Friday, 26 October 2012

Ways I Might Die in Mali

Since our security advisor imposed the totally unnecessary curfew, we've been spending some time listing the ways we are actually most likely to die in Mali. I thought I'd share them. Spoiler: 'Jihadi attack' and 'road block death' aren't there.

1. Car accident
By far the most likely

2. Hit by car while walking by road.
There aren't really pavements, so this is definitely feasible. Also they don't indicate, and they swerve a lot. And I look the wrong way when I cross the road. Clearly I'm doomed.

3. Falling in a hole
There are a lot of holes in the street, mainly drainage channels/sewers as well as giant potholes. Walking back from the gym at night, with no lighting, I'm often genuinely concerned that I'll fall in a hole and die.

4. Infection
Possibly related to 3. If I fall in a hole, I'll probably survive the fall (the holes aren't that big), but the foul smelling black crap at the bottom of the hole/ditch would probably not be good for me.

5. Breaking my neck falling down a hill at the hash
Some of the hares like to have us run down rough-cut steps. Some time, someone's going to break their neck.And given my current fall rate, it'll probably be me.

6. Electrocution
Someone in the Dakar guesthouse was nearly killed by a live wire coming in contact with, of all things, a sunshade. It's worse here. The other day I unplugged the washing machine and the entire plug came out of the wall. Then I looked down and realised the water pipe had overflowed and I was standing in a pool of water. Holding disconnected wiring. Realise that I've had time to have all these thoughts and am not dead, so live wires probably aren't in contact with the water. Put down wiring on top of washing machine, back away slowly...

7. Malaria
This should probably have gone higher, but I'm taking prophylaxis for the moment

8. Drowning
Drunk people + pool parties = dangerous

9. Flipping off the bridge
In a famous Bamako incident, three Americans were in a car with three prostitutes crossing the bridge (at 3am?). The car flipped, went off the bridge, and they all died. It turns out there's an uneven road surface that, when you hit it fast, means that this happens quite often. Although luckily the traffic's bad enough that hitting it fast isn't usually an option.

10. Level crossing
The taxis stop in traffic halfway across a level crossing. In Kampala someone was killed doing that a few years ago, and it always freaks me out.


11. Zombies
I haven't found a good zombie plan for Bamako yet - no location that has both access to water and food, and is defensible. If there's a zombie apocalypse I think my best bet would be to die in the first wave, rather than have my suffering prolonged.

A little morbid perhaps, but kept us entertained for an evening...

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