Saturday, 21 June 2014

Journey To The Wedding: Biking Waes-ly

As the car was packed to the brim of (rather late) wedding guests, Waes and myself were to take the bike. We had been along the road before, and thought I knew what I was in for with regards to our small journey; a right out of Sunseti and up out of Mossuril, along the orange strip of bumps, jumps and onto the ‘main road’. On a bike, I thought, as Waes revved feverishly, it could be no different to that of being in a car. Then we set off, taking a sharp left.

I had never ventured left, over the small sand hill that the Chapa tilts over nightly. We sped out of the car park confidently, leapt up over this sandy hill and landed into the deep sand, bogged down. Stopping dead, we slowly started to lean to the left as the engine, sensing trouble, stalled. We both found this hilarious, and within a second had sped on, the road in front of us drastically reducing in width; scattered chaotically with chickens, people, sand banks and buckets. Yet, before my eyes could span the approaching area, Waes darted the bike left again and our road became a narrow path. The path soon turned into a slither of sand, with trees and bushes alike slapping my legs and arms as we whizzed, slipped and drifted around this African maze.

Fleeting scenes to the left and right had me transfixed with the momentary lives that I was witnessing as we sped past. A family sitting talking, a woman picking up her child, a man taking a bag of some food to his neighbor, I could watch forever at such a vibrantly cultural slideshow. I turned my attention forward. Waes was gone. Glancing down I could see he had pressed his face nearly to the handlebars, peering forward. I looked up. An overhanging rooftop was looming at me at an incredible speed, our path making an obvious detour through a small cluster of mudhuts. I dived my head downwards and heard, more than felt, the roof fly over. We both found this hilarious.

We ducked and glided our speedy way through the back road with a casual carelessness that made the whole thing enjoyable, rather than terrifying. Soon we reached a large bright orange road, familiar territory. I guessed we were to run into the others here, yet there was no sign; just people getting on with walking endless kilometers to school, work and everything else really. Speeding on, glancing only briefly back (the bike swerved comically every time we did so), we passed even more scenes of everyday life. Weise pointed excitedly as we passed a huge felled tree being made beautifully into a boat, the bike swerved manically as we got a good look but refused to reduce our speed to do so.

Every person we passed had the biggest smile, waving and shouting at us like we were a parade. It’s truly heartwarming, as there’s no malice to be found in their enthusiasm to shout and wave at you as you whizz past. Before long the calls of “Akunha!” were so frequent, both Waes and me began to shout it aloud, finding the whole thing utterly hilarious. It gladly muffled the ‘oofs!’ and ‘aahs!’ as we hit holes in the road, yet Waes had a keen eye for dodging them. If we were back in Europe, I would feel incredibly unsafe. Yet, as we sped happily along, I felt nothing but freedom and enjoyment. Soon enough we got to the small junction that led up to the wedding, and we sat on the bike discussing Sunseti whilst watching a small group of kids play football. The small group then became a big group, a large group and before long I was looking around at the apparently empty surroundings wondering where all these people had been? The car came round the distant corner, and we headed up towards the wedding, slipping slightly and finding the whole thing.. hilarious. 

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