For What It’s Worth.. 77.. November 25, 2011

Riding the local buses in Goa..

Today.. Friday.. November 25th.. I did some more local bus riding ..

Let me tell you about the first Nine Local Bus Rides ..

Seven of them were all in one day.. Wednesday the 16th of November.. when I rode from Arambol to Mapusa.. from Mapusa to Panjim.. from Panjim to Margao .. and back (Margao to Panjim.. Panjim to Mapusa.. Mapusa passing through Arambol up to Keri Beach) to Keri Beach North of Arambol.. that is six bus rides.. the seventh was from Keri Beach back south to Arambol ..on each and on every single one of these seven rides.. I had a seat all the way..

The eighth local bus ride was back from Mandrem to Arambol .. I had walked south to Mandrem from Arambol Beach on the beach .. and I had a seat all the way..

This afternoon.. after mailing YOU a post card .. on a whim.. I just jumped on a local bus heading for Pernem .. and I got a seat all the way to Pernem.. a thirty minute bus ride..I am batting nine for nine..

You and I pronounce Pernem.. Per.. Nem.. NOT the locals..

They pronounce Pernem .. Pair (or Pear) .. Nem.. with heavy accent on the Pair .. when you say Per.. Nem.. they do not have a clue what you mean.. trust me on this..

Now when I boarded in Arambol.. on a whim.. the bus was sitting there and I asked where it was going.. they said Pernem and I hopped aboard..

Goa is divided into Administrative Regions called Talukas (we call these  subdivisions  Counties) .. Arambol is in the Pernem Taluka and Pernem is the capital city in the Pernem Taluka ..

So I wanted to just ride to Pernem and check it out.. and I did.. sitting all the way ..

I had asked the bus conductor IF the bus was returning to Arambol and he said “Yes it is” .. well technically it did.. by way of Mapusa ! which was a three hour side trip.. so when we got to Pernem he said “Sir you get your bus back to Arambol over there..” .. and so I got off and walked ‘over there’ and waited for my bus back to Arambol ..

When it came it was loaded to the gills.. and I fought my way inside.. saw the foolishness of this.. and I fought my way back off the bus and waited for the next bus..

90% of local buses have two entry and exit doors.. you get on in the back and you exit in the front.. not these.. they have one entry/exit door.. you get on and you get off in the same door.. this is a real mess..

Well I had forty five minutes to ponder my decision.. “I couldda been back in Arambol IF I had stayed on that bus..” .. couldda shouldda wouldda.. what’s the big deal standing on a bus for half an hour..

Finally the next bus came and it too was a mess.. so I fought my way aboard and fought my way to the very rear.. and stood.. and stood .. and stood for twenty minutes until the bus finally rolled out..

HERE IS WHERE I AM GOING WITH THIS..

I HAD FORGOTTEN WHAT A CROWDED LOCAL BUS IS LIKE..

When a bus is the last bus of the day..  the local people will GO TO ANY LENGTH TO GET ABOARD.. YOU WOULD TOO..

They acted as if this was the last bus of the day..

THIS IS CROWDING.. and I had forgotten this trick.. totally.. and in fact have seen it seldom in twenty one years..

You have a seat on a bus.. two people sit in a seat together.. they have knees and their knees touch the seat in front of them.. get with me.. IN BETWEEN THEIR KNEES.. the right knee for one and the left knee for the other.. there is some space..

CROWDING IS WHEN THE STANDEES IN THE AISLE CROWD INTO THE SMALL SPACE BETWEEN THE KNEES OF THE PEOPLE SITTING IN SEATS..

So even the people sitting in seats are smashed together with the aisle people standing in between them..

CAN YOU ALL PICTURE THIS.. OF COURSE THE AISLE IS JAM PACKED ALSO.. FACT THE TOTAL BUS IS JAM PACKED..

THIS IS CROWDING..

LIKE FEW OF YOU HAVE EVER SEEN IN YOUR LIFETIME..

and I just ‘ gutted it out ‘ and thought.. ‘ oh my ‘ ..

The cost of the bus ride was ten rupees .. a taxi offered me a ride for two hundred rupees.. I declined..

and you ask me..

i will not go there..

over and out with a smile.. tonight i will sleep well.. much joy.. cap..