Tuesday, 31 January 2012
The case of the disappearing bus park
A strange thing about Rwanda is the speed at which big things can disappear. For example in Kigali the one and only post office had been relocated and the old building pulled down within a space of two weeks. I remember walking to it one day, swinging my letters in my hand and staring at the blue sky which should have been obscured by a big building. My first thought was, as usual, ‘have I gone mad?’ ‘Am I on the right street? Has it really gone? Fortunately it had been relocated to the centre of town along with all of the letters inside, but it was a bit unnerving to say the least.
Well a similar thing has happened with Kabuga bus park. I got my bus from Kigali as usual and when we arrived in Kabuga all I could see was a gaping hole where it should have been. It’s so weird that a bustling busy bus park can literally disappear overnight, only to be replaced by...well...nothing as yet. So now all the matatus have to stop on this horrendously steep slope to pick up their passengers. The overladen things literally creak up the hill, narrowly avoiding the chilled out people of Kabuga who don’t seem to run out of the way even when a matatu is revving its way towards them. Then you hear a lurch as the tired old handbrake is put on as hard as is humanly possible, yet the buses still look like they are about to roll down the hill again. Goodness knows what will happen in the wet season. I have a vision of matatus sliding down the hill into old ladies and sacks of potatoes, running into a couple of moto drivers before reaching the main road and crashing into more matatus trying to get up the hill, but hopefully this will only happen in my overactive imagination. Like the post office, the disappearing bus park will reappear in another place...like Rwandan reincarnation...ah tis the cycle of life here.