Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Scene from Hell

Let me describe an experience for you:

Imagine, an overwhelmingly hot and sweaty day in the wrong part of town. I mean, the part of town where the blocks are so packed full of people and cars that you are almost being hit by motorcycles on the sidewalks. The part of town that has used condoms and needles... fucking everywhere: in the gutter, on the sidewalks, being thrown about and at us by children... We are trying to find the
bus station. We heard earlier that day that everyone is trying to get into
Kenya because of the Ebola outbreak in Western Uganda... the government having decided to close the borders on the 20th of December. What the hell did you say just say to me? Cue: extraordinary amounts of hypochondrism and an increasing feeling of what I liked to call being "Scared Shitless". Struggling to find the
bus station with no map and different people sending us on wild goose chases
throughout this little gem of a neighborhood, we finally arrive at our
destination with sunburnt farmer's tans, shot nerves from all the near misses of motorized whatnots, and the scent of impending desperation in our nostrils.

In the ticketing "office", we find a tiny window in a room crammed full of
people (it was our last option for bus companies... having tried most of the
rest already.) Imagine: that one tiny door in the Willy Wonka factory. Or, a doggie door raised a little bit too far off the ground. Above the window, it says "Booking Office". Great. I don't know if you know this, but not only do African's have no idea what a "line" is, but also
the term "personal space" seems to escape them. I spent 45 minutes fighting my
way through this mob of fucking smelly people attempting to book a ticket for Friday, just a few days before Uganda was to be closed off to the world.
Me and the three other girls agreed that the struggle to get to this midgit
window was like wanting to scream, projectile vomit, pass out, punch someone, and cry at the same time. And of course, lucky me, I get the obese 4 foot something old
lady pressing her gigantic stomach and tits onto my back the entire time. I'm
not sure if it was necessary, but for some reason she also needed to grope me
inappropriately oh- I'd say every 20 seconds. And what's more, she treated me to a little "Lift of the shirt and wipe the face while simultaneously rubbing exposed flesh and thin brazzier all over the white girl" action. 
Up until that day, I did not know it was possible to
sweat so much and so profusely that it ran/gushed down the back of your legs, head, back, chest, cheeks (both sets), etc.
but alas, friends- that circle of sweat-hell does indeed exist.

The four white girls finally baracaded ourselves in a fighting semi-circle to
the front. The strategy was this: push the smallest girl with all our white-might to the front, which ended up looking like: three short, sweaty, red faced girls covered in (hopefully) dirt elbowing other disgruntled sweaty people and pushing a very small girl to the point that she was no longer standing but levatating her way to the front because of the force of so many people pushing from behind.    And, of course, when we have kicked and screamed our way like a child who had just been told that "Christmas was cancelled this year because they didn't pray hard enough and Jesus doesn't like sinners" would, the Goddamn 2-inch window closed and no tickets were to be given out. I believe we all said in unison either, "We're fucked," or something like "If I don't get out of this fucking country by the 20th, not only will I suck my thumb while I cry myself to sleep, I'm going to bring a machine gun in here and kill everything that moves." Something like that.

But, it was to be that one day that the gods smiled upon us as if, we had actually done something useful with our time in third world countries. For once, we managed to escape a situation relatively untraumatized, with only some smelly, questionable sweat stains in the shape of the Buddha upon our backs. Which beats the time when we almost got shot at with unregistered weapons of foreign murder for wandering too close to the Congo/Rwanda border crossing. The manager of the bus company came out of a hidden 'torture/rape' room and said that because we had called him earlier that day, we would be reserved not only tickets out of the rapidly infected country, but we would have the 4 best seats on the gazillion-odd hour bus ride. "If it's at all possible, would you mind if we went back into the hell-room and you let us buy our tickets from the cat door? I haven't yet had my fill of having my ass jiggled by an obese woman who sweats the smell of rhinos and mumbles incoherently while I try not to turn around and spray her with vomit. Any chance?" "What?" he asks. "Nevermind. Four tickets to Mother Fucking Kenya."

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