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After enjoying an animated, cultural conversation with my beautiful Israeli-Venezuelan seatmate named Mor, I switched to my phone listening to Regine Velasquez while trying to catch forty winks like the tired backpacker beside me.
All of a sudden, I felt my phone vibrating inside my bag. Unbeknownst to me, the passengers were already screaming and pushing one another to be able to get off the bus.
“Stop the bus. Stop the bus. Stop the bus,” they squealed. And although I didn’t know what was going on, I was trembling deep inside. I tried to keep my calm so that our happy guest from Jerusalem would not panic. But if you were in my shoes, I’m sure that your initial hunch, too, would be that those people must have discovered a bomb inside the bus and you’re all going to burst in no time.
I asked the conductor what had gone awry. And when he started mentioning the word “clutch,” I demanded that he explain it to me further and simplify everything in layman’s terms because, honestly, I wasn’t familiar with that thingy, and so that I could also provide a clear explanation to my new friend.
Thank God that we could all heave a big sigh of relief! I thought we’re all going to die already. For general safety reasons, though, we were instructed to transfer to the next bus, which reminded me about a similar situation but a way worse mishap I met a little over a month ago only one kilometer away from there. I just couldn’t understand why the reaction of most was such that a bomb was found and timed to explode in a minute.
Ariel Allera with Mor Kahani on Ceres Tours bus