The ride

Its 7am, I am staring at myself in the mirror trying to fix my tie as I get the surge of confidence I need for the job interview in two hours.

I am confident and can feel it with every breath. Moments later, in the taxi park, I spot an unusually large bus branded ‘Yutong’ with a mark that reads ‘Kimironko-downtown’ in red.

All seats are already taken so I have to stand. My height comes in handy to help me secure a firm grip on a pole. The area inside the brand new bus is spacious but cramped moments later. I can neither see the windshield nor hear the sound of the ‘Tap and Go’ device that beeps with each entry.

The driver finally starts the engine and out of the park we go, off to the ‘green city’. The radio is tuned to smooth and sound meditation-like songs.

We are suddenly shaken from our peace when the driver hits the brakes. I’m forcefully moved a metre or so through the standing passengers in front of me but then stopped by a black briefcase.

Meanwhile other passengers are also having their share from the sudden stop; some are kissing windows and hugging chairs. Everybody seems to have lost it. A couple of grunts are thrown at the driver, and his immediate reaction is to turn the radio’s volume up — maximum!

We later park at a bus stop and the automated doors open, compelling some to get out. A number of people get out; but then the ones who enter are twice as many.

The rest of the journey is a living hell; passengers are tightly packed, it is as if we are in a hot furnace. I am sweating; my hair is curled in a messy fashion. For some reason, I can’t signal the woman standing next to me to move her feet because her heels are tearing into my big toe.

Then, I realise we are in town. I don’t have a magic pill to revive the confidence I departed home with. Either way, I still have an interview to pass. Heaven knows what will happen.

Hirwa is an aspiring writer from Groupe Scolaire Officiel de Butare

 

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