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Dare (@theDharkone) paints a picture of Nigeria’s most famous means of transport. It’s the cultural setting I like the most. Enjoy!!

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Waiting longingly by the roadside
Eyes sharp as an eagle’s
I spot her approaching
A black and yellow ugly beauty
She whispers and growls
Vomiting black smoke and steam
With a whiplash sigh, she shudders to a stop
The crowd around me becomes feverish as they vie for a place in her heart
Some settle to hang on her dirty skin
Others dive through open windows

I stumble in and sit by a window
Staring out of the memory crusted glass
The muted smoky brown throwing a haze over the city
Turning streets and culture into snapshots
A sweaty fishmonger plomps into the seat beside me
Crushing my slender frame with her sizable hips
Dashing my spirits with the smell of her wares
I stare ahead as our bodies sway in the rocking bus

A preacher rises from the back
Piercing the grime covered ceiling with his black book
Blending threats of fire, brimstone and gnashing teeth
With visions of gold streets and eternal praise
The silence in the bus is deafening as he sits and hands out tracts

Another preacher rises holding up magic dust
Screaming promises of cleaner blood and healthier waistlines
Smoother skin and clearer eyes
He gets an order and grins
The aging bus stops

The fishmonger leaves, hefting her basket full of tilapia as she goes
A brightly colored tout replaces her
His hair is a tomahawk of gold
His ears and eyebrows studded with silver
He smiles at me baring tobacco stained teeth

I smile back uneasily

Letting down my guard imperceptibly

She grinds to a final halt
The rush into civilization begins
I remain seated as the rainbow of humans flashes past
Prostitutes and church brethren
Schoolchildren and fishmongers
Wrinkled old and vibrant young
Smiles and tears of sweat
The haze of tired suffering hangs in the air
I rise to leave, handing my fare to the ratty conductor at the door
I step into clean air and bright light and watch
As we all vanish into the throbbing heat of humanity
No one acknowledging the other
I make to pull out my wallet but it’s gone
Stolen no doubt by a boy with golden hair
Gone with the yellow and black living casket.

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