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Between Odorkor and Mankessim

“AJIIII … ajiii … ajiii,” I yelled as the youthful mate crushed my toe with his stiletto. He was hopping out of the Benz Bus as I tried to climb on to same.  


The pain wouldn’t have hurt as much if he hadn’t fastened “talkings” to the heels of the shoes; the leather-worn black shoes which had taken an “I swear God” shape.  

And it was the first time I had seen a mate wearing a pair of shoes on the job.  That for me was news.  Anyway!

You know the “I swear God shape”, don’t you? Shoes often take that shape when they are a size or two bigger than their wearers.  

The space created ahead of the toes in the shoes makes the frontage curve upwards.  Ahaa, I can see you smiling at the description.  You know what I’m talking about. 

“What’s wrong with you?  Couldn’t you have waited for me to finish entering the bus before hopping off?  See how much you’ve hurt me.  I won’t go on this bus anymore. You’re a very careless young man.  Next time watch your steps …” I went on and on and on as I bent down to massage my big right toe.  

When the pain seemed not to subside, I decided not to really travel to Mankessim on that bus.  It could be a sign of bad omen. I asked the mate to let another take my place on the bus.  

 I was so so so angry.  Kissing my teeth, I walked away and took my seat on a small bench in the dusty lorry park, beside an orange seller. Time was 6:15 a.m.

By and by, the bus to lift me off to my destination filled up.  Before take-off, a co-passenger who had bought two boiled eggs decided to divide each one to pour into their middle, the pepper which the vendor had tied into tiny plastic wrappings.  The smell which engulfed the car was so unpleasant, it made me sick. I managed to bear the discomfort.

… Odorkor, McCarthy Hill, Weija, Bortianor, then Kasoa, where we were met with the infamous traffic.  The vehicle began to assume a warm distinctive temperature as it inched towards Gomoa Budumburam. 

I began to wonder how car owners in the transport business were really able to make any profit by plying the Kasoa-Accra paths. 

Just when the heat was getting unbearable, an unidentified passenger whose well-brewed bowels could no longer hold together their gaseous content decided to release a fart.  Gees, it was a deeply dense release of hydrogen sulfide.  I almost lost consciousness.  

I was seated on the last row at the back.  The whiff emerged from the middle.  I saw faces change in awe of the reek.  Were it not for the fact that the passenger who ate the eggs was seated three seats away from me, I would have ascribed the enhanced odour to him. 

Some passengers began to fan themselves to ease the tensed situation a bit.  A few more held their noses with the aid of handkerchiefs or cover cloths. 

Everyone seemed to be very courteous.  None complained verbally about the unfortunate situation.  The traffic began to move in bits till we arrived at Gomoa Budumburam when another stroke of the pong was released by the unknown traveller.  That was when some began to protest.  

“So who is this who has decided to punish us in this impenetrable traffic like this? Eh?”  An elderly woman who sat a row ahead of me asked.  

The traffic at Budumburam was spectacular.  Whaaaaaaaat?  I would want to believe the bonnet-to-bumper movements we experienced at Kasoa was way better than that of Budumburam.   

 How do they survive who ply that route frequently?  Eigh! A journey of approximately 108km, which could have been done in an hour and a half, was conquered in two hours, forty-five minutes.  Eigh.  Hm.

The smell had utterly left us when in what seemed like an hour and 15 minutes, another fart diffused.  Everyone was suddenly agitated, as no one could be fingered as the culprit.  

Without being told, the driver himself, almost choking from what stank like rotten ammonia, pulled by the side of the road, and alighted without a word.  We all did same.  We had to exhale to survive.  The traffic was too much for anyone to suffer such calamity. 

“Some commercial drivers who passed us by, and who thought our stationed vehicle had run out of fuel, shouted teasingly, “one gallon, one gallon”. At that moment, I wished it was for the sake of one gallon that we had alighted. 

Fortunately or unfortunately, when we all decided to board the bus again, the slim young man who sat in the middle row was nowhere to be found.  So we took off without him.  

The rest of the journey was “scentlessly” smooth.  Lo and behold, the Jonah had dived into the sea.  There was peace and quiet the rest of the journey through. 

Later in the day when I arrived in Accra, I was telling a friend over the phone what an ordeal we had suffered in our vehicle.  

This was what she had to say, “Ablah, farts smell, but they have potential health benefits that could help cure strokes, heart attacks and dementia, scientists have revealed”. 

 Really?  Hmm, maybe we should talk about this discovery next week, if space allows.  Have a restful weekend. 


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