22 October 2017

KHARTOUMING: Wheels part 4

Ahmed’s evolutionary traits seem to extend to his general physique, autonomic system and emotional endurance. Besides his highly developed vestibule-cochlear nervous system, his lower limbs learnt to reach such length and arrangement as would help his daily struggle. He is also blessed with thicker skin than his counterparts in other nations; all the more to endure not just the scorching sun and harsh sand, but also as a protective mechanism against inevitable dehydration and constant whipping.

The average Sudanese guy from the average Sudanese neighborhood has a highly expandable stomach; while able to endure hours and sometimes days without food, it is equally equipped to handle any amount of food possible, of any variety and quality, and regardless of expiry date. More importantly, he would have developed a unique keratin and epithelial arrangement of his hands and fingers so that it is able to attach to any surface, through any space and for any period of time required. It is sometimes akin to magnetism. These tools are vital to his daily survival.

Jostled by the current of human bodies filling every possible crevice in the bus, Ahmed is passed to and fro, mostly in the direction of the door. His throat is still aching from his recent encounter with the female species. He gropes blindly around for air and a place to hold onto, coming ever nearer to the exit with each movement and closer to being expelled onto the street hurrying by outside. Absently noting the clicking of the Kumsari lost somewhere in the midst of the crowd behind him, Ahmed tries helplessly to find a footing in the sea of feet below him. He has reached the last layer of people separating him from the open door, and any minute now he will find himself out in the open. He closes his eyes and sends a frantic prayer to the heavens, already feeling the wind on his face.

Sure enough, the next wave of movement inside the vehicle finds him with one foot on the ledge, the other in the air and his arms trapped inside. But it seems the heavens, in a rare show of kindness to the average Sudanese guy from the average Sudanese neighborhood, have responded to his desperate cry; in the form of 4 centimeters of bare metal framing the door of the bus. Ahmed spots the gleaming expansion of iron just as the broken asphalt opens its awaiting arms to receive his blue-clad body. He wrenches his arm free of the crowd and grabs at it. Success at last! The magnetic-like characteristics of his fingers rise to their full use as he curls the tips around the tiny concavity which would otherwise be impossible to hold onto. With half a foot on the outer ledge and 3 fingers hooked into a depression in the roof, Ahmed is an official passenger riding a bus into town; his place, though not the most comfortable, still affords the maximum amount of ventilation and the best view possibly acquired from atop a bus.

One Comment

Leave a Reply to whoisthisguy Cancel reply

  • whoisthisguy
    2 February 2015 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Well written. Would you mind if I use it in class?

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