Did you ever sit in a trotro at the station that took forever to get full? How about sitting in a trotro with just one passenger left to get full? [begin picturing a hot day, dusty station and a mate who doesn’t stop shouting (as if that ever bring passengers any faster)]. Suddenly, two friends or a couple or siblings appear from nowhere to join the bus? “Aha! Finally, the bus can leave the station”, you’re thinking. But no, these 2 passengers either go together or join the next bus in line.
“Sorry, we can’t overload today because the police have set up a check-point on the road” intones the mate [who is chatting with a ‘pure-water’ seller or orange seller at the station] stopping the 2 passengers from getting on board and answering your question even before it you give it voice.
When passengers were needed in pairs and threes to fill up the bus none was coming and after bearing all the heat and pungent odours and the trickling in of passengers up to the point where only 1 passenger was needed to fill up the bus, two people turn up.
At this point everyone would beg for the driver to consider overloading the bus. And a few mischievous minds are even thinking of suggesting to the driver to drop a passenger who isn’t going all-the-way to the last-stop in favour of these 2 passengers.
Finally someone calls out to the mate, “Mate, call the driver and let’s go, I’ll pay for the extra seat”
Everyone heaves a sigh of relief but most passengers who could afford to pay for 2 feel somewhat embarrassed for not coming up the idea.
After a couple of attempts to start the bus, the engine finally catches and glorious fresh air gets into the bus as it pulls away from the station. Passengers wipe beaded sweat [collected as a result of the heat in the parked bus and the nervous seconds when the bus wouldn’t start] off their foreheads and lean in their seats for a nice ride.
Ten minutes into the ride, the bus stutters and looks of concern shows on everyone’s face. The jerky motion of the bus wakes the few passengers who’d managed to doze off after the bus hit the tarred road.
The driver pulls over and the mate gets down and confers with the driver. Apparently the fuel is run out.
The mate sticks his head through the doorway and presents the passengers with 3 options: A pick-your-poison moment!
1. Let’s push the bus to the next filling station OR
2. You can wait till a bus passes by so you can join OR
3. You can wait for the mate to beg for a gallon to get diesel from the next filling station.
What a bad trotro day!