Dybia was eagle-eyed and the boss of the house. She was short and stout, her face was pale as cotton, heavily lined and contained thin wisps of blue dye tattoo. Her eyes were as black as coal. She may have been somewhere between 40 and 50 years old, it was hard to tell. She constantly nagged poor old Ahmed who found it difficult to perform his limited household chores to Dybia’s complete satisfaction. I came to think that Dybia’s husband must have been thrilled that we hired her and that she would spend most of the day with us and not with him in their house.
When we pushed away from the dock, instead of taking the direct route across to the other side as we usually did, we immediately headed upstream for a long way, maybe a mile or more before entering the main current. As we approached the center of the raging river, water would occasionally lap up on the ferry deck. The boat was being buffeted by the strong current and I suddenly got worried about the ferry getting swamped. I bent down and with trembling fingers I untied the laces on my work boots. If we weren’t going to make it I knew I’d have a better chance in the water if I didn’t have my heavy leather work boots weighing me down.
Crossing the Date Line can be purchased as an eBook for about $8 or $9 from book sellers like iBookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Baker & Taylor, Copia, Gardners, eSentral, Scribd and Goodreads.