transport | urbanism | adventures | pontification
When possible, I sit towards the back of the buses I ride, primarily to minimize the number of people who see me take out my camera when I photograph the surroundings. On the King’s Park bus the other day, sitting in the back also led to a refreshing surprise. Near the University of Belize, we stopped for a woman pushing a handcart loaded with a cooler up to the bus. She opened the emergency exit door in the back, and a boy who was sitting in the back got out and helped her load the cooler onto the bus. They were having a problem getting the handcart around the spare tire in the aisle at the back of the bus, so I helped maneuver it.
When the bus arrived at its terminus downtown, the woman asked me for some help, since the other boy had alighted earlier. I stepped out the back, and brought her cargo to the sidewalk. She opened the cooler and said, “Thank you, would you like a seaweed?” I wanted to be polite, so I took one of the small unlabeled bottles filled with a thick, white drink. A bit of research revealed it to be a seaweed shake – a chilled mix of condensed milk and cinnamon thickened by the carrageenan from blended seaweed. I tried it and found it enjoyable; I can understand why the drink, which reminded me of a thick horchata, is a local favorite in the tropical heat.