Sunday, December 25, 2011

BUS STORY # 268 (Mer’s Bus Story # 2: “Neither Snow Nor Rain...”)


Winter Storm Coming In by busboy4
Winter Storm Coming In, a photo by busboy4 on Flickr.


We haven’t been whacked by a bad winter storm since back in January of 2007. So we’ve been overdue for the pair that bracketed this past week.

Since my employer directed us to stay home during the worst of it, I really don’t have much to complain about. But the memory of that 2007 bus ride in the snow and ice reminds me of a second Macedonian bus story my niece shared with us when she was visiting us in September.


Mer was returning to her village with a number of other local teachers.

Her village had the same name as the village she was teaching in except hers was gorno (“upper”) and where the teachers taught was dolno (“lower”).

This is because the two communities are separated by a mountain road. The teachers take the bus down the road to school in the morning, and up the road back home at the end of the school day.

One day during school, a winter storm moved into the area. Lots of snow, and the roads became icy. The teachers headed for the bus home.

As they moved up the mountain road, it became obvious the bus was struggling. Mer could feel the occasional slippage on the ice.

When the going became slower and the slippage became more frequent, the teachers, all locals, began suggesting maybe they ought to stop where they were and just walk home from there.

Mer was of the same mind. She figured if the locals were concerned, her own concerns were not misplaced.

The driver, however, persisted.

The road became more treacherous as more snow and ice accumulated.

The teachers became more agitated. They began demanding the driver stop and let them out.

Incredibly, the driver began turning the bus around on the iced-over mountain road.

The teachers were not impressed by the daring maneuver. And they certainly didn’t want to go back down to the lower village. They just wanted to get out where they were.

Mer knew the walk up would be bitter cold and she would probably be soaking wet with snow by the time she got home. But she was sure she would live to tell the tale. She wasn’t sure this would be the case if she stayed on this bus.

But the driver wasn’t intending to return to the lower village. Once he was turned around, he began backing up the road!

The teachers were not appreciative of his genius in turning the bus into a front wheel drive vehicle. They were, however, deeply appreciative of going backwards up an icy mountain road. They began shouting at the driver to let them out now.

The driver capitulated to his riders, and, just as Mer had envisioned, she and the others had a long, blustery cold, wet walk home. And, yes, lived to tell the tale.

__________

You can read Mer’s first Macedonian bus story here.

__________

It’s become something of a tradition to post a Christmas-themed bus story Christmas Week. This Christmas, I don’t have one to tell, but I did find this wonderful Christmas bus photo on Flickr:

Rudolph by mag3737
Rudolph, a photo by mag3737 on Flickr.



"Rudolph” is posted with the kind permission of mag3737. You can see this and all mag3737’s photos on Flickr at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mag3737/2055067783/.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Brenda said...

Good morning dear Bus Boy and Merry Christmas. Mer's story reminds me of some experiences I had in Bulgaria during a missions trip. Our driver had been a taxi driver for years and his driving was exhilarating to say the least. At one point I put my seatbelt on but he was offended and signaled for me to take it off. I complied but sure sent a few prayers Heavenward!

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

like!!!

10:02 AM  
Blogger abqdave said...

Although I have been driving more than riding the bus since the last schedule changes, I was glad to be able to use ABQRide during the bad weather. I didn't want to chance that ABQ drivers would hit me.

I have missed the green Christmas Trees on most bus Happy Holidays displays this year. I wonder what happened to them?

9:06 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

@ Brenda: Merry Christmas to you, too. And thank you for sharing your Bulgarian driver experience. I love "his driving was exhilarating."

@ Anonymous: Thank you!!!

@ abqdave: I'm sorry to hear the last set of schedule changes drove you to your car. (Yes, I'm afraid the pun was intended.) I've been impressed by the drivers in this early onset of winter storms, though. They've really come through.

I noticed the same thing about the Christmas Tree disappearing from the Happy Holidays display. Maybe someone complained it is a vestigial symbol from pre-first-Christmas times.

@ everyone: thank you for reading. If you're a rider, thank you for riding. May you all know peace and joy in the coming new year.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Brittany said...

Such a great article which The teachers were not impressed by the daring maneuver. And they certainly didn’t want to go back down to the lower village. They just wanted to get out where they were. In which They were, however, deeply appreciative of going backwards up an icy mountain road. Thanks for sharing this article.

9:56 AM  

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