Arfâ! Arfâ! ....

mayapan

Member
English - Australia
Continuing my quest about Arabic words in the story of The Sheltering Sky, the above Arabic words (at p.90) are shouted out by a boy while Port watches as he sips his mint tea.

Port sees the boy "on the back platform [of a bus] pounding its resonant tin body rhythmically and shouting: 'Arfâ! Arfâ! Arfâ! Arfâ!' without stopping."

What is the boy saying, please? Thank you.
 
  • Abbe

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    he observed that the same ancient bus kept passing the cafe, sounding its horn insistently. He watched it as it went by. Filled with native passengers, it made the tour of the market again and again, the boy on the back platform pounding its resonant tin body rhythmically, and shouting: "Arfa! Arfa! Arfa! Arfa!"

    It might be the destination of the bus and the boy is trying to attract more passengers.
     

    mayapan

    Member
    English - Australia
    I don't know about your suggestion, elroy. And, Abbe, I guess the boy could be calling out a destination. From my own perspective, it seemed possible to me the boy was shouting something like 'Faster! Faster!", like beating a horse, as boys like to play about. Anyway, I went to Google, entered the English 'faster' and received this as a translation: أسرع . When I listen to it on my PC, it sounds to me like: Esra or Effra - my hearing is not good. Possible?
     

    Abbe

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    Do you know where they are? There is a city called أولاد عرفة not far from Tangiers. I think the Moroccans call it oulad arfa.
    These kind of busses that don't leave until they are full are quite common in the Arabic world as well as the shouting
     

    mayapan

    Member
    English - Australia
    Do you know where they are? There is a city called أولاد عرفة not far from Tangiers. I think the Moroccans call it oulad arfa.
    These kind of busses that don't leave until they are full are quite common in the Arabic world as well as the shouting
    I know only Port is in a town called Boussif, but not sure which country.
     

    reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    A wild guess: from the context: Could the boy be saying: "Get on" "Get on" "get on" In other words, he's telling people to board the bus. It might be making its final circuit of the market place.

    I know that buses in many countries, employ a "boy" or "old man" that sort of manages the passengers and is known for shouting out instructions or destinations, collecting tickets,.... that type of thing.
     
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