Hubby rides the bus going to and from the office. Unfortunately, only ordinary buses ply the San Mateo area (Marikina Auto Line Transport Corporation). They have aircon buses before but since they are only reconditioned, maintenance costs led to their eventual demise. Anyway, he never runs out of stories and observations about his bus rides and in fact, he even took pictures of the morning scenarios he and other passengers experience during their everyday ride. He even gave it a title: “Gone in 300 Seconds”.
As you can see, it’s every man for himself during rush hour. You have to be agile, strong-armed, strong-willed and brave.
This is how the bus looks like before 300 seconds.
After 100 seconds…
After 200 seconds…
Also, hubby gave the following tips/advice to bus riders (based on his experience) to make your trip a happy and exciting one:
1. To avoid becoming a victim of pickpockets, make sure that your bags/other belongings are tightly pressed in your body (like hugging them). If possible, use bags with zippers. Open bags tend to attract pickpockets’ attention and believe me, they are really good.
2. Be alert with people inside the bus, criminals usually operate in groups. They usually make weird sounds or gestures as if signaling their other accomplices.
3. To passengers who witness a crime being committed, I suggest that you keep it to yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being a coward. It’s just that you really don’t know who among the passengers is the accomplice and you might get home with a knife stuck in your side.
4. Listen attentively to the bus conductors. Once they shout a certain landmark and you are a few meters anyway, alight. Trust me, few meters will become kilometers if you don’t. Drivers really don’t use the designated bus stops so you have to “go with the flow”. Also, bus drivers have this “it’s not ok to disembark but it’s ok to pick-up passengers in non-designated bus stops” mentality.
5. Don’t stress yourself by arguing with the conductor regarding a 1 or 2 peso difference in bus fare. I once witnessed a fistfight between a conductor and a passenger because of this and it was ugly.
6. Lady passengers, do not “ask for seats” when the bus is full. Some usually make loud comments like “no one’s a boy scout/gentleman here anymore?”, you’ll just be humiliated. Wait until someone offers it to you. Personally, I offer my seats only to old men/women, pregnant women and mothers with babies.
7. Passengers, make your voice loud enough to be heard by the conductor/driver when you’re getting off so you’ll not miss your stop. Some speaks like a murmur so how will they hear you.
8. Passengers who are senior citizens, don’t get mad if the conductor asks for your senior citizen ID. In fact, you must be grateful that they are doing their job.
Still, hubby thinks that the bus is the best way to travel. You just got to observe proper time management so that you’ll not be hassled by different factors such as traffic conditions, demonstrations, road accidents.
And before I forget, hubby mentioned that apart from being agile, strong-armed and strong-willed, some passengers took the word “brave” a bit too extreme.
Yes, this brave man is hanging outside the bus. Extreme indeed!