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Thursday, 8 October 2009

Relying on public transport


I've mentioned before about my normal mode of transport.  The dolmus (minibus) that goes from our village into the nearest town, Milas.  I've also said that I like them because the drivers go out of their way to be helpful, but at times they can be a little irritating.

With Mr Ayak away working, I have to go into Milas for food and household shopping.  As I have a difficult hill to climb when I return to the village, it's not possible to get all of my shopping in one trip, so I tend to make about three trips a week.

I set off earlier than usual on Tuesday morning.  I had things to do at home and the idea was to go and get my shopping as quickly as possible and return to my list of things to do.  The bus was due to leave at 8.20am and as I was just at the bottom of hill and turning the corner towards the bus stop at 8.15am I saw the bus heading off in the distance.  One of the old men in the teahouse told me it had left early because it was full.  OK fair enough, so I sat at the bus stop and waited for the next bus at 9.00am.

I managed to complete my shopping quite quickly, and according to the timetable at the bus stop in the village, there was a bus due to leave Milas at 10.00am.  I arrived at the bus station at 9.50am to discover that there was a bus at 9.45am which I had just missed, and although the timetable states that the next bus was due at 10.30am, it would seem that they have changed the timetable without letting anyone know, so in fact the next bus wasn't until 11.15am.  Tuesday is market day in Milas, so the 11.15am bus was absolutely full of people, bags of vegetables, sacks of fertiliser, etc etc.   I arrived home at around 12.00...so much for my quick shopping trip.

Today I made better plans, I was at the bus stop in the village in plenty of time for the 8.20am bus and it arrived at 8.30am!   I only had one supermarket to visit, so I was in time to catch the 9.45am bus back. When we set off there were only two  passengers...wonderful...room to spread out with my shopping. I should have been back home by 10.30am at the latest.

However the driver had different plans.  Firstly he made a detour off his usual route, to visit a cash and carry store to pick up 12 crates of coca-cola for the village shop, so we sat and waited while he went in, made his purchases and piled them into the bus.  Next stop was a glass workshop, where he collected two large panes of glass, which the other passenger (an elderly man) held very carefully to stop them falling over.   Back on to the normal route, where he first stopped to pick up three 50kg sacks of fertiliser, and then to the petrol station where he filled up with petrol, then went into the shop to buy his cigarettes and newspaper.  I finally reached home at 11.20am.

Of course no-one ever complains, or finds this kind of behaviour strange...they take it all in their stride.  Because everyone knows that if you want the driver to make a detour for you to collect something, he will do so willingly.

Can you imagine any other country offering this sort of bus service or people willing to accept it?

12 comments:

  1. Earlier in life, I would have been tapping the foot and drumming the fingers..beause I would have been on a schedule...just as you were that day....
    Now, I would kill for service like that!

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  2. Ha ha ha I wouldn't be too surprised if you were writing this story about India. Its same here as well.Especially in smaller towns and villages. Laid back and relaxed. People in a hurry are actually frowned upon :)

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  3. That is quite amazing.
    Though annoying to have to wait so long for buses that might or might not be coming, it sounds as though you are well integrated into the society and that you don't get too cross about it!

    Nuts in May

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  4. Fly: Gone are the days of trying to run to some kind of schedule. Yes I did attempt it twice this week..but I don't know why...I have plenty of time.

    Recipes: Yes I wondered if India may experience something similar! And the Turks also frown upon those people in a hurry!

    Maggie: I realised years ago that there is no point in getting cross. OK I would say I am a little irritated at times, but the feeling soon passes. I notice how much I've changed when I'm back in the UK and watch people getting irate at check-out queues, whilst I calmly wait. It's good for the blood pressure!

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  5. Just like the 24 from Hampstead Heath!

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  6. LOL Ayak - absolutely, the same here!
    Southern countries and cultures don't need Prozac, it's built-in at birth!
    Enjoy the peace and the comfortable pace of life, stress is a killer.

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  7. Can't imagine anyone in UK settling for that kind of bus service Ayak!

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  8. Thanks everyone for your comments...they are much appreciated xx

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  9. You couldn't send your busdriver around bringing us some sandwiches while we're working on our land at lunchtime tomorrow? Does he go as far as Italy?

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  10. Heiko: Haha! I'll ask him if you like. I'm sure he would if he could.
    And welcome to my blog...thanks for taking the time to read here xx

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  11. Over here, going anywhere for a quick trip is almost unheard of. You have to make a few spare minutes here and there. Anything can happen. I try to do all my shopping when the kids are in school. Sometimes they come home and need something for craft classes the next day and if it is not something that can be procured locally, a trip has to be organised. Basically, once any form of public transport is involved you have to allow for at least half an hour's delay!

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  12. Gael: It must be much more difficult for you with 4 children to shop for having to rely on public transport. I kind of give myself schedules but because I don't work I really don't have to stick with them. I don't know why I do it..hard to break habits of a lifetime I guess.

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