Most days

Most days my morning excursion to work is uneventful. Most days the fifteen (sometimes sixteen or even seventeen) people in the taxi are lulled into a trance-like state as they bop their heads to the “rhythmic” sound of the morning madness. Some of it comes from the sounds of the radio. But let’s be honest, a lot of it comes from the hooting and swearing directed at the taxi as it weaves through (over) the traffic.
Most days, everyone sits in this calm, habitual trance unmoved by the madness.
But some days… some days aren’t like most days…

It’s a bight sunny day, I sigh as I look at the time and realise I have 20 minutes to get to work. It’s alright I tell myself, I’m only three traffic lights away. If only this one would turn green. Finally, it does and we are on our way.
Halfway down the hill we are thrust out of our trance-like state as the taxi abruptly slams on the brakes. Like a bear whose hibernation has been rudely interrupted, the man in the back seat curses vociferously at the driver. The rest of the occupants soon follow suite. I’m startled by a cold hand gripping my arm. I turn and look at the lady sitting besides me. She’s gripping the seat in front of her with the other hand. She turns to me with wild eyes and SCREAMS! I’m vaguely aware of the hooting and shouting of other road users. I’m confused. I’m annoyed.
Why are you screaming? What’s happening?
I look out the window and notice, with horror, the speed at which the billboards, trees and posters advertising Sipho’s moving services are passing me by. Then it hits me. The taxi is speeding in reverse up the road. The calm in the taxi is replaced with pandemonium.
“Hey, hey, uyenzani?” (What are you doing?)
“Whoa! Whoa!” (Stop! Stop!)
“Ag, Voetsek man!
“Haai!” (No!)
I should be screaming mad but instead I am incredulous and I cannot resist the urge to laugh! So, in the midst of the swearing, screaming and the tight grip on my hand, I am laughing.
Oh, some days……
After what seems like an eternity, the taxi stops.
Relieved people reach for the door.
But no.
The taxi has not stopped, it’s simply changing gear because as it turns out…we are turning right into a maze of side streets. It then turns into a petrol station.
“Hold on everybody, we are turning!”
Everyone is screaming; the lady’s nails are digging into my skin as she tightens her grip. Almost as if stuck on a merry go round the taxi drives round and round the petrol station, round and round. We can hear the screeching wheels. We’re all squashed on top of each other against the window. We are all thrown forward when the circling stops.
Finally, the taxi driver stops the taxi. He gets out and runs away!
We let out a collective sigh of relief. The lady finally releases my now bruised arm and says: “Don’t worry sisi, it’s alright” (I’m thinking, um who are you trying to convince?). The door is thrust open by a metro police officer. He takes the key out of the ignition, turns to us and says: “This is the last stop people. This taxi is going nowhere.” I later learn that there is a road block up ahead. And our brainy daredevil of a driver doesn’t have a valid drivers licence!
I make my way back to the main road. I sigh as I look at the time and realise I have 5 minutes to get to work. I’m still only three traffic lights away.
Most days my morning excursion to work is uneventful.
Most days, everyone sits in this calm, habitual trance unmoved by the madness.
But some days…oh…some days…
Some days just aren’t like most days at all!

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One thought on “Most days

  1. Michelle says:

    Great one. What an insane driver! And you, you almost sounded relieved at the break in monotony–haha. I hope the next exciting event in your life is less life-threatening.

    Like

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