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3/24/10 QotD: "I was the sixth person! Woo-hoo!"

The subtitle of this blog post should be: The Value of Lowered Expectations

As I’ve mentioned before, traveling in Morocco often means riding in grands taxis, 4-passenger wide-body Mercedes sedans that here seat 6 passengers. (Two ride shotgun, four squish in across the backseat. Duh.) The taxi won’t leave until all six “seats” (using the term generously) have been paid for.

This means that if you’re the first person who wants to go to, say, City Z from City Q, then you either get to pay for all 6 seats or wait for five other people to show up who also want to go to Z from Q. Or some combination thereof. The wait can be anywhere from five minutes to five hours, although as a rule of thumb, you should expect to wait about 5 minutes for each missing person.

When the stars align in your favor, you show up at the taxi stand and discover that five other people have already been waiting to get from Q to Z, and you get to hop right in and leave immediately. Hence the QotD: “I was the sixth person! Woo-hoo!” My buddy was celebrating a wait-less travel experience.

It made me reflect for a moment: in the US, land of car ownership and shuttle flights, we’re not really accustomed to waiting for travel. Transportation is on tap, like hot water and mochaccinos and so many other things that just aren’t readily available here in Morocco. We PCVs have become so accustomed to this waiting state of being that when we do get the instant travel we’d simply expect in the US, it becomes grounds for rejoicing.

Maybe there’s something to be said for lowered expectations.

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