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Petrol by the Jar

Fill 'er up... err, almost.

Fill 'er up... err, almost.

It’s about the most rudimentary petrol station you’re going to get: a makeshift wood shelf on the side of the road, two petrol-filled jars (often recycled mayonnaise jars), and the sawed-off top of a plastic jug for funneling the petrol into the fuel tank.

Of course, there are much more sophisticated places to fill up in Liberia – the French oil group TOTAL has been steadily expanding its chain of modern service stations throughout the country, replete with service bays and mini supermarkets called Bonjour. The stations are incongruously shiny and modern; they look like they’ve been plucked from a French autoroute and airlifted to Africa.

But outside the main population centers, on those long stretches of road through the bush with no service station in sight, it’s those enterprising small vendors that will save the day if your tank runs low.


About Home Strange Home

I first left the US in 1999, when I was 18 years old. Since then, I’ve spent 13 years living abroad - 3 in Canada, 7 in Europe, and 3 in Africa. Now I've finally returned to the US on a one-way plane ticket. I arrived home in late January 2014 and set foot in the US for the first time in nearly 2.5 years. In Home Strange Home, I blog about the ups and downs of my re-acculturation experience.

One response to “Petrol by the Jar

  1. Boikai Hill ⋅

    I enjoyed reading your blog. Liberia is unique for many things, these makeshift stations a case in point. It’s crazy how such a dangerous practice can be taken for granted.

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