Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Anatomy of a Mini-bus

I remember trying to explain the concept of a mini-bus to one of my friends, and realized that if someone had never ridden one before then they wouldn’t be able to understand what I was saying. This post is inspired from that conversation. I’ve complied tips on optimizing mini-bus experiences should anyone ever need to ride one.

Music Matters
Depending on what kind of music the mini-bus plays, it will dictate the type of ride passengers experience.

- Hard Core Reggae Music: If this type of music is blasting when it picks up people on the road, it will be guaranteed that a few men will be doing the Passa-Passa dance move in their seats. The drivers are usually more aggressive and tend to speed, swerve, and tailgate.

- Top 3 Hits: This is similar to the Top 40 Hits in the US, but people here play the same 3 songs over and over. (Currently one of them is Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable”) Everyone in this bus will think they are trying out for Guyana Idol and belt out tunes at the top of their lungs. Drivers are mildly aggressive.
- Jesus Music: If a bus plays gospel music, it will strictly adhere to all traffic laws. It will not pass any cars on the road, not even the heavy sluggish tractors or horse-drawn carts. This bus is not recommended to those who are in a hurry or late for an appointment. The best thing to do is wait for a Hard Core bus that may pass by 10 minutes later. It will still arrive before the Jesus busses.

Seating Situations
Where a person is seated on the bus is also crucial in the traveling experience. There are no isles or walk-ways on these busses in order to cram as many people as possible. Those getting short drops are not recommended to sit in the back corners of the bus or else everyone is forced to exit, although this shuffling is extremely common and not seen as a hassle.



Bus Etiquette
There is a certain sense of camaraderie when riding the busses. Most people are willing to sacrifice the comfort of a regular seat and be awkwardly crammed in order to accommodate a handful of extra (illegal) passengers so everyone may get a ride. The bus drivers will also make multiple stops, per the passengers’ request, and the conductor will dash across the road to run the passenger’s errands. However, this kindness disappears when there is a crowd waiting for a bus. “Love thy neighbor” becomes “shove thy neighbor.” All bets are off and the pushing and stampeding commences in order to secure a seat.

3 comments:

april said...

LOL. This reminds me of the "jeepneys" that you ride when you're in the Philippines...

Princess Jibi said...

lol I so love your diagram of the bus...
you should see what its like traveling in the night in the mini bus..
People are willing to let you sit on there laps so you can get home, cause its night..
and sometimes you will be sitting on someone and having someone in a standing sitting position infront of you..
its terrible late in the night

reanna said...

LOL this is too funny but very true i do miss traveling in Guyana it was all the rage when i was younger but i can understand why older folks won't like it.... i actually love the backseat great breeze.