Cautionary Tales

Each country has something the residents are too scared to mention on the travel brochures. Some things that lie so far beyond the line of “adventurous enough to lure people in” that if a butterfly were to flap it’s wings on the line, nothing would happen where these things are. Australia has a number of ravenous beasts intent on your violent death. India now has a handful of homesick female bloggers. Sri Lanka has public transport.

If you’ve never been in some form of public transport in your life, I crown thee a faux-lankan. You are about as Sri Lankan as Coffee Bean, which I assume you flock to each evening.

I, on the other hand, have to go through hours of torture each day. Have you seen the inside of a 154? Nobody has. Because the thing is so packed full of people, it’s mass is so great that it turns into a black hole from whence not even light escapes. The crews on these buses are supposed to have inspired the original Star Trek series. They also have burning hot coals for eyes and superhuman strength and endurance.

On top of all this, we in good old Sri Lanka have to put up with all kinds of other hassles on the bus. As if life-sucking black chambers of death that smell of chili aren’t bad enough. People have to go make things even more unbearable. It’s like some great big fish-bowl full of piranhas and a cat gets thrown into it. Try landing the right way up in that, cat. I know, that analogy doesn’t make any sense.

I just don’t like cats.


First up, little kids on buses. It’s baffling why people call these things little bundles of “joy”. I mean, they screw up your day before they’re even born by making you give up your seat to pregnant women. How can such beings be let loose in a bus? When they’re a few years older, they clog up the aisles, impeding movement. They’re all over the place, thieving, impeding, being stupid and generally being adorable. Bastards. World, Sri Lanka has the fountain of youth. Please take it away from us. In return, we only ask that you give us a fountain of smart.

Next we have the conductors, hanging off their footboards shouting “homahomahomahoma”. Why they are perpetually calling out to this fellow I have no idea. They yell at you, push you around, refuse you money and generally act like 13 year olds at a frat party. You can’t blame them though, I’d be enraged if I had to wear that same muddy coloured shirt to work everyday as well.

And then we have the strange phenomenon of women rampaging at seats. The moment a seat frees up, you are assured of at least one woman with a handbag shoving past everyone, even someone standing right next to the free seat, and plopping her handbag on the free space. Then she will calmly get around to replacing the bag with herself. It is a danger that all males and females who don’t regard empty seats the way Edmund Hillary thought of Everest should beware of. When someone gets up off a seat, listen. If you hear the sounds of a rampaging elephant thundering through the plains, crushing skulls and stepping on feet, get the hell out of there.

Finally, we have the most annoying type of person by far. One day I was inspired to see if I could contact God himself by means of recreating what Jim Carey did in Bruce Almighty. It worked. All I asked was that these blackguards be given multiple knees. So that they can be shot in them. Repeatedly.

See, I was innocently reading a book in the bus. All was as it should be, children playing in the streets, women in the kitchen, that sort of thing. Then I notice the dude sitting next to me creepily staring at my book. I go on for a few pages and he’s still reading the thing. I look at him and throw a little half smile his way and he looks away. For a few minutes. Then it’s back to “let’s-see-what-annoys-Jerry-the-most”. So I put away the book and take out my phone. I start replying to a few messages and this dude is now staring at my phone screen. I throw him a “I’m-concerned-about-your-concern-about-my-phone” look. Otherwise known as the “bugger-off” look.

Like clockwork, he looks away and gets back to my screen in a few minutes. I finally had to ask the fellow to allow me some privacy. If you ever have kids, please, please teach them the merits of not getting punched in the face for reading over people’s shoulders.


18 Responses to “Cautionary Tales”

  1. July 2, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Yes, we all know how much you fear the sound of a running elephant 🙂

  2. July 2, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Just type something revoltingly scathing and let him read it or himself.

  3. July 2, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I thought the cat analogy was brilliant. I’m now tempted to toss a cat in a bowl of piranhas… What ensues should be fun to watch.

  4. 7 chathuraw
    July 2, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    HAHAHA!!! This was brilliant!! 😀

    Well looks like you haven’t lost your touch after all, boy! 😛

  5. 9 Cat
    July 2, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Can I haz cheezburger

  6. July 2, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Eeeek…. the poor cat! But you’ve totally missed out the pervy dudes who lurk like hyeneas, looking for an opportunity to molest people.

  7. 11 Muffet
    July 2, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Hahaha.. Brilliant post!

    But you totally forgot the puking. Oh joy.

  8. July 2, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    u shld hv typed “I’m tying a SMS and there’s a creepy looking guy reading it over my shoulder”

  9. July 2, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    A very accurate description of public transport 😀

  10. 14 Chavie
    July 2, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Haha, this is bloody brilliant! 😀

    Bus tales ftw! 😀

  11. July 5, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    This is real, man, shit like this happens daily, check out the 138 – good lord, spending an hour stuck in a hellhole like this leaves you feeling dead, disabled and mentally incapable. Particularly women with handbags! Chk out my post on bus mishaps.

  12. 16 gutterflower
    July 6, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    One paltry blogger doesn’t count as a handful, fool.

  13. July 7, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Stick it where the sun don’t shine, idiot, where the hell do you live??

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