I ride a school bus every morning now. Again. A big yellow one. With green vinyl seats you peel yourself off of in hot weather. With the fold-out STOP sign. With the flashing lights. With the windows that only slide halfway down, enough to only tease riders about relief from the stifling environs. But my lunch hasn’t been stolen (yet), so things are still good.
Amongst guidebooks’ most frequently offered safety-conscious tips: “Avoid large crowds and gatherings.” Whatever. I was touring Lisbon’s Castello de Jorge the other night when the horns started. Yelling crowds, swelling in numbers, swarming the streets. Cars honking in continuous blasts. Then more cars, building to a cacophony of earsplitting proportions.
I normally begin a trip recounting the items, often essential, that I’ve forgotten. And while this excursion isn’t without a few minor wayward objects, the major gear is all with me. As the days tick by, however, I’m now progressively losing stuff. At this rate, it’ll be me and whatever I can stuff into my pockets.
Kia ora, everyone! It’s that time of year again. Time to polish those brass knuckles for yet another pre-holiday stampede-like trip to the mall. Time to take a page from Elvis’ playbook and shoot out those radio speakers after the bazillionth grocery store listening of Chimpmunks Christmas songs.