ЈСП–Another Bus Story

I am convinced that the busses of Macedonia have something against me–or at least the drivers. The other day I hopped on the bus to go to school–it is two stops from the house. Since it was my early day I ended up catching one of the very old double long busses. It has four access doors and the bus stopped so that door #3 was right in front of me. So I got on and remained standing in front of the door. I don’t usually bother to look for a seat on this run since I’ll no sooner sit down than I have to get up and make my way to a door while the cowboy jockey we have for a driver navigates the road in a break neck (or some other bone breaking) fashion. I haven’t fallen down yet trying to get to a door but that is only because there are kind souls on the bus who catch me when I start to pitch forward. On this particular morning, the driver fails to close the door after I have boarded which I’m standing directly in front of. That, in of itself, is a bit scary given his less than stellar driving skills. Obviously I didn’t fall out of the door. So miracle of miracles we reached my stop and I stepped down to get off the bus and the driver choose that time to CLOSE the door!  Fortunately, a young man was attempting to disembark at the same time and grabbed the door and forcibly held it open until I was clear of the bus. He managed to jump off so the doors didn’t get him. As we both walked to our destination, he turned to me and said “shoferi i çmendur” (crazy driver). Uh, absolutely!

Fortunately I also have a bus angel. There is an older gentleman who lives a couple of houses away from me, who, when he sees me on the bus, indicates I am not to pay my fare. That makes me a bit nervous. So, I asked my family who is this kindly gentleman and they informed me he is a controller for ЈСП and wants to make sure that the American is taken care of. He has even instructed the driver to stop and let me off at a spot where there is no stop because he knows where I am headed and doesn’t want me to have to walk too far. The people of the village do indeed take very good care of me.  And my students are amazingly wonderful. What more could you ask for?

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A 60 something woman who has run off to faraway places with the Peace Corps.

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