the best medicine
My scooter is sick. Several weeks ago, it started making this unhappy stuttering cough (it used to make a happier cough – like a distinguished-clearing-of-ones’-throat sort of cough) whenever I started it up. Later, I noticed a new sound – a melodious jingling, which, although very pretty, is not a sound you want to hear from a scooter. I discovered the cause last week – the exhaust pipe is hanging on by little more than prayer and a rather nervous looking bolt. That said, I have finally found a name for it – Jingles. Oh, and unlike Bruiser, Jingles is definitely a girl – and like Bruiser, I think we shall have many adventures together.
Already, I’ve managed to have two accidents. The first was under the cover of darkness, on my way home from cell (the church kind, not the prison kind). I was on an old dirt road… or I should say on an old dirt pothole, since there was barely any road left. Now, I know this will sound ridiculous, but I think I slipped on an old slipper that was lying in the middle of the road/pothole. Honestly! Why would I make that up? Anyway, I remember seeing the slipper, and the next thing I knew, I had skidded into a ditch on the side and badly scratched poor Jingles’ nose.
The second accident happened a few days ago, in broad-ish daylight (it had started raining, so the daylight was somewhat scattered), and I was heading to Kigali City Tower. I attempted to climb a ramp into the parking lot, and – maybe because it was raining or maybe because of the angle I turned or maybe because I was wearing a short dress and was more concerned about remaining modest than properly balanced – I slipped on the curb and fell. Badly. Humiliatingly. Sprawled out on the pavement smack dab in the middle of city, with poor tortured Jingles by my side. Did I mention it was raining?
It was quite the scene.
The car near me pulled over and, in classic Kigali fashion, the driver did nothing more than stare at me and when I got up, he drove off (what a gentleman). I picked up Jingles and this time we rode over a lower curb, up onto the ramp. The two security guards who had witnessed my spectacular fall began cooing sympathetically: Yooo! Sorry! Pole! etc. But I could see their eyes twinkling with laughter, so I let them off the hook and smiled.
We all began to laugh… Jingles too, I think.