joy to be alive
even plates can smile
every smile unique and yet the same.
A Smile can tell a story too……
I heard the crack as I bit down on the crusty baguette I had looked forward to consuming. Pulling the bread out of my mouth, I pulled it apart until I found the piece of broken plate with tooth attached. My girlfriend’s face had dropped and her arm was coming towards me in a gesture of empathetic sorrow.
“Oh damn! I can’t fly to the island without my teeth.” We were meeting our new prospective business partner and toothless would not be a good look.
“You can’t notice if you don’t smile.”
“I can’t go two days without smiling. Don’t be ridiculous.”
“Don’t get cranky. Think about it. We’re here on this isolated beach and the plane will leave before any dentist will be back to work after the siesta. What else can we do? It doesn’t look that bad.” She lied.
“I have to get some super glue and I’ll glue it back together.”
“All the shops are shut.”
“The small shops will be open. Some one will have super glue. We just have to get to the highway and get a bus into town.” The tropical sun was unrelenting as we started the long trudge back to the main road. We hadn’t been walking long when the loud noise of an exhaust missing its baffles could be heard. It became louder ad eventually a rusty jeep came into view. It stopped beside us, the local driver pointing for us to get on board. There was only one seat up front, which I directed my girlfriend to take, whilst I took the only other perch available, at the back on the wheel arch. Rust holes peppered the vehicle but those between the driver and passenger seats were large and close together, giving a good view to the road below.
“Put your hand over the hole like this,” the driver screamed above the noise, “it makes it go faster.” Beverley did as told but removed her hand quickly as the heat from the exhaust became too much for her. The dust from the road and the black fumes settled on us, giving Beverley the appearance of a grimy street urchin and I knew I’d look the same. Finally arriving at the main road we thanked the driver and waited for a bus. The bus system here usually works despite there being no bus stops, timetables or routes as once the driver knows where you want to go he drops you at the door. We wanted to go to the local run stores that were on either side of the road before arriving in town but we didn’t know how to convey this to the driver.
“Wannem ples yu tufalla stap?” The bus driver asked.
“We don’t know so we’ll get out when we see it.” We told him. The bus headed off in the right direction but soon took a left turn, negotiating narrow streets as it climbed higher up the hill. Looking out the window, we saw a whole new world as a panoramic view over the harbour opened before us, the boats now dots in the distance. The dark blue water of the deep channels contrasting against the azure of the shallower coral reef water became more apparent from this height. The local area with its progressively cruder housing would also have had me transfixed but today, all I could do was a quick, anxious glance between the view and my watch. My anxiety turned to panic as I suddenly realized our course had bypassed the town and we were now heading away from it.
“We’ll get out here.” I was already out of my seat and pulling at the door handle of the vehicle. “We’ll have to get on one going the other direction. Hurry up.” I was already half way across the road. I travel light but Beverley, being a woman, had to have the three bags, even if they were on the small side. We found ourselves in the same predicament when we hopped on the next bus.
“Wannem ples yu tufalla stap?”
“Road to the airport please.” Hopefully that would take us past the right place. It wasn’t to be. Again we were off travelling the local roads arriving back where we started from. Time was now really running out.
To be continued………