Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Smoking Bus and a Bad Keannu Reeves Movie

With their units arriving and leaving at thirty minute interval,
I wonder how can they efficiently maintain the road worthiness
of their buses.

About two hours on the road aboard a Victory Liner bus from Baguio bound for Cubao, Quezon City, about nine o'clock in the evening,  in the middle of a crazy Keanu Reeves movie called "Man of Tai-chi", a man suddenly crossed the road and boarded our bus. 

"Your front wheels are smoking," said the man who judging from his uniform was a Victory Liner inspector.

The bus stopped.

When the bus opened it's door, thick, foul smelling smoke entered the air conditioned cabin. We were dumbstruck. We didn't know what to do. The driver who instead of telling us to abandon the bus or something, jumped out of the bus to check what was wrong. He was out there opening panels, looking, touching and checking stuffs, while the bus was being filled by black smoke smelling of burnt rubber. The passengers were at a lost and were about to suffocate, so, we, in near panic, decided to get off ourselves.

The driver left and came back with a pail of water and poured it inside the front wheels. We were on the shoulder of the road, in the dark and wondering what was going on, keeping our distance away from the bus which judging from the smoke coming out of it was about to explode.

After a few minutes, the driver climbed aboard, started the engine, and drove off. I shouted, 'What? No announcement?" Most of the passengers were also puzzled. He was up there driving the bus while his passengers didn't know what was going on. We had no choice but to follow the crawling bus.. After a few meters, the bus stopped at a small carenderia and the the driver borrowed a water hose and doused the smoking wheels. 

We were concerned about safety. I mean, a smoking bus is in no condition to continue on. Some of us men were telling the driver this..
I don't know what to think of this movie.
So bad it was good.

The inspector assured us that our bus was okay. It's just overheated brakes. It happened many times to their units and what needed to be done was to cool the brakes and then everything would be fine. He also assured us that we were off the steep incline and were now travelling on level road. Of course, many passengers were concerned. I mean, losing brakes was one hell of a scenario.

After a few minutes of dousing and lots of reassurances and the thought of transferring to full buses (they have no spare bus, the inspector told us), we boarded the smoke filled- foul smelling cabin. I thought I was going to have an asthma attack, but after a few minutes, it became tolerable and then everything was fine, again.

The driver, I think, fixed the problem.

The conductor turned on the TV and DVD player. He inserted the disc and pressed the play button. He did this thrice and I wondered why until I figured out that he was looking for the resume function. But he couldn't figure it out, so we all watched "Man of Tai-Chi" from the beginning, again

What the heck...at least we got home safe.

 Well, two words: Thank you Lord.

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