Assignment 3a: We had to rewrite a text that described in journey, but had to include detail and description.
The golden hues of the sunrise, waking the pale blue sky is comforting. But standing in a deserted market at 7am, after travelling 10 hours the previous day is not the best way start to the morning. I have to make this journey though. I sit on my rucksack and feel the sun's warmth begin to penetrate the still sombre air. In a few hours it will be loud, bustling and fragrant. But for now the cool night air still lingers on the periphery. My converse, although scuffed when i'd left London had already taken on the dusty look of the Caribbean. Shrill American voices pierce through the stillness of the dawn, destroying my peaceful contemplation. The smell hits me first, enough insect repellent to ward off a swarm of mosquitoes. Fanny packs, thongs, too tight shorts, rucksacks and baseball caps, in an eruption of clashing neon colours waft toward me all toothy smiles and sun cream. Please be going elsewhere. "Hey there! I'm Bob and this is Midge" outstretched hands and more teeth. "Hey, hey" I nod. "Nice to meet you". I look down to avoid further eye contact and pointlessly brush sand off my shoes. I root around in my rucksack for my headphones and put them on just in time to nod a greeting to 2 more travellers.
The sound of tyres on gravel and a cloud of dust announce the arrival of the bus. I dust off my shoes and head to the back away from the others. I've made this journey before and can do without the drivers attempt at being a 'tour guide' or the social prerequisite to make small talk. After what feels like a day of dozing, with the soothing tones of The Script singing about lost love and trying not to slide off the hot torn leather, the bus pulls into a rest stop. Stretch. Yawn. Descend. The piquant smell of ackee and saltfish revive my senses after the musty, claustrophobia of the bus. My stomach rumbles but I know I can't handle it. It’s way too early. What I really need is an extra hot, wet, soya caramel cappuccino, whipped cream on top. Not very likely. A strong black coffee will have to suffice. The smell of nutmeg wanders lazily into my reverie. Alerting me to the... Too late! The nauseating scent of porridge punches me in the gut, forcing me back onto the bus. Clutching my coffee and engaging my gag reflex I pray we leave soon.
I see Wesley jostling the other passengers back on to the bus and relief washes over me. I settle back into my seat, dig out my sunglasses and prepare to take in the sights. I love this part of the journey. Ever since I was a child. Even Wesley's 'tour guiding' and the inane chatter of Bob and Midge can't ruin it for me. I hadn't got the names of the other passengers, but their accents suggest that one couple was from Australia or New Zealand, maybe even South Africa, i'm rubbish with accents. The group of four were definitely Brits though, if nothing else the socks and sandals solidified this. There was one other solo traveller, she was quiet and impeccably dressed, she seemed out of place, almost as if her chauffeur driven car had broken down and this was her only alternative.
As we round the corner into Fern Gully I fumble for my camera. My Grandma loves it as much as I do, but can't make the journey anymore. As ever, it is epic! The bus descends into silence. It has a way of doing that. No matter how many times I passed through it I was always in awe. If an earthquake could create this they couldn't be all bad, could they? The long, winding road. The dense forestry on either side. The Ferns towering up to the sky and joining at the top to form a luscious green tunnel. It was beautiful. My stomach grumbled pulling me from my thoughts. Was that the time already? If I remember correctly we'd be stopping again soon. I put my headphones back on, get as comfy as the worn leather seats will allow and prepare to wait out the hunger.
The jerk of the bus wakes me. We've stopped. Everyone is already half way off the bus. They must think me very anti-social. Like a brooding teenager. If only they knew. The brightness of the sun momentarily renders me sightless as I step off the bus. But my taste buds are fully engaged. The aroma of jerk chicken has me on the verge of drool. My stomach somersaults in anticipation. Nothing else gets a look in. Since landing jerk chicken has been the only thing on my mind. Well not the only thing but pretty high up on the list. We sit and eat as a group. I don't engage in the polite chatter taking place, I have nothing to contribute. I've never been good with small talk. I decline the offer of a walk and just sit. Licking jerk chicken off my fingers. Enjoying the breeze. The smells of the Caribbean. The warmth in my bones.
The final part of the journey takes us onto much smaller roads. Narrow roads. Precipices my Grandma would call them. Where too much acceleration, or a corner taken too sharply could see us crashing into the sea below. I can almost feel the bus hold its breath in suspense. Praying we make it onto safer roads soon. I know that Wesley won't let us down. He has that seasoned look. Of someone who has lived these roads. Who knows them well. It begins to grow dark. The sun waves a lazy goodbye as it sinks into the sea. The other passengers begin to doze. I watch the sky change from pink to orange to black with the sound of Saxophones in my ears. I see the car waiting before the bus stops. I thank the driver and set off to start the real journey.
Hope you like it.