Saturday, April 01, 2006

Why I Like the Bus

Just Now:

Sven and I called a taxi from The Palms Hotel in Salwa, where we'd just had dinner. He does this all the time as he goes to the gym at Palms. It's always 2 KD* for him to go home to Salmiya from there. Sven got out at his place and told the driver to take me to Bneid Al-Gar, about ten minutes down the road. He gave me 2 KD towards the fare.

"One KD more to Bneid Al-Gar, yes?" Sven addressed the driver.

"Two KD to Bneid Al-Gar. Four Salwa to Bneid Al-Gar."

"No. ONE KD to Bneid Al-Gar."

"Two to Salmiya. Four to Bneid Al-Gar."

"It's all right, Sven," I said. "I'll pay the extra two."

"You sure? Okay, see you tomorrow."

We drove to Bneid Al-Gar. I thought that I should have taken the bus instead but I'd splurge just this once.

When we arrived, I didn't have 4 KD so I gave the driver a 5 and waited for change. He looked at me.

"2 to Salmiya. 4 to Bneid Al-Gar. 6 KD."

Now I got angry.

"Are you crazy? Even 4 is a rip-off!"

He insisted on 6. I got really angry and yelled at him that he was crazy. I told him to give me back the 5 and he wasn't getting anything. After a few minutes of him insisting on six and me angrily berating him, he gave me back 1 KD. I got out and called him a "Bad Muslim" and slammed the door.

Earlier today:

I boarded the bus in Salmiya and paid 150 fils.

"Salwa?" I asked the driver.

"Yes, Salwa." I was on the right bus.

An Indian woman patted the seat next to her and I sat down. The man behind us was laughing as his granddaughter squealed over the giant dog we saw in the pick-up truck next to the bus. The driver laughed at her apparent delight.

"That's a huge dog," I said to the little girl. Her eyes danced.

The driver let me off right across the street from The Palms Hotel.

*1 KD=$3.40

No comments: