Monday, November 20, 2006

There are 4 groups of people who ride the bus with us in the morning (We are a group unto ourselves, because we're khawajaat . . . and what are white and-therefore-rich kids like us doing on the bus? Everyone must be thinking that.). They are:

The Athletic Guys: They are going to a compound that appears to be the Sudanese National Athletics Association. They usually wear raggedy track suits and are very tall, probably from the Dinka tribe.

The Guys with Guns: They are going to a compound that appears to be a military school. Or else a police station. Anyway, they have guns.

The Toothless Old Men in Jallabiyas: Self-explanatory (once you know that jallabiyas are long white robes that most Sudani men wear with little white hats). I don't know where they're going. Today one of them set his watch to Edward's.

The Women with Mysterious Packages: It is worth noting that nobody else on the bus is ever carrying anything. (My backpack, which I am more than likely to drop on somebody's lap, must be feared citywide by now.) I suspect these women of transporting live chickens. Or . . . lighter fluid. Or . . . other ideas?

Today a Guy-with-Gun got on the bus when it was mostly full and waved and said, "Salaam a'alaykum," (which essentially means "hello to you all"). And everybody on the bus replied. It was the coolest thing I'd ever seen.

2 comments:

Nathan said...

Reminds me of a time when I rode the bus to and from work in the US. There were the following groups then:

1) People in Suits who didn't want to engage your eyes
2) Friendly but overly vocal people trying to engage #1 and the bus driver; nice, but often lacking some insight into social cues
3) The floridly psychotic who had the CIA or aliens broadcasting messages into their brains so they needed to wear aluminum foil hats, etc.

Nobody with guns, though that was not a bad thing.

Annette said...

Riding the bus: always an adventure