Saturday, August 05, 2006

It has been three months since my last blog and I am feeling like I am about to burst with the amount of gist that I have.
I worked at Kash for three weeks before school was called back and I shipped myself back to school. But before then, those were the funniest three weeks of my life. For one, K.V is based on Davies Street and anyone who knows Davies Strees on the island knows that it is banking central. We are like a spitting distance from the bus stop and i mean that literarily because any time I step out of the building, someone's saliva seems to be shooting past my face. It's war of the salivary glands being fought by all the brave agbero boys of the island.
The bus ride in the morning is the most funny and annoying thing one can ever be fortunately unfortunate to experience. First you leave home at 5.30 and walk to the bus stop. Lagos wakes up at about 4.00 in the morning and so, most of the time, you are not the only one there. Though there were those occassional days when I stood shaking in my "sensible shoes", watching warily as one or two lone cars sped by at break neck speed (either because the driver is also pertified of armed robbers and/or trigger happy police or they were fleeing from both) then slow down when they saw me: a lone female.
I endured two episoded of that before I went home and casually remarked to my mother(falsely) that someone was raped and robbed at the bus stop and that it took all of three minutes (hahahahahahahaha) before the bus arrived for the calamity to befall the poor innocent girl whose only crime was going out to seek a job at the behest ( i am not even sure that is a word or what it means) of her father. The next day, I was given Mr. Laraban, mummy's long suffering slightly imbecilic driver to ensure my safety to and from work. Like his hobbling self and disgusting rotted teeth would save me...then again, it just might have.
So, i rode the bus each day and absorbed all the smells around me. I do not know what the African man's problem with deodorant is. How do you leave your house smelling of day before yesterday's dinner and feel prepared to meet the day? I guess that is my naivete sounding out. I really must remember that millions cook and sleep in the same room; not the same building, the same room. Thus, clothes absorbe the ODOUR of whatever is in the air. Bus conductor's oozing the fermentation of an unwashed mouth mingles with the body odour of ten other passengers, two of which are on both sides of you and are falling asleep against you. Add to that the festering heat of an african morning or the cold of the rain.
Riding the bus is funny. Imagine when the bus does not stop because it does not have brakes and that in go-slow, the bus conductor has to walk beside the bus and put stones in front of the tires to stop the car from rolling back. I like bus conductors, they are the salt of the earth. the barely literate, foul mouthed, foul minded, badly dressed and odour-filled salt of the earth