The first thing I saw when I got into the bus was the two big teddy bears placed in between the driver’s seat and the front passenger’s seat. As I settled into the seat, I started noticing other decorative items: a big bag of plastic fruit hanging from the rear-view mirror, a small plastic cross hanging from the windscreen on the driver’s side from a key chain, an air freshener stick in the shape of a tee, hanging from the rear-view mirror, and painted in the stars and stripes of the United States of America. There was another air freshener on the dashboard, between a small stuffed chimpanzee and a white animal, who looked like a Lhasa apso. Directly in front of me, on the dashboard and hanging from the windscreen, was yet another air freshener hanging from a blue plastic mirror on the windscreen. Hanging on either side of the mirror were stuffed cloth cubes, the type you’d find in a toddler’s crib. One cube was a die, white with black dots. The other was multicoloured, and numbers were written under the dots, just like in a kindergarten book of numbers. A white rosary sticker could be seen on the windscreen, and another small plastic cross graced my corner of the windscreen. A key chain hung from the windscreen, a green touch in the shape of a foot.
To say the truth, the bus was full of stuff. But it made it seem comfortable, even homely, especially when he played the music. Celine Dion and Barbara Streisand came on, in that beautiful melody of theirs. As they sang “…love will be the gift you give yourself…”, I wondered if the driver agreed with them. Inscribed on the flip side of the shades/mirrors were the words: “Eyoo” and “No time for love”. Oh well, each to his own. The dude obviously had a taste for some finer things of life. In front of me on the dashboard was a pink box of soft 2ply tissue. 7 flags were lined up on the windscreen: from the furthermost corner, Barca FC, Nigeria, United Kingdom, United States of America, South Africa, a flag that looked like it was Spain’s and the last one, Israel.
Almost every inch of the windscreen and dashboard was decorated with something. Stuffed toys even hung from the roof. The window on the passenger seat was not left out. There was a “VIP” sticker on the side, and a Mickey Mouse Screen covered three-quarters of the window.
I was sorry to get down from the bus that day, but I had to do so and face the cold and rain that waited for me outside the cosy haven that someone called a home.