I generally like to be on the move. Whether it’s by plane or train or automobile, I become one with the motion. Closing in on my destination, most times I begin to loathe the journey’s end. I’ve become comfortable with my space. But looking back, three exceptions pop into my mind.
♥On my way to a camel market in Egypt, I was at the back of a long and narrow truck. Along the two parallel benches, passengers faced each other in the stifling heat and discretely avoided touching knees. I was stuck inside my corner of the jolting truck with no window onto the world. I began to feel nauseous, but my language skills didn’t permit me to share my predicament. Only my peppermint lolly saved my pride. It may have lasted less than twenty minutes, but it was a ride that lasted forever.
♥Traveling by quad bike in the desert dunes of Swakopmund in Namibia, my bike flew off the route and fell four feet next to a bush. I was shaking and thinking, I might get injured here. The quad bike was too big for the likes of me. Back on the route, I proceeded at a snail’s pace. When a guide drove up to ask if he could help, I asked him if he could direct me to my starting point. I told him I was too much of a scaredy cat for quad biking. When he hesitated, I offered to pay him extra for his help. He smiled and told me to leave my bike and hop onto his. I never saw my quad bike again. We drove along high ridges and traversed over steep hills at top speed. I had the most exciting tour of the dunes, holding onto a guy with thirty years riding experience. The trip worked out, but my fear is what I remember most.
♥En route to a local village tour in Uganda, we were stymied at the local bus stop for over an hour. After asking around, my guide learned our bus had become full before reaching our stop so it naturally didn’t travel onward. A replacement bus would not be coming. In short time, my resourceful guide hired us each a motorcycle taxi. It was my first time riding a motorcycle and I insisted on wearing a helmet; then I insisted on wearing a helmet that wasn’t busted. My driver gave me his helmet and we took off. I was holding onto his waist with one arm and holding the busted helmet on top of his head with the other. As we tore around corners, I clenched the seat with my thighs and readjusted my driver’s helmet so it didn’t cover his eyes. I didn’t die, but I had second thoughts about giving the driver the busted helmet.
♦Some forms of transport aren’t worth repeating. So if the plan is to get there by roller skates, count me out.
TATTOO—Journeys on My Mind by Tina Marie L. Lamb
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