The buses are always overcrowded in general but, it being Easter weekend, it was even more extreme. As per usual I had the misfortune of sharing my bench seat with a slightly obese woman and the tallest man in the world. About a third of what I had rightfully paid for remained for me- one butt cheek’s worth of space. What’s the last thing you need on a bus that’s already overcrowded? That would be someone cramming boxes of baby chicks through the windows. About 20 chirping boxes came in that way. Slightly annoyed but overall extremely accommodating passengers managed to help stow the chicks away. They were placed up in the luggage racks, under the seats and in the aisles- pretty much everywhere.
We were barely out of the bus park when the first managed to escape. The fluffy yellow chick hopped down the aisle, scratching the ground, looking for bugs. The five back rows watched, not moving. Naturally, it wasn’t one of the Ugandan passengers (who most likely grew up with food animals at home) to catch the little bird but the only foreigner on the bus who happens to be a bit scared of chickens. A second popped out shortly after, then a third. Things were starting to get crazy! It’s not easy catching chicks on a moving bus. That’s when I realized what was happening. Right then, Easter weekend 2011, I was being invited by circumstance to partake in the first ever Adult Easter Egg Hunt!
The premise of the game is the same- find the egg/chick and place it in your basket/overloaded chick box. The challenge is stepped up by the fact that, in the adult version, the ‘treasure’ is a moving target and there is a good chance that it will either peck you or poop in your hand. The most notable difference is that, unlike the traditional Easter Egg Hunt for kids which is based around rewarding the participant, the Adult Hunt is punishment driven. If a participant fails to collect all of the chicks they run the risk of stepping on one and thus becoming covered in bird guts and suffering emotional trauma from the experience.
Having collected about a dozen chicks throughout the trip I have declared myself the winner- I had about 12 more than all of my competitors. While the challenge was fun and certainly kept me entertained I was relieved when the chicks were either lulled to sleep by the jerky motions of the bus or ran out of air in their cardboard boxes and stopped jumping out. One of the greatest things about traveling is experiencing new customs from different parts of the world. I’ll be happy host an Adult Easter Egg Hunt at home to share a piece of my Uganda experience with all of you.