After hearing the report on 18 vehicles involved in an accident yesterday morning, the adventurous in me took over as I decided to take a non-aircon bus on my way to work thinking of maybe getting some scoop pictures of the scene. I wasn’t able to take some pictures of the incident because the bus went passed the place of accident even before I settled on my seat, though I experienced my fare share of adventure just the same.
I seldom take the non-aircon bus save for those times when the weather is more bearable and cooler. These buses asks for cheaper rates, though are usually the mode of conveyance and the target of people of shady reputation on the streets. Because of this, I have always preferred taking the comfy yet sometimes slower aircon buses.
I had no choice but to take the rearmost seat which can accommodate six. The only space left allowed me to sit on the left side of the bus beside a middle-aged woman sitting right next to the window. She suddenly spoke to no one in general, and thought she was just verbalizing in a blaming tone on the accident she saw over her side of the window, about the carelessness anf irresponsibility of drivers. I also thought she was speaking to me, and was willing to break the rule of not speaking to strangers just to break the boredom from the daily grind. I soon later learned I was wrong when she sounded rather hateful over someone after hearing the words “manyakis” and “babae,” which is definitely not a way to describe a traffic incident or those people involved in it. Her voice rose a few decibels than your usual self-talk, which attracted the attention of some of the passengers even a few seats in front of us, which elicited some peculiar stares and frowned eyebrows. When the conductor came to ask for our fare, she ignored him at first, and realizing the conductor’s persistence on collecting her money, she just waved her hands as to saying she has no money.
The nosy in me tried its very best to get a gist of what she was saying, but could only comprehend so much from her self-talk and with the noise of the engine of our bus and other vehicles which kept drowning her voice. I also tried to take a peep on the plastic bag she has on her side farther from me, and only caught a glimpse of the strap of black sandals. After straining my neck, what I only gathered was perhaps she caught her partner with a woman, but maybe I’m still wrong.
I have to be honest that I somehow felt paranoid taking her picture, thinking maybe she has a weapon of some kind in her bag and she might revert her verbalization into actual physical violence onto me. When the other passenger in our seat has left, I occupied the vacated seat in our row to give others the opportunity (?) to meet her, or perhaps relate with her. Those fortunate enought to sit beside her felt just as paranoid, not even taking a glance on her once they started to hear “voices.”
In the end, the only lesson I got from that morning was, if you have nothing good to say, you can actually say those things to yourself and get yourself a free bus ride.