An ancient law in Ireland allows the transportation of domestic animals on public transport. How does one ask a donkey if the seat is? vacant? Those who have been on public busses in India, Asia, South America or Africa know what it is share busses with all creatures great and small. Most of course, caged, shackled, held or in the overhead baggage racks. Sometimes animal passengers and or their owners on many occasions are relegated to the upper floor – on the roof rack.
The beauty of boarding the bus, cramped reeking of animals, body odour, cigarettes and the local smell of food, vegetables or sundry?perfumes. Tourists often avoid this sensational experience, missing the essence that provides locals the ability to get on with daily life.
After the experience of local transportation, one quickly forgets hard wooden seats designed for 2 but squeezing 4 adults, complete with a duck’s head popping out of the blue shopping bag, a crate of cackling chickens on the lap of a neighbouring passenger and a very, very fresh bag of local fish on the floor of the isle adjacent to your seat.
Ah, the joys of the local economic order in full swing. How do we determine what is allowed on board and what is not? Further, how do we charge the passenger on the rope?
Now about the four legged Irish passenger who would rather walk than ride?
Wally Salinger has travelled extensively on 7 continents. Mixing with locals is a favourite pastime, commencing and ending trips in the same way – on public transport to the nearest international airport.
- Most hair-raising bus travel? Peru – Cusco to Ollantaytambo in heavy floods conditions.
- The WHY? trip – Egypt. Lights off at 130 km/hr across the desert to Aswan.
The roughest trip – equal first place: 6,000m across the Andes on bone shattering roads and a four wheel drive trip from Sihanoukville – ruins of the Bokor Hill Station: sit down for permanent spinal injuries!