In the 1970s into the 80s my heart was either in my mouth,
or beating at the rate of a race car.
Today, when I look back, I can see the humour.
But at that time all I could see was a red haze.
It was a time where a new bus was introduced in the city.
A half-size or better known as the mini bus.
Barbie dolls weren’t the only ones in pink.
And the Road Runner wasn’t the fastest kid in town.
They zip in and out while you swing left and right.
The driver jams his brakes, you fly forward like a cannon.
Muscles aching trying to hold on while standing,
Crowded, packed like sardines in a tin can.
You hold on tightly to the overhead bar,
Doing a balancing act without the tightrope.
While the conductor shouts “Masuk Dalam” (means move inside).
What! You silently scream. Move where?
During rush hour this 28 seater,
Has been known to pack as many as 50.
You pray fervently to be safe,
And also for your sense of smell to malfunction.
The bell rings, a passenger is getting off the bus.
You hear the sound of Ouch! followed by Sorry!
Pushing and shoving, trying to get of the bus.
The conductor shouting “Hurry Up, why so long.”
We look out the window, watching our fellow passenger get off.
Looking dazed and unkempt, embarrassed and ticked-off.
Trying to straighten his attire, his hair in a mess.
A survivor, walking away from the ride from hell.
What a ride to have in those mini buses,
An urban adventure not easily forgotten.
Fast, exhilarating and terrifying,
If you’ve taken a ride in one, we salute you.
By C.E. Pereira