Friday, March 11, 2011

Lunch Stop

The heat is dramatic.

Two hours on a bus where the A/C serves only to push around clouds of recently evaporated sweat brings us to our lunch stop.

The long blue and white bus is left running, engine panel removed, blasting noise, smoke, and waves of thermal energy into the parking lot.  It is the only vehicle on a wide stretch of dry red earth dotted with plastic bags and empty beverage containers.

The W.C. (water closet, toilet) is a short walk across this desert.  By the time I reach it, my sweat-soaked shirt has dried everywhere except the crevices where new batches of the salty liquid are constantly replenished.

From a photo, the place might not look like it feels, palm and mango trees dotting the horizon.  But closer inspection reveals starved saplings, their stocky trunks valiantly supporting a few wilted leaves.

David J Parker

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