Let’s go by bus, ok?
“Mommy, I wanna go by bus.” – “Mommy, let’s go swimming, let’s take the bus.” – “Mommy I wanna eat Samosas in town, we go by bus, ok?” and so it goes on and on. Someone really likes to get around on our island. By bus of course.
It’s actually the easiest and cheapest way to get to a place here in Paradise. It’s definitely the common way to move around when you are a woman, a child or a woman with a child. The men however easily hitch a ride. Sitting at the road (next to the bus stop) and waiting until somebody is picking you up is not like the hitchhiking I know from Europe. And sitting or standing in the back of a truck (I’m talking about big trucks now), which is the common way men usually get around, neither. It’s as if a friend is giving you a ride because everybody knows everybody (well, sort of). But women don’t do that, we might get a ride too, but usually only when we actually do know the driver (or his dad, brother, cousin or second-cousin) and we’re getting to sit inside the car or the truck.
So back to the bus ride the little one is so fond of. ‘Timan’ is in his truck-car-boat-bus-any-kind-of-vehicle-phase and the bus is the one he likes most right now. He’s still a toddler and changes his mind quite often, but with the bus he seems to stick. Maybe because it’s big, maybe because he can sit close to the driver (sometimes), maybe because there are many people to look at, maybe because the bus goes fast and makes jerky movements once in a while, I don’t know.
I’m serious, a bus ride in Paradise can be quite an adventure for non-residents who use this transportation for the first time and are not used to it. The roads are narrow and winding and sometimes there is just enough space for one car, not two cars, let alone a car and a bus. The door usually stays open because of the heat. During rush hour even the narrow middle alley is cramped with people standing there. And you have to hold on to something, otherwise you will stumble at the first turn of the road, you won’t fall down though, there is not enough space to fall down, no kidding.
The drivers go very fast, almost racing the bus while trying to keep the schedule and after a very short time in service most of them look like they were in use for years (both of them ;-). Even though you don’t see a lot of accidents on the road, they do happen, probably quite often. Luckily major accidents do not happen a lot though, but if they do they are usually very bad, with a bus rolling down a steep slope for example. There are some lines they are prone to this because of the terrain and it’s better not to use them during main traffic hours. On TV we see and hear almost every day how to behave while using the public transportation (I think I mentioned the term ‘Banana Republic’ before, didn’t I?), where to sit and stand, what to do or not to do, normal things you would think everybody knows and does. And over the years I can see that slowly, slowly people start to comply.
When we go to town ‘Timan’ and I just have to pass by the bus terminal, so the little one can indulge in the whim of watching busses as many as he likes.
And on the way home, again by bus of course, he might be able to sit close to the driver if he’s lucky.
If the bus is not too crowded my tot gets to see everything up close, and right now I think this is what he wants to do in the future, when he’s ‘big’. But then again, he’s a toddler and he’s allowed to change his mind. Especially on this matter he can and hopefully he will change it many times in the years ahead.
Do you also have some ‘different’, sometimes a bit dirty, very crowded and maybe even a little scary means of transportation your kid likes to use all the time? And what about your tots future plans? Or maybe your little one wants to do Mommy’s or Daddy’s job?