Copyright 2013 Pia Groff
The bus spewed out black exhaust and the engine protested loudly every time it had to struggle its way uphill. Luckily, or unluckily, depending on one’s appetite for adventure, most of the journey was downhill, but at a frighteningly high speed. The driver spoke on his mobile phone, smoked and casually dodged all the potholes and, most impressively, stayed on the road. When he was unable to avoid a pothole the passengers were all thrown upwards from their seats before crashing back down on the rock-hard benches. Clearly the suspension was long past its glory days.
Occasionally the smell of the exhaust would blow in through windows that had never been covered by glass. However most of the wind blowing at them was fresh mountain air and it was an excellent substitute for air conditioning. The bus interior was to a large extent made out of wood and the passengers sat opposite each other on homemade benches under the windows. They were fifteen passengers and a goat. The goat wandered up and down the aisle while its owner, dressed in a suit, slept still holding on to the rope tied around the goat’s neck. When the goat defecated, a woman holding a large cluster of miniature bananas in her lap casually pushed the round pebbles out the open door with her foot.