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The Pink Mini Bus

Cepat, masuk masuk masuk lagi!”, screams the woman holding a bunch of tickets, waving her hands toward the back. Everyone inches backwards and lurch around grabbing whatever’s within reach. Some even lose their footing and end up planting their noses in someone else’s sweaty armpits. A sheepish smile solves everything – after all, what can we do? We’re stuck in here together….feels like we’re stuck in here together with half the population of Malaysia. The pink Mini Bus! Bbbbrrrr…..even typing the word out sends a shiver down my spine! Before Malaysia had enough money to change all the public buses into air-conditioned, comfy-cushy ones, most of us had to take the mini bus to work. Hopping from one Mini Bus to another…sometimes, to a third one before reaching our destination is very common. The Pink Mini Bus is hard to miss, you know. It’s BRIGHT PINK and you can literally see them bulldoze their way through even if you were in Mars….zipping its way between cars and motorbikes. These Mini Bus drivers knew they can do whatever they want on the roads and no sane car driver would stand in their way. What with people hanging and swinging around in the doorway of the bus! Precarious but who cares because if you’re late for work, you’re gonna get it from your boss, you see. I remember taking these buses and I remember standing on the last rung of the ladder with that screaming bus conductor’s wet and sweaty arms sticking into my ribs. Don’t even dare to sneeze in case my hands slip. One time, the bus was zipping around like a rocket and I was hanging out (always almost miss the bus, that’s why!) the door and I was wearing this long skirt thinghy. Woo-Hoo…the skirt flying all over the place. If per chance it caught on another car’s something or a cheeky motorbike rider decides to get cheeky and yank my skirt….habis-lah tu (that's it), you know. Almost had a Marilyn Monroe moment too in that long skirt. Nowadays, the people are so lucky. They’ve got all kinds of public transport to use ranging from the lush buses to cool Monorails to zippy trains. The kids are even luckier….never been on a public bus before! When they take buses for field trips, they consider it a luxury! Hah! Now, wherever they go, they go in cars and private drivers. With the progress of our nation, I wonder what kind of vehicle the kids several generations down the road would be taking to work. Scenes from the show ‘Meet the Robinsons’ come to mind. Flying vehicles, maybe?

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