Yesterday evening, I took a bus to the fruit and vegetable market in Dahar. The journey lasted an eternity and a bit more:
While wonderful romantic Arabic pop music was playing from the loud speakers, the bus driver determinedly drove through Hurghada’s nocturnal streets. Brightly lit shops, scantily dressed tourists and their half-naked partners stroll in front of shops and cafés, enjoying the mild temperatures and getting dazzled and bewitched by the busy oriental atmosphere or by the dismantling smile of the shop assistants and their language knowledge.
The microbus hurries on, stops here and there because a passengers calls „ala gamb“, because another one on the roadside gives a sign with his arm to get on the bus. The brightly lit row of shops is scurrying past by as in an assembly line, melting together to flashy photos. Some distance further on, there is another view in the cold neon light: old and young, fat and slim, simple men in traditional kaftans and white caps are sitting at shaky wooden tables, sipping tea, playing backgammon and exchanging news. Children are jumping up and down barefoot on the dirty sidewalk, playing, shouting, arguing. Elaborately piled mangoes, grapes, pomegranates, potatoes, tomatoes and onions are waiting for customers in small red and brightly lit stalls.
Three tall, heavy men in traditional clothes climb into the bus. They hardly manage to squeeze through the seats, jolting the other passengers while chatting loudly. The fattest of them is narrating all kind of tales of which I can catch some words only… until a young passenger exclaims: you’re a liar! The passengers are grinning and I can hardly withhold laughing out loudly while the other one continues shouting: you’re a liar! You’re a liar! Somewhere, the tall fat man and his friends get off the bus, banging his head on the door, babbling and gabbling on while walking away from the bus.
The movie goes on: outside of the window pane, old, skinny men are sitting cross-legged outside a mosque, smoking shisha, sternly glancing onto the street, into the bus, out into the nowhere. They are always sitting here: in the day, at night, in the morning, in the evening… waiting for work or something else that will never come.
More shops, furniture, cars, tools, fire extinguishers, brightly lit, the honking noise and the still romantic Arabic music are mingling with each other into a dream, a movie.
Outside, a bar stops beside the microbus, it’s somehow familiar to me…. No, the other way round: the bus stops beside the bar: terminal stop.
I would miss it. Really, if I ever leave this place, I would miss all that…