A Visit To A Refinery: Fiction

It tells a short story of an enthusiastic child on a tour with an uncle.

It was a beautiful Friday morning. The sun had set out on its routine journey from East to West and was in its most friendly mood. Science says the sun rays in this mood are capable of helping the human skin produce vitamin D.

We had also set out on a journey like the sun, but ours was not a routine, unlike the sun. It was, in fact, an unusual experience; a visit to a petroleum refinery. Uncle Terfa had offered to take me on a tour to Gidan Mai refinery. He chose to travel by public transport, and we arrived at the park early. Thanks to Dooyum, my cousin, who conveyed us.

After purchasing our tickets and a sachet of peanuts to keep my jaws in an up-and-down movement, Uncle Terfa instructed that I should stay on the bus while he got some provisions from a nearby store. As I made for the vehicle, with all my attention fixed on unsealing the sachet of peanuts, I bumped into this fellow. Instantaneously, he pasted a dirty slap on my right chick.

Looking up, my eyes caught a malicious look from a jagged-haired man, whose eye color could best be compared with that of the evening sun. His appearance was such that it could make a toddler go scampering for their mother. Stylishly, he jetted out a cloud of smoke from his mouth, with his hands begging to teach more lessons. ‘If only I was watching where I was going', I thought, as I felt hot tears begging to course down my chicks. But the thought of onlookers, coupled with public disgrace, did not allow me to give it way. ‘I am sorry, sir', I said, with a voice of many sounds.

A few minutes later, Uncle Terfa caught up with us. He had looked for me and couldn’t find me on the bus. He inquired what the matter was, and after pleading with the man on my behalf, we headed for the bus. He cautioned me to be more careful.

The Gidan Mai refinery is situated on a well-expanded piece of land in the Garin Kowa plains, overlooked by the plains, which gives visitors a breath-taking view capable of sending one into a series of déjà vu episodes. Its view from the hills, on a vehicle, erased my awful experience earlier with my lanky man. We alighted from the bus and walked through the gate, which opened into a machine-filled arena. Merged with other people, who had also come to tour the facility, we were led by a guide through the units. There was the well-organized administrative section, then the production unit, where much of my interest lay. We were taken through the vast area of crisscrossed pipes, which serve to transport fluids, such as petroleum and its products, around the refinery.

One of the towers, the guide said, is where crude oil refining takes place. A process he called fractional distillation. He explained that crude oil is heated, and at various points, different products such as petrol, kerosene, and many more are collected.

At the end of the tour, I decided that I would be a petrochemical engineer. Moreover, I made a new friend, Amadi, who also came with his family on a holidays visit to the refinery.

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