When I was in Uganda, I kept a running list of funny English phrases I spotted. T-shirts were one of my favorite sources, but another favorite place to look was on the back or sides of the matatus (taxi-vans). Often, somewhere on the taxi would be a little slogan…some of my favorite ones included: “Road Rocket” (which is apt, because these things usually tear down the road as fast as their motors can carry them), “Vaya con Dios” (okay, not English…but still appropriate considering the safety factors…and the unusual sight of Spanish in the middle of Africa!), “Shake, Rattle, and Roll!”, “Bill’s Gal” (with an accompanying painted Monica Lewinsky on the side…Joel spotted that one in Mwanza, Tanzania), and “Ghetto Love.” I know there were more, but I can’t remember them right now.
Recently we’ve been paying closer attention to the finer details of the local scooters and have noticed that the names on some of them are really great. Even better (and more amusing), many of them have English slogans. It sure makes walking around and around the park a lot more fun when I’m on a quest for “scooter english”!
Some brand/model names we’ve spotted:
Hip-Hop, Sniper, Man Boy-Go, Filly, Fuzzy, Freeway, Fever, Attila, T-Rex, Heroism, Joanna (though this might be the name of the owner, and not the brand…we’ll get a picture of it for you, Joanna!!!)
“Heroism: Scooter of the world”
“Freeway: Get away from it all, Get away with it all” (I wonder if they’re trying to tap into the market of people who’d rather have a motorcycle but can’t afford it….ooo, look…Freeway, the rebel scooter!)
“Scooter of the wind called”
“Friendly scooter of the world”
“The new generational scooter fron Earth”
“Giving you the best function and sensation all I have”
and our two top favorites so far:
“Hold me: enjoy the lovely satisfaction on the road”
“Sniper: We reach for the sky, Neither does civilization”
Go here to enjoy some of the pictures of the local scooters. We’ll keep adding to it, and we’ll let you know if we get pics of some of the really good ones.