May I introduce you to Marcos...our helpful, friendly, crazy driver for the week. Referred by friends (thanks Sid!), we hired him three or four times to take us to markets and he was fantastic. He knew several of the stall shop keepers and would always get us the best prices. He would never charge more than he should have and considering he was our driver slash tour guide slash bargain hunter, he was worth his weight in gold.
A solid two hours of driving, market stall shopping, and guiding/navigating would run us (according to him) about 200 birr...$12 CAD.
We felt we may have taken our life in our hands just a little, that's pretty much par for the course in Addis.
Marcos has been driving for ten years. His fiancee works in Dubai and will continue to do so until they get married in January. He's a sweet guy and we look forward to hiring him next time.
Marcos drives a Datsun 210...it's somewhere in the neighborhood of circa 1978/79.
There are (of course) no back seat belts.
The doors sometimes open. Sometimes not.
The locks always lock but sometimes they take a little extra 'umph'. There are no levers to roll the windows down in the back. And, while I was glad to see the wipers in case it would rain, one day it did rain...it poured actually...and I was a little dismayed to see the wipers are more for decorative purposes than anything. He didn't even bother trying to turn them on. There would have been no point. They are dead.
Oh, and one last thing.
Each time we went somewhere and he needed to start it, Marcos would hotwire his car.