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A Photo Essay: Bamako Taxi Interiors

Before you look at Bamako taxi interiors, please consider reading my last post and supporting a grassroots democracy project being led by Malian activists (our campaign ends in 68 hours!).

I could easily make a tumblr of bamako taxi interiors. I could do the same for West African barbershops, minibus proverbs, and dibiterie sheep drawings. But, you have to start somewhere.

Every now and then, you will come across a taxi interior in Bamako that is actually quite plain. Like this one:

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More often, however, you will find scenes like this:

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What a nice little homestead that is.

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My favorite taxi driver in Bamako, Omar, keeps his dashboard stocked with tissues, toothpicks and q-tips. I like the fact that I can clean my ears on the way to Baco Djicoroni.

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Some taxi drivers share other health and hygiene products with their customers. This one had a jug of what he said was aloe vera that had been produced in Dallas, TX. On the ride, the driver explained aloe’s many health benefits. According to him, aloe can cure impotence and typhoid, among other things (these claims have not been independently verified).

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Hedgehogs, meerkats, jellyfish. Why not have these things on the dash?

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This is a “take LSD and buy stickers” approach, which I can appreciate.

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This particular display is hard to beat, as it starts with a suspended Micky Mouse and ends with a cassette array bookended by Millie Jackson “Feelin’ Bitchy” and the Best of Phil Collins.

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Sometimes fur on the dash is not enough. Why not cover the radio, too?

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Some taxi interiors are just tired, but they still have a certain charm to them. I particularly like the clock here.

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That’s all for now. Please feel free to send me your own contributions to what will become the Bamako Taxi Interiors blog.

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{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Jennifer Barry June 6, 2013, 11:08 pm

    I have kicked in some money towards your campaign! Good luck with it :)

    • phil June 9, 2013, 6:02 am

      Thanks so much, Jennifer!

  • Bruce Whitehouse June 7, 2013, 6:05 am

    Brilliant photo essay, Phil. This is the sort of thing I started my blog to highlight, before it got sidetracked by less fun things.

  • lesilencieux June 21, 2013, 6:33 am

    a “requin” is what is missing to complete the picture. Requin= Taxi du Point G.

  • ces @ thrifty vagabond June 21, 2013, 7:49 pm

    Love the assortment of taxi interiors. Kind of fresh air from the common taxi interiors we see.

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