I am sure many of you have not experienced traveling inside a constricted space. A plane ride is the closest example where your proximity to another person is at its nearest.
Well, we in the Third World, do not have the luxury to be choosy which means of transport to take or be picky as to who we are near with riding the conveyance. We get what is offered as the cheapest way to commute.
Using public transportation is a daily struggle for city residents. In the province, the chaos is not too visible due to the lesser number of available rides. That in fact produces a similar struggle of a different variant.
Last week, I took a bus to the municipal center. The day being a Saturday fell on what was traditionally called Market Day. Farmers trooped to the center to peddle their produce: it was the perfect time for buyers to acquire inexpensive agricultural products. (see Haggling)
The bus was full. Locally we call this sort of a situation just like how processed sardines feel inside a can. It was a numerous description but too uncomfortable in reality.
You have to be alert if this is the case. Criminal elements love the scenario when unsuspecting passengers become more restless due to the crowded situation while leaving their possessions less guarded.
About ten minutes later, someone shouted, “Stop!” (We have no loading and unloading zones unlike in the West. We alight whenever we feel like it.)
The tires screamed after the driver stepped on the brakes. We were pushed forward because of the deceleration.
I stood near the door. Actually, I was at the door so everyone would pass me by on the way out.
Second later, another shout reverberated, “Stop him!” The feminine voice was in distress.
I was not really paying attention because I was more concerned with my safety as I held tightly on the sidebar of the open-door bus.
I re-positioned my left leg to change stance, removing my weight which rested more on my right. The movement would bring back blood circulation to the numbed regions of my lower extremities.
Accidentally, the man rushing to get out tripped on my left leg. He fell crashing face down on the gravel shoulder of the road. I heard him cursing in the most irate manner.
Other men rushed out and accosted him. They frisked him vigorously and found in his possession the cellular phone he nicked from the woman who shouted for help earlier.
“Thank you,” the woman smiled at me, her appreciation was total.
Frankly, I was at a loss as to why the other passenger gave me approving looks. They probably thought I did what I did on purpose.
Perhaps, unconsciously, I made the right move at the exact time, a perfect timing. 🙂