Thursday, 8 October 2009
Relying on public transport
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?