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Wednesday, 27 February 2008

This Bus Departs at Nine in the Morning - Page 4

Written by Kelly N. Patterson
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"This bus is going to fall," I stated and asked concurrently in my Swahili 101.  The buddah-bodied, sarong wrapped woman to my right laughed at my big worried eyes.

"No, young sista," her electric white teeth glowed through me.  "Hamna tabu."

My only memorable injury resulted from a bus-tossed chicken that found refuge up my skirt.  Once the chicken realized it survived the turbulent encounter, it decided to peck its way through my bare inner-thighs.  The frenzied fowl's bloody incisions made walking extremely unpleasant for several days.  I was comforted by the fact, that if the chicken escaped the bus alive, it would certainly be fried soon.

The tattered Africans, some with bare feet, collectively and wordlessly began to ascend the mountain.  No one searched for possessions; they just calmly scaled the mud mounds towards the nearest village.  There were no crying children, no declarations of legal pursuit, no cellular phones to notify the authorities, and absolutely no word of a refund.  I quickly scrambled after my big-bosomed companion, "What do we do now?!"

Again, her cheek-vibrating laugh, "We walk, young sista!"

"How far?" I winced.

"Oh, hamna shiba!" she responded.  I instantly reminded her, she said "no problem" just before we were assaulted by mud.  She observed me cautiously, "What are you thinking, young sista?"

"We will walk for a long time."

She laughed abundantly, put her arm around me and exclaimed, "Karibu (welcome) to Africa!"

After a long pause, I said to her, "You know, the next time the bus is going to fall, I am not going to sit by such a fat woman."  She could not stop laughing.

© Kelly N. Patterson

(Page 4 of 4)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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