For those of you who don’t know, sometimes when embarking or disembarking a plane you get stuffed in a bus along with half of the flying passengers, as the bus manoeuvre awkwardly to and from the terminal. If this comes as news to you, then I would like to welcome you to the real world, or the more common term, third world.
So I was crammed into one of those busses for the umpteenth time in my short life, this time in Muscat, Oman. I have since started sympathizing with cattle being transported in a truck. As I was trying to find my bus-legs (no there is no seats), hanging on for dear life to a few plastic loops suspended from the ceiling. At 6″4′ this is relatively easy for me but then there are shorter humans… Another thing that you have to ignore is just how many million people also grabbed on to these exact loops, or even worse where their hands have been. This must be the worst nightmare for someone who has a thing about being clean…
In the end you just hang on, feet shoulder width apart and try your best not to fall, step on or touch the person next to you.
A young family was occupying the space next to me at one end of the bus. I always go for the ends, as I feel less claustrophobic. The parents placed two of the little ones on the engine cover, while trying their best to manage the other two. They were clinging on to their parents, standing wide-eyed, looking up at all the big people in very close proximity to them. As the doors closed and the bus jerked into motion, this one cutie pie, sitting on the cover, gives a yelp, a loud cry of excitement. As the bus twist and turns and sways she is giggling and laughing all the way to the terminal. I smile at the parents who just gave me a sort of embarrassing look, you know the one that says: “Ah kids, what you’re gonna do.”
After spending a lot of time on the plane, my first cynical thought was basically the title of this post. But as we were moving towards the terminal and I saw the excitement in her eyes and heard it in her voice, it actually made me sad. You see, adults lose the ability to enjoy the smaller things in life. It is probably expected when one consider our daily routines of work, home and parenting, chasing something that we most probably never going to catch.
I realised adults should try to keep sight of the small things, those things that can put a smile on your face.
A hug from someone special, a sunrise, or ice-cream on a summer’s day. What about a fire crackling on a cold winter’s evening, or a thunderstorm, or the first flower in spring. There is the smell of rain and the sound of someone singing along to their favourite song. Or just a plain ride on an airport bus. And that was when I removed my hand from the loop and tried to stand without holding on to anything, just like that little laughing girl, squashing against her sister.
And then the ride became fun. And I smiled, a big silly grin.