(photos courtesy of Gulf News)
I haven't been so nervous and excited about riding a bus for a long time - c'mon, to find the bus stops were like scavenger hunt when the low-res route maps (a.k.a. treasure maps) finally appeared as attachment in a forwarded email! Prior to the experience, a couple female friends voiced their concern about possible unpleasant experience on a rather cramped space. Well, I'm happy to report that so far it has been great! The passengers were mostly friendly and courteous Indians and Filipinos - mind you their understanding of personal space is very different from mine, but I can see where they come from. The part I appreciated most was how it gave me a real good sense of the community in AD. For example, I noticed that when an Indian guy recognized his friend in the back of the bus, immediately there was a wonderful smile on his face, and all he did was raised his right hand in the air, and did a wrist-twist wave and head side-shake - the happiness was so infectious it made me smile too.
(photos courtesy of Gulf News)The most trouble I had with the whole experience is when I waited for bus alone at bus stop late at night. There were at least four cars slowing down and honking for my attention. Very annoying, but that reminded me to bring the emergency whistle Q bought back from the States, so if blow is what those guys want, they will get a deafening one!
All in all, even though the travel time somewhat doubled, the bus is such an enjoyable experience, I didn't mind at all for pace to slow down a bit in this chaotic city.