We hurtled out of
I had read a few pages of ‘The Lovely Bones’ the day before and had immediately liked the author’s style. So I hid in the book. In this way I didn’t hear the street sellers that crowded around the coach every time it slowed enough for them to run alongside; I didn’t see the crumbling buildings that lined the roadside or the empty faces of those who sat outside them and stared at the vehicles that rushed by; and I didn’t smell the horrific stench of the toilets when we stopped. But a novel cannot last forever, especially when it is being used to escape from the world. And so by early afternoon I was back in
In a state of dehydration induced delirium a couple of things occurred to me: firstly, I would need water, a lot of water, sometime soon; secondly, we were not going to be in Nairobi before midnight. While the coach driver attacked the roads with a certain suicidal glee (it is a peculiar thing about Africans that they rarely seem in a rush to do anything until you put them behind the wheel of a vehicle, then suddenly they seem overwhelmed by a desire to move as swiftly as humanly possible, and, well, if humanly possible isn’t quite quick enough then angelically possible will do just fine too), he also liked to stop a lot, to pick up more people (for whom there weren’t any seats) or just for some idle banter with the locals.
I considered asking the driver what time he thought we might arrive in
I had hoped we would make it to Arusha, northern
The unlit African roads that separate Arusha from Moshi passed in a 120km/h blur. A blur that was made all the more hazy by the thick black smoke that billowed from the exhaust of a minibus we got stuck behind. We arrived in Arusha somewhat surprised that our limbs were still where they were supposed to be and decided to splash out on a half-decent hotel to celebrate.
For the price of a common-or-garden bed and breakfast in the
At dinner that evening, in one of the hotel’s many restaurants (well, there were three I think, but more than one seems a lot to me), we talked about how it would be possible to have incredibly different experiences of