Part 3 of a series from a journal returned to me from Belize. You can read part 1 here.
Pg.3 & 4
..:: Just outside Belize City on a “Chicken Bus” to San Ignacio ::..
Maybe it’s the steady growl of the old American re-purposed bus engine or the steady stream of green tropical trees flying past like motorized palm fronds bringing the relief of a cool breeze… but I finally feel like myself. As if some person, the younger and purer me, just woke up.
This is a local bus, a “chicken bus” as they’re referred to by backpackers who either borrowed or coined the term as locals supposedly board with pet chickens in hand. All I see are Mickey Mouse t-shirts and Nike’s. It’s not at all the salmonella coup in the horror stories we were emphatically told. In fact, it reminds me of riding the bus to school as a kid. The frequent stops and the torn vinyl seats feel familiar. Even the look of Belizean people look familiar except for the beautiful hint of the Caribbean in their deep chocolate faces, light eyes and welcome smiles.
The old bus radio gently swings it’s passengers along the way. 70’s Top 40 American radio mixed with Spanish radio commercials. All of us nod our heads as the old yellow Gillig sways side to side, bumping over potholes to the swaddling sounds of George Benson sing “Gimme The Night.” (Budubuduba… alright! Tonight!)
The opening notes to a popular Black Eyed Peas song comes on next jolting me out of a daydream (the musicians ear never rests), but then I realize it is a cleverly lifted sample to an advertisement. A well plagiarized one, I might add. This would never be tolerated Stateside, of course, without Will.i.am’s gaggle of label watchdogs (see: lawyers) swarming the carcase of the overplayed licensing “gem” of a song.
But here, just like the bus, Mickey Mouse and Nike’s… repurposed.
This makes me smile as I drift back into a daydream.