Thursday, November 22, 2007

The wheels on the bus come to a screeching halt

I slept late this morning, the down comforter and Ev's snuggle just too hard to break away from. I dressed quickly and ran out the door into the elevator, willing it to swish down the 9 floors just a little quicker than usual. I climbed the short hill to the frontage road, hoping to have just caught the bus. The woman waiting at the bus stop gave me a little more hope that I had made it in time. But as the minutes ticked by we both realized that we had missed it and would have to wait another half hour. The woman exclaimed in Turkish that it must have just come -- and gone. So we waited, both exasperated, with this less than encouraging start to our days. I considered hailing a taxi but then thought, why would I pay YTL 20 for a ride that costs less than YTL 2 on the bus? Finally the bus appeared and I felt like maybe my luck was changing as it was 10 minutes ahead of schedule (or should I say, this is Istanbul, what schedule?). Unfortunately it was one of the old rickety red buses instead of the nice modern green ones. This one was so noisy I could barely here the music from my headphones.

I sat in one of the backwards facing rows toward the rear of the bus. About 10 minutes later as we were entering the highway, one of the men sitting in the back row suddenly jumped from his seat. Then another followed suit. I noticed there was smoke rising from beneath their seats and also from the floor panels. The smoke was quickly filling the bus. Just as we were all looking at the driver, the bus came to a halt -- in the middle of the highway. We saw the bus driver hop off and head to the rear to check things out. When he walked up to the front and made a call we realized we wouldn't be going anywhere.
I sat watching the world pass by on the highway, listening to my music, which I could now hear clearly without the ratchety bus engine. I was kind of pleased because I now had an official excuse to be late for work. About 15 minutes into our stranding, two of the men who had been sitting in the back got out and went to speak to the driver. Their talk quickly turned into a shouting match which I couldn't hear through the glass but am sure had something to do with why no replacement bus had come yet. Forty minutes later the next bus on the route came by, already filled with passengers. It stopped behind us and we filed on, quickly realizing there was not one seat open. By this time I was thoroughly amused by the turns the day had taken so I continued listening to my music with a silly grin creeping up on face. Roll with it.


Bev said...

your little daily tales make me laugh=) i must make it over to turkey!

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