Monday, January 3, 2011

Mix made in hell

                          Have you ever been in a crowded place, maybe in a market, a room or a car? It’s certainly very uncomfortable to say the least. The noise, coupled with the lack of space in such an atmosphere is not encouraging. I was unfortunate to find myself in that situation recently. My experience was in a bus which I boarded to school one morning. It was an experience I would never forget. At the time I boarded the bus it was already half full and all the available seats were taken, so I had to stand which is the norm. What I did not know was that the driver had planned to literarily carry the entire city in his bus.

                         It wasn’t long before the unpleasant episode began. As we approached each bus stop, the driver stopped to pick up more passengers. The bus driver kept picking passengers, and since no one was alighting, there was only entry into the bus and no exit. I really don’t know if it was greed or the driver just couldn’t see, but before I knew it the bus was filled with people and we were packed in like sardines. I couldn’t move from where I stood because there was someone pushing me from behind, left and right, it was terrible. All I could think of was alighting but then I had to reach my bus stop which was still up ahead.

                         It was an unpleasant journey, the worst I have ever had. I just kept asking myself why I boarded that particular bus. Since I was already late for class, I couldn’t afford to alight and take another bus or even a cab, so I just had to remain in the crowded bus and pray for my bus stop to be in sight. In the meantime, I was in a dilemma. There was barely any fresh air left in the bus considering no window was open due to the harsh weather outside. It wasn’t long before the little air left was replaced by a variety of odors.

                        Words would fail me to adequately describe the odor in the bus. It smelled of different body creams mixed with colognes and perfumes. In addition there was the stench of alcohol mixed with cigarette that came from the mouth of some passengers. It wasn’t long before the bus smelled like...(words cannot describe) and I felt nauseous. It was a mix made in hell. I prayed silently to reach my destination so I could breathe fresh air again. It was a long drive and as we passed each stop, few passengers would alight only to be replaced by some more passengers. This continued until finally my prayers were answered and I reached my bus stop. It was a big struggle to even alight from the bus as I had to push my way through a crowd of people. Eventually I alighted, fresh air and freedom greeted me.

                        I vowed never to be in such a situation again, but sooner or later it’s bound to repeat itself again except of course I decide to buy myself a ride. One way or the other, at  certain points we all find ourselves in a ‘‘mix made in hell’’. Mine was in a crowded bus, yours could be anywhere or it could consist of anything. What is important is realizing that no situation is permanent. No matter how unpleasant and uncomfortable it may be, it would end some day and it’s the knowledge of this that keeps you going in that situation. At such times all you have to do is forget about where you are and focus on where you want to be. Soon you would be out of your ‘‘mix made in hell’’ and it would become a story like mine is today.