The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Vitamin Quiet

fruit stand, Bosnia
I’ve got the same driver on my way back to Croatia. We catch the other’s glance in the mirror above his seat. He rolls his eyes at the pack of tourists who chat across the aisles so loudly that it feels we’re on a bus bound for elementary school. I try to cast back a look of sympathy and compassion.

We pass a woman selling produce on the side of the road. A local lady in the bus would like to buy some. The driver calls out the window to the woman, perhaps negotiating a deal. As he pulls the bus over, passengers watch the lady hustle across the street to fetch a bag of oranges. She is back to the bus in less than a minute, but the Italians now want to stock up as well. We’re halted for nearly 15 minutes–a man buying a bag and returning, so a woman and her sister opt to buy some as well, then a pair decides to check out the woman’s wares. The process wears thin on other passengers, who mumble about making connections out of Split.

The driver glances his impatience into the mirror and I smile again, shrugging. He enabled them after all. Yet, as we rolled away, careening over the mountain roads to make up for lost time, the scent of oranges filled the bus, and the Italians went quiet. A very wise stop after all.

–Bus from Medjugorje, Bosnia-Hercegovina to Split, Croatia.

It’s the same driver from this story on the way there. Even some of the same Italian tourists were a part of both scenes!
fruit stand, Bosnia

10 comments on “Vitamin Quiet

  1. joannerambling
    October 18, 2013

    Stopping to buy oranges is a good reason to stop……………lol

  2. hughcurtler
    October 18, 2013

    Delicious story!

  3. Pingback: The Impatient Italians and the Fighting Irish | The Nice Thing About Strangers

  4. Reblogged this on The Nice Thing About Strangers and commented:

    This week, I need a bit of time to reset and revise. May was a nice month, but it included a drive across this beautiful country and I’m not sure that I can explain the adventure in full just yet. One of the stories just won’t come because it always makes me cry and wonder if I’m supposed to move to Kansas. 🙂
    As I get myself back on track, I want to share a story from Croatia, another journey that has been close to my heart lately. It’s Part II of a story in my book called “Groove, Death, Italians.”
    See you soon.

  5. michaelwatsonvt
    May 31, 2016

    Kansas? I will look forward to more about this. I believe there are no local oranges in Kansas, and most likely fewer accommodating bus drivers. There are more tornadoes, and marvelous open skies.

    • Michael, thankfully they can be imported, but I can’t really think of the last time I’ve had an orange… 🙂 I love those open skies! As a girl raised near the mountains, I must love the plains because they are so different.

  6. Darlene
    May 31, 2016

    How cool to get the same bus driver. I love when that happens. Kind of him to stop for oranges.

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