Everytime I when thought and pictured things going differently, Reality vehemently disagreed and thrust in my path a suprise. Never a particularly bad surprise on any day but those suprises that are definitely possibilities that you look at through that extremely comfortable blindfold called hope. For instance, buying mineral water and leaving it with the policemen HOPING that their parched throats answered to direct orders from the owner of the drink in question but otherwise retrained themselves to superhuman dryness. This is how Reality reminded me that I shared a species with policemen. It was not a dignifying thought seeing as I have had unkind intercourses with -and heard comically sad stories involving policemen as the protagonists. It is also true that better tales would also be gotten from other sources were it not for the unfair rule that dead men should tell no tales.
So I took from their care the lump of things that I travelled with including my bike. The bags had obviously been handled by a curious person. Fortunately though, there was nothing much to be had from them save for food items, tools and sweaty clothes. I piled my luggage near where they said the bus would stop. As I went back to push the bicycle, I thought cynically, “these guys can steal air if they found it wrapped properly.” And hold, the front tyre was flat! I turned to look at the guilty-faced policeman trio and one of them, a full-bellied short man, belched. My air! If I was a more cruel man…. Pardon that thought. Or let us just say that I have since gotten in touch with the pope and presented my papers and case to canonized as the patron saint of stranded cyclists for that singular act of preventing myself from taking more air -all air-from a man who I had reasons to believe had stolen mine.
At around midnight, the bus to the next town, Marsabit arrived. I took care to personally carry the bike and tie it to the carrier on top of the vehicle. (It was a rather over-zealous endeavour as I realized the following morning when it took me more than quarter of an hour to completely unfasten it from other unrelated goods belonging to complaining travellers who wondered what my real motive had been).
Back on the bus, I found that I had no seat. It was crowded and I had to stand. Or perch on an arm-rest from time to time. Or sit on the floor. All were done repeatedly in that and reverse order. Stand, perch, sit, perch, stand, and so on until we got to Marsabit at dawn.
Those who had small luggage that they held to their laps could leave. Others, like yours truly, who had their problems carried on the carrier on top of the bus had to wait until sunrise to get them back. I honestly entertained the thought of just bolting from the bus and leave my every problem thus far, behind but two things stopped me: a seat that had just grown vacant and seduced me to sleep on its blue farce velvet and my master, Reality, who reminded me of the folly of running like a mad man -or a pickpocket-through a strange town.