It was the winter of 2004 when I made so many trips across the island on the DRL bus. It was just after I had undergone surgery to remove a large tumor, and I still hadn’t completely healed from the surgery. My right eye still wasn’t blinking properly, and staring at anything for any length of time hurt like hell. From the date of my surgery (Dec 12, 2004) until Dec 12 2010, I traveled across the island (by bus) eleven times for MRI tests and doctor visits.
Lucky for me, I brought along my trusty Ipod Classic. The little gadget had 80gb of storage, and I was fortunate that I loaded on several audiobooks prior to my trip. My brother told me about this fantastic book he had read about two Afghanistan kids, so I decided to start with this one. The book was entitled ‘The Kite Runner’, and the audio was actually read by the author himself. I don’t believe anyone can present the material as well as the person who actually writes it, and this proved it.
While on my trip, I was totally captivated with the story. I never noticed the bus leaving, or even stopping.
The other passengers on the bus must have considered me to be rude, as I never spoke to anyone, just sat there listening to Khaled tell me the story. One lady who was sitting next to me asked if I were a deaf mute. Talk about the nerve; and even if I were a ‘deaf’ ‘mute’, I wouldn’t be able to hear her question or relate my answer.
A few of the people I shared a seat with poked me with their elbows and received a dirty glare, which usually works. The worst thing about traveling long distances on the bus are the people who sit next to you. Some of those people are downright annoying and I always seem to get the worst ones.
On this trip I was unlucky enough to be sitting next to an old lady who tried to convert me to Jehovah’s Witness. I think I turned the volume up even louder than I had it before. Eventually she got tired of shoving pamphlets in my face and went on to bother someone else in the next aisle. Poor guy. I bet he wished that he had Khaled read to him as well.
One guy asked what the little gadget was. When I took a small break from the story I explained to him that I had a guy in the little box and that he was reading a book to me. I know, cynical, but hey, gotta have some fun.
At the end of the 13 hour bus trip (We got caught in the middle of one of the worst winter storms in the past five years and had to stay put numerous times and wait for the driver to be able to see at least three feet in front of him), everyone else was at their wits end, while I stepped off the bus relaxed and satisfied with the trip. I thanked the bus driver (While everyone else cursed him) and went on my way. If you haven’t listened to a book before, give it a try. Very relaxing to say the least.