Is it the riveting conversation? The ability to rub any, See its not conceivable. Me was not thinking of any Adversity When I thought Fanani Flava Only Nicesities Maybe It's the wine And the understanding wiles The place we've set for life to have smiles At every stage like a baby growing Though there's the late night pledge It's all a beauty wedged In its experience Fanani Flava; A place to Savor By Ketronique

August 2010 - Daladala


Daladalas of Dar
Are the champions by far
Of the rush-hour crush
The commuter mayhem.

Oh, I know, London’s tube is suffocating
Delayed trains, all that pointless waiting.
In Kigali they have bum-squeezing tricks
So that seats for 3 can fit 5 or 6.
In Tokyo, tube-pushers push you inside
But everyone is sooo polite.

Have you seen a well-dressed mama
Kick her leg up,
Thrust it through the open bus window
Pull herself in
Arse last
And launch herself giggling into a backseat’?

Have you seen passengers push and slap and laugh at the fuss

As they wrestle their way into a 12-seater bus?
And the last ones that stand hanging out of the door
Power fingers like crampons keep them safe from the floor.

The laughter isn’t kind, it’s hysterical
The passengers, not individual but numerical

No recorded - or live - voice saying, “Let passengers off first”

If you don’t barge out, delayed impact is worse.

It’s the rainy season. The hurricane’s daughter.
Roads pot-holed and deep in water.
Dalas splashing and soaking the roadside sellers,
Inside them, wet commuters with wet umbrellas.

I hesitate to climb aboard, but politeness won’t pay off
I try to ease myself inside without being too rough
Don’t want my aggressive side to fly
Until some sod
laughing kicks me in the thigh.

I’m squeezed, standing, head bent, shoulders sag,
Damp, one hand holding a rail, the other my bag,
Too many feet and no space to stand straight,
Bum in my back, bus drives off in full spate.

We are full but the bus squeals to a stop.
Through the web of arms one
- no - two heads pop.
Next, the two wet bodies force their ways in.
Re-contorted, we lurch, as the bus sprints off in a spin.

A disembodied arm reaches through
Clinking coins so we know our fares are due
And the hand takes your piece and then is gone
Then finds you out again somehow with a ticket twixt finger and thumb.

“Shusha” I call, and bus swerves to a stop
I labour to extract myself and am birthed in a pop.
Now on the wet street, the dala splashes away
And I think, let me just walk for the rest of today.

Daladalas of Dar
Are the champions by far
Of the rush-hour crush
The commuter mayhem.

Irena Pearse Aug 06

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