MS You Gon’ Be Late


Bus to Dar was to leave at 7AM, and conventional wisdom told me I should head out at 730AM.  Well, the time I did that I almost miss the bus, good thing I caught it on the street on my way to the bus station.  The bus was empty, even thou it’s filled with seats.  Five seats per row in a small bus.  I had space for my backpack and more space after that.  I figured no one from the mountain villages are keen to go to Dar on a Thursday.
The view on the way back was as great as the way to Lushoto.  The bus hauled and we got down the mountain quickly, almost too quickly.  I didn’t care it might turn over and we all fall down the cliff, I wanted to make my ferry.
The bus kept going, and with open to window, I got to see more of what I missed last time.  Everything is not strange anymore, everything seemed under control, I was going to make the ferry and I will triumph over Africa for one day.
The bus stopped for 30 minutes so the drivers and staff can get food, but we are still on time, even with Dar traffic calculated into consideration.  Then the bus stopped another 15 minutes so people can put cargo underneath.  Another 15 minutes at another village so the cargo space is filled to the brim.  No extra passengers, but the bus became just as heavy and in turn slow.  It is one of the most wobbly bus I have been on since Puebla, now I know why.  All the weight in the cargo had dampened the suspensions that they probably stopped working.  Someone threw up on the way down the mountains.
I didn’t mind the wobbling, wind was blowing in my face in the morning coolness, the bus is somewhat still on time, even thou I might have to get a taxi instead of dala dala to the ferry.
We passed by huts made of criss crossed branches so fragile wind might snap them.  In between the branches, spaces are filled red clays made from the red dirt on the ground.  There was no sense of architectural integrity, actually, for every hut standing there is one destroyed right next to it.
Savages see a bird and they worship it because it can fly.  Non savages see a bird and made airplane so they can fly, but can non savages survive with so little?
More palm trees, more green that stretches into infinity and stops become less frequent because the bus is too heavy.  Other buses are passing us.  Soon the time they told me we were going to arrived passed.  We only covered half the distance.
Maybe we’ll get there at the latest possible moment and then I’ll get the motor taxi there.  Optimism is not rewarded sometimes.  Two hours later I finally succumbed and lost my hope of making the ferry.  With that failure all the shortcomings of the bus became magnified.  It was hit, I’m sweating.  The shaking roof is scattering black particles and dirt on my shirt and skin.  A family of roaches that hid in the window pane decided to go for a stroll because it was too hot.
I arrived at Ubungo past the departure of the last ferry, but the bus station is rather empty.  I maneuvered through the bus stop with a dexterity that I completely lacked the last time, got on a dala dala and headed out to town center.
There are many sections of Dar, and given it another chance to shine, I went to the Muslim section.  They have good food.
The food was indeed good.  Open space barbeque with all kinds of marinated chicken and skewer.  However, in a certain area of the section, selling alcohol is prohibited.  After a day of being late, not able to get some beer is torture.  Absolute torture.  The area is dominated by Indian residents too, with goods being sold for slightly more expensive than everywhere else.  The buildings are still ran down, like a town in a post apocalyptic movie.  Nothing really changed, but I did.  I had the serenity to accept the things as they are and became better at survival.
Navigating through the streets was easy, what’s even easier was recognizing the lies of the taxi drivers and street touts.
“The ferry is far, you need a taxi”. ” The ferry only leaves at 12:30PM now, this one is cheaper”.  “The slow ferry is only half an hour slower”.
Lies are the weapon of savages.  They lie because they have nothing better to offer than your gullibility.  I’m a master of lies.
“I’m not staying, I’m going to Moçambique tomorrow morning”.  ” I already have the ticket”.  “I live and work here, I know”.
Ate, and got my ticket, I stayed the night on the MS You Missed Your Ferry that is called Dar, and prepared for landing the next day.
Lesson of the day?  Same lesson two weeks ago, don’t trust the bus.


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