Trafika Europe 11 - Swiss Delights


I I’ve been perched here on this hill high above Lugano about thirty minutes now, waiting hopelessly for a bus that isn’t coming. The sun is at the zenith, beating hard on my bare skull, my Kongôlibôn. There’s an old lady next to me. She’s wearing an elegant dress, the color of vanilla. Her long white hair sweeps over her bare shoulders. It ’s so hot, her foundation is running, exposing the tiny wrinkles that carpet the area around her eyes. The woman won’t stop talking. She grumbles. She must be complaining about this flagrant delay of the public bus. And to think we’re always paying more and more, I believe I hear her say. She’s speaking in Italian. I smile at her. I don’t even know why. The truth is, I don’t understand much of the language. Just bits that sound familiar in passing. But, as my sister Kosambela likes to say, French and Italian, they’re kind of like the Bantu and the Swiss: distant cousins, maybe even close ones. As a result, I can catch a little of what the old lady is going on about. On the other side of the road is a bus shelter for all the public transport vehicles headed in the opposite direction. Two teenagers are waiting there.


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