So I’ve had my first Road Traffic Accident…
I walked to Tala Market today to buy food and post letters. Yes walked, even though I have that bike. The damn thing still doesn’t work. Last time I was at the market I bought a pump. You know, the sort that has styrrups and a cross-bar so that pumping with it makes you look like Wile E Coyote about to detonate a pile of red ACME dynamite under a pile of bird-seed. And today I pumped up its flat tyres but even while I went to get my rucsack, the front one went flat. I wonder if it was sabotaged by the last fundi to work on it so I’d bring it back.
So I walked to the market, after having a bit of a swear at the bike. I bought a load of stuff and, on the way back, I heard the now familiar farting noise made by what seems like Tala’s resident market day street kid. I suspect he comes in from elsewhere on market days because of th crowd. He’s very pretty and cheeky with it, though most of his vocalisations start with either “you give” or a raspberry blowing sound. I don’t really want him to follow me home (which he alsmost did last time) and my bag was heavy, so I decided to ride boda boda. I flagged down a bike with a comfotable-looking rack (yup, that’s how it works) and started to negotiate a price. He wanted 20 bob but its only supposed to be 10. I told him it was 15 from town and I was already on my way; I kept walking until he agreed to take me for 15.
Maybe because I so viciously haggled, he was in a real hurry. At the Cerial’s Borad warehouse we have to turn off the tarmack road and onto the dirt track that leads to the college. There was a handcart coming up the dirt track, loaded down with water barrels (filled from the water that collects in the pits where stone has been quarried, and covered in a nasty looking substance that might be algae though I have also been told it’s oil placed there deliberately to stop mosquitos using it as a breeding ground). My bycicle driver took a wide path, but without slowing down. We skidded. And hit the dirt sliding. I paid him fifteenshillings silently, collected my spilt papaya and aubergenes from the path, and continued my journey on foot.
By the time I was at the college gate my knee was starting to sting. Looking down I could see lots of red dust over everything and a hole the size of a cigarette packet torn into the leg of my trousers. So I’ve grazed my knee and probably bruised it too from how it feels right now.