Monday, July 22, 2013

How to Throw Hand Signs in Monrovia

In the greater Monrovia area you will notice people on the side of the road waving at taxis and buses in strange ways that resemble karate chops or athletes celebrating a home run.  What may appear to just be strange or random behavior is anything but. Upon further investigation you will discover that each particular wave or gesture has a particular meaning attached to it.  They have to do with communicating your desired destination to passing taxi drivers. I've posted a few pics here to help you decipher some of the most common hand signals used in the Monrovia area for hailing a cab...

If you are on Broad Street and make this signal it means you want a ride to Red Light Market.  If you are at Red Light Market it means you want a ride to Broad Street.

If you are at Red Light Market this signal means you want to go half way --- meaning you want to go to Duport Raod or ELWA Junction.  Sometimes you will also see people moving  their finger around in a circle when making this sign. 

This is one of my favorite signs as it means you want a ride to the Airport (RIA) --  makes sense!  However, you must be on Broad Street for it to mean you want a ride to Robertsfield.Airport, otherwise this sign simply means you want a ride to a place nearby.  When the taxi pulls over you state your desired destination and he'll tell you whether you can take you now or not.

This signal means you are going to the Old Road or surrounding community, that is if you are making this sign while at the ELWA Junction.
 However the best way to get a taxi in Liberia is to go to one of the main taxi stations (where you see all the taxis gathered together).  There are several of these stations at main destinations like Red Light, Duwala, Robertsfield, etc.  When at a station you can actually "charter" the whole taxi so that the driver won't stop to pick up anyone else alongside the road making this signs.  It is not uncommon for taxis to cram seven people into one small 5 passenger car and believe me if you thought it was hot in Liberia before this happens, you ain't seen nothing yet! 

You going Old Road?
So next time you're cruising around Monrovia and see people waving and pointing in all sorts of peculiar ways, you'll have a better idea of what is being communicated. Until then... you going Old Road way my man?

No comments:

Post a Comment