Moving at an accelerated pace, it makes only abrupt stops in a bid to either take in more into the already stuffed space or create a brief relief of dropping off.
Its badly scrapped surface barely able to preserve its yellow colour, giving an impression of stains rather than intended colouring with an even more pitiful interior; a real eye sore telling tales of long-suffering passengers.
Hanging from its door-like structure stands a sweaty conductor with ripped clothing, which could almost be mistaken for uniforms as it seems a trend amongst his association.
Shouting at the top of his voice, he demonstrates skills of persuasion including downright annoying gimmicks to fill in any visible super heated piece of clothed metal.
Seated in, is an incoherent mix of diverse personalities, squashed; forced to suspend and expand nostrils in different directions in an attempt to breathe unpolluted air.
Then, that’s me at the edge closest to the window, my permanent spot which I fight fearlessly to secure; my precious opening to the world. As a consistent passenger, my only joy asides its obvious function is the satisfaction I get from watching the world outside from the yellow bus. Sometimes it’s fast, other times slow and at worse, not moving. My personal metaphor for life.
From my spot, I identify three sets of people; the financially handicapped, relatively comfortable and outright exhibitionists.
The first group; a set so poor they could not afford a seat on the bus and as uncomfortable as the yellow bus might seem, it poses as a luxury to some. They represent the extremely poverty ridden populace depending mostly on the scraps handed down by either individuals or the state. The voiceless crowd subjected to a devastating reality of very little hope if any would have to be tirelessly fought for in order to yield fruits.
Then there’s the relatively comfortable set; settled peacefully in their rides entitled to the privilege of choice, choice of music and company. Representing the middle class in the society, although their voices are well heard, they still depend on policies passed down by the state.
They stand most vulnerable to sudden changes in the system as while as hold the most unpredictable position. One minute they are cruising privately and the next minute they could be seated right next to me. They are the very line distinguishing the “haves” from the “have not’s”, a comfortable but not entirely enviable position due to its susceptibility to economic fluctuations.
The third group a set of outright exhibitionists putting up a glaring show off of amassed wealth on wheels. A proof of either hard earned currency or perfected thievery expertise. Neither of which is now deemed irrelevant as their lives are celebrated as achieved successes regardless of the source.
After all, we move mostly by sight. They wilt a great measure of power, thus have very little need to raise voices. A minority owning the vast majority of everything including people, basking in the privileged almost “law-free” zone based solely on titles as “rich men”.
Then back to the bus is what I’d like to describe as the transitional phase to any of these sets. More like a free tutorial class is given to ignite choices and drift courses either for the best or the worst.
Starting with the dynamic track of speed; it is never the same, every day is different, some days moving slightly faster testing dynamism and adaptability, other days slower unearthing levels of patience and some days are still and static revealing the presence of persistence.
There isn’t a clearly defined pattern, maybe a prediction based on history but never precise. The destination is left to be deciphered by a matter of choice.
Time of entry and exit is solely individualistic based on a series of self-answered “whys”; why I entered here? And why I decided to stop here? Irrespective of every other person on the bus. Here, the seemingly simple task of understanding self, purpose and the need to pursue your dreams free of comparison is critical.
Equally, the true nature of traffic is revealed, which is, of course, every driver’s nightmare slowing down both pace and income, a perfect recipe for bringing out questionable character. Passengers having to bear the excruciating heat, where breathing becomes threatened and anxiety levels hitting the bus top. Although there is very little control over traffic, a few mentally enabled drivers escape the torturous long minutes of waiting in lines by taking an analytical study of the terrain susceptible to long traffics.
Here again, the decision of whether to be or not to be caught in the web of trailed vehicles is idiocentric. Traffic is used here as a metaphorical synonym to ideologies and relationships which either propel or bound, emphasising on the need to carefully pick factors and people to prevent being held up in “traffic”.
In case you are wondering where I fall in all these, I’m still seated in the bus, awaiting my last bus stop.
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