Just returned from Madagascar
Saturday, June 29, 2013
I did a very different thing for me. I took a vacation in a far away place. I did a tour around Madagascar. My son and I went together, and we spent a few days in France, a place I had also not visited before, then flew the rest of the way down to Madagascar.
We went on a tour of many different areas, changing hotel almost every night. We saw two of the most famous things in Madagascar, lemurs and baobab trees, and had a good guide and good drivers (on very bad roads).
Drivers and "taxis" are integral to life there, because I think most of the people are too poor to have cars of their own. Our guide even related what I would say was a proverb, but others might classify as a joke, about the subject.
The Driver, the Zebu, the Goat and the Dog
Three friends, a zebu (like a cow), a goat, and a dog, needed to go to town to do their shopping and hired a driver to take them in his car.
The driver picked up the zebu first, who paid the driver for the ride up front, and settled in for the drive to town. Then the driver picked up the goat and the dog, who told the driver they would pay once they reached the town. During the ride, the dog, who was the leader of this group, strategized with the zebu and the goat on their plans for the day in town
All was going along well, and they were getting pretty close to town, when the driver felt the "call of nature" and had to stop the car to relieve himself a ways into the bushes off the side of the road. As soon as the driver was hidden from sight. the goat exclaimed, "Now is my chance! I shall save my money for the market, and run the rest of the way to town." and he took off out the other side of the car, out of sight by the time the driver came back to the car.
All the way to the town the driver and the dog argued about the goat, and his running away with out payment. "You are the leader of your group, and you are responsible for his fare." claimed the driver.
"He is not my charge. I am only responsible for what I owe you, not for goat too." answered the dog.
As they reached the market, they were still arguing. They all got out, and the zebu. having already paid his fare, walked on towards the market, as he was unconcerned with the ongoing debate between the driver and the dog.
"For the last time, I am not responsible for the goat. But I am honest and pay my debts, here is my fare. I need my change for the market."
"Ha!" said the driver, "The change will be the fare for your friend goat!" and he jumped back in his car and drove away, never minding the dog chasing his car yelling for his change.
And to this day, that explains why zebus have no great fear of cars, and will let them pass by without any distress, but goats will always run away from cars, thinking the driver is still after them for the fare they didn't pay, and dogs always chase after cars, yelling for their change.