Tamil Nadu takes the first annual Most Annoying Public Bus Award

Saturday, February 11

Well Tamil Nadu State buses did it, they clinched a victory in the coveted "Most Annoying Public Bus I've ridden in India" award. It was a tight race with state buses from all over the country competing. Back in my old backyard the Haryana, Punjab and Himanchal Pradesh buses put up a strong showing with unbelievably tiny seats that leave bruises on the knee caps of anyone over 5'9'' and having absolutely no where to put a bag if you happen to be traveling with anything larger than a purse.

However Tamil Nadu pulled ahead to take the prize. When I fist got on a Tamil Nadu public bus in Bangalore heading for Trichy I was initially surprised at how spacious they seemed and with seats that actually support your head rather than leaving it to flop around as you invariably fall asleep from an intoxicating mix of heat and exhaust fumes. I put my bag right up front and settled in. As soon as the driver got on he looked disgusted that I had put my bag at the front of the bus and motioned to the back where the ticket taker showed me I could shove it under the back seat. Fine, this happened on every bus I rode here and I always ended up in the back seat shoved between 4 other sweaty men being thrown at least six inches into the air on every bump.

That wouldn't be so bad except none of the buses here seem to have a back door on them. I think they spend the money on dvd players instead. So anyway, bumps sent me and my bag hurling towards the ditch while the bus went along at 50 km an hour. Trust me though it feels allot faster when you are sitting right behind an open door being sand blasted by the dirt of the road.

The real toppper though is that somehow the government decided a good way to spend money would be to install dvd players and a sound system on each public bus. This allows for Tamil movies and music to be played at a deafening volume for the entire journey, yey. Now these are not like big budget hindi productions. The movies are like bad kung fu with chubby Indian guys doing the worst fight scenes you've ever seen and sporting Tom Selek mustaches. The music that is generally played is a piercing high pitch woman and the lyrics for one song were literally five minutes of, lalalalalala, in various pitches over a synth line. Actually the whole thing feels a bit like your in some kind of postmodern installation piece. While entertaining for about 10 minutes it wears thin quickly and today I had to restrain myself from ripping the speakers off the roof of the bus and beating the dvd player with them.

Stay tuned for photos, stupid iway wont let me pull their cpu out and hook up my ipod.
nicholas, 4:22 AM


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