The queue snaked along the road, and on arrival the bus gulped a mass of pink and white skinned flesh. We were the last to get on, perched on the steps, faces forward, front row seats to the panoramic spectacle of mountain driving by locals versus tourists.
The bus pitched and heaved and honked its way round vertiginous coastal roads not designed for 21st century living. Then amongst the waves of nausea and emergency breaking emerged an embryonic court of appeal and arbiter of need, a kangaroo court lurched from stop to stop.
As the doors opened and passengers did their best not to the tumble out of this metal carrier, a plea was made by the waiting.
“Ok -you can get on.”
“Eeeeeeh?” erupted from the bus
“It’s a baby – a bambino!” remonstrated the driver
“Aaaaaaaah” replied the bus
The attractive mum holding a white shawled little girl climbed on and a passenger relinquished their seat; smiles of a peaceful child’s embrace rippled down the carriage. Next, an elderly bag lady tried to get on as the doors opened and she made a bold attempt to climb up against the wall of opposing bodies. The driver apologised and remonstrated with youth’s respect for the elderly, but beneath it all – she wasn’t a chosen one. She made hand movements to her mouth with looks of poverty and destitution, he countered with forces beyond his control and assurances time would tend to her woes.
And with a swish and hiss of closure, we moved on to the next hearing.