ultimate car-sheering.
The people in Harar take it for a market and buy a bunch of foods and commodities. They load it on the roof and trunk of the car. And finally they ride themselves on the taxi holding another baggage. No extra space for the 404 at all. The suspension hits the bottom. Unlocked trunk lid is bumping. Before long, the low downed Peugeot 404 with full load departs squeaking tyre house.
"What's a car for?" It made me thought onece again.

Oct. 2012

Today's piece
" Taxi in Sky Blue #2" Harar, Ethiopia 2012

fumikatz osada photographie