It was caused by the exhaust pipe on a motorcycle; I let my leg brush against it as I was getting off the motorcycle. Oops. Lessons learned: don’t let your leg brush against the exhaust pipe of a motorcycle.
Of course, here in Burkina Faso, that is no easy feat. The population of motorcycles can’t be much less than the population of human beings. There are so many motorcycles here in the capital of Ouagadougou that the main boulevards have a separate lane just for motorcycles. In the morning, as we drive to work, I see hundreds of motorcycles queued up at each red light, looking like racers waiting for a marathon to start. The photo here is of an intersection with very few motorcycles; usually there are so, so much more.
Most people I have met have a motorcycle. Even if they own a car, they also have motorcycle – it is cheaper to keep fuelled than a car, they say, and more convenient than attempting to navigate public transportation. For everyday errands, the moto is the way to go.
As I was walking in the neighbourhood today, a motorcycle turned the corner. It passed pretty close to me, and I wondered if it would give me a matching burn spot on the outside of my calf. It’s only a matter of time, I figure, with so many of the two-wheeled treasures around.