Thursday, April 16, 2015

waiting for the bus

In an effort to improve race relations I traveled to Africa in 1997 and married her, the woman sitting next to me on the log. We were waiting for the bus. The sun was hot. 

Ordinarily, being a gentleman, I would offer her the shade, but since she was used to the sun and I was not, she gave me the shade.

We were waiting for the bus. It's a common sight in Africa to see people sitting by the roadside waiting. She is looking down the road, but patiently, or maybe she knows something that I don't know.

I'm looking down the road too, but with a different expression, like, what am I doing here?

But we're in Africa, and she's African, so of course she looks more at ease.
We were not waiting for the bus. We were at this spot by the Zambezi River, just above Victoria Falls. We came to this spot to view the world's largest baobab tree. We came there to look at a tree. We had a rental car parked somewhere nearby.

I was a tree tourist. Some people come to Africa to see lions and elephants, I came to see the trees.

I was not planning to get married, but who plans that kind of thing.
This was in Zimbabwe. I remember this Forest Gump moment I had when I first arrived in Zimbabwe. I stepped off the first-class bus and began looking around. "Everybody is black! Everybody!"

No kidding. It's not like America where some people are black, and there is a black neighborhood in some part of town. 

In Zimbabwe, everybody is black, as far as the eye can see. You can walk and ride for miles -- all black people. I'd be walking down the street in the city, thousands of black people and I'm the only white guy. Nobody ever bothered me. I wonder even if they noticed me. I couldn't tell. I could never tell anything from their faces.

Go back to the photo of me and my wife sitting on a log, waiting for the bus. Can you read her face? I never could.

1 comment:

Alan Archibald said...

In Spanish, "to wait" and "to hope" are the same verb. In English, "patient" implies sickness and the ability to wait it out. Tonight, I conclude my three-part viewing of the documentary "Life Itself" a review of Roger Ebert's life, brought to fullness by his happy marriage, at age 51, to Chaz, a black woman... and then their side-by-side entrance into Roger's grim but jolly death. Wow. "Life Itself" is streaming on Netflix.