Wednesday, 3 April 2013


As you all know, my dearly beloved Beast still sits at the mechanic awaiting a critical part to complete his service.
I have been having quite a bit of fun traveling to and fro on our local island transportation, which consists of our government-run buses, and the minibuses.
The big difference is that the buses run on a schedule, but the minibuses just operate up and down the assigned route all day.
Most folks prefer to travel by the minibuses, because they're faster to travel from point A to point B. 
Many have their favourites, and this includes the school children as well.
Truth be told, there are quite a few minibus drivers that do not adhere to the law, and the police work very hard to keep them in order while transporting the public on the road.
Speeding, overloading, playing loud music, driving off route, operating without the required documents, not following the traffic laws, upgrading the vehicle (graffiti, decals and over the top paint jobs are not allowed), drivers and fare collectors not members of the association that governs them, are just a few of the problems that surface every now and then.
Traffic court rakes in numerous fines from these "non-law abiding" operators daily.
I must point out however, that the minibus operators who ply my neighbourhood route are nice and adhere to the law.
Last week on my way from the city, I was happily seated in a minibus on the way home, in the company of some very lively passengers who were discussing a wide gamut of topics. I have already told you that "everyone and his brother/mother/sister" is an authority on every topic concerning this island. Some of the best politicians can be found in any rum shop or a minibus....enough said.
Any....wayyyyy, there I was headed home in the company of the other passengers being calmly driven (there was too much traffic to speed anyway), on the correct route, no loud music, everything alright.
When to my surprise, my ears were accosted by a siren. You know the intermittent kind, that you're not even sure what it is sometimes. "Bweeep!"
The driver pulled over, and the next thing I know, a lady cop was at his side. She had just dismounted from a large motorbike, that up to now, I have no idea how she able to command the piece of machinery since she was a tiny lady.

First words were, "I observed....."
Everyone in the minibus incredulous.
"License and insurance......"
The driver had his documents stored in the inner flap of his door, so he asked her to step away just a bit, so he could open the door to retrieve them for her perusal.
"Step back?"
"Yes, please step back while I open the door, I don't want you to get dirty up when I open the door."
A step back later, she was handed all the relevant documents, all in order.
Glancing into the van, she could easily see  it was not overloaded, no blaring music, everything in order.
I am presuming it was a routine check.
"You may or may not be prosecuted."
 Inside the minibus

She waved us back into the traffic, and everyone remarked to the driver how calm and cool he was. He told us that it made no sense asking questions, as to why, because it always made matters worse.
I'm still waiting on the "Good Morning Sir", "Thank you Sir", "Here are your documents back Sir", "Drive safely Sir."
I do think I may be waiting in vain.
Forgot to mention above, that the respect for the police force here on the island is at an all time low.......wonder why that is.


  1. Oh I often think they spend too much time chasing the wrong things and the wrong people - clearly this was a case in point.

    1. You are so right in this regard. Sometimes I wonder if they're just bored.

  2. All our buses here are government owned so there would never be such a thing as a driver getting harrassed. They have right of way - pulling out from stops AND changing lanes across 3 lanes of city traffic. In some streets they even have their own lanes.

    1. It has been suggested that government should privatize their bus company, since they're operating at a loss.
      We don't have assigned bus lanes, nor do they have right of way on our roads. Most people (myself included) usually speed up and overtake them so we don't have to breathe all the black smoke that they belch out when we're stuck driving behind them.

  3. The bus service here in Hawkes Bay is almost non-existent although there are a few routes operated. New Zealand has one of the highest car ownership rates in the world with 92% of households having access to vehicles. It's a large country (the size of the UK) but with a miniscule population (4.5 million) most of whom live in four cities.

  4. Households here now have sometimes four vehicles, each one belonging to the individual family members.
    For a small island, we have lots of vehicles on the roads, thus lots of traffic as well.
    Even though our road taxes have increased, there are more vehicles on the road than ever.
    We have a fairly good transportation system across the island, even in the country areas.
    Even when I have my vehicle, I sometimes take a minibus into the city for short this way, I don't have to pay parking, and I get to touch base with the funny folk who travel this way daily. Some of my friends don't understand my logic, but it keeps me grounded, as I did not have my own vehicle until I was 25.


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