Sunday, October 4, 2009

To Colombo and back in '5' buses

And I thought, changing buses multiple times to get to colombo was only an exercise for people who lived outstation!
Could I have been more wrong?

Requirement: Get to World Trade Center from Malabe and then head back home to Dehiwela afterwards.

Proposed Solution: Take ONE direct bus to Fort from Malabe. Take ONE direct bus to Dehiwela from Fort.

Implementation: A friend was going to Wellawatte so he offered to drop me to WTC, but I being the good soul said "no need, just drop me off at the Galle Road" and luckily managed to get in to Bus 1 - an intercity. Got off near Lake House, started walking towards WTC when I tripped and my shoe straps came off. Since I was going to an important discussion, I didnt want to look like what the cat dragged in so I limped myself to a cobbler who stitched my shoe strap too tight that I couldnt even put it on. Since being punctual is a virtue I faithfully follow I limped to WTC with the unfitting shoe (this time looking a bit better than what the cat dragged in since the straps were in place although too tight)!

5:30 pm, end of meeting, very hungry and in the mood to Go nuts with Donuts! I got on to Bus 2 - a '100' bus and was debating whether to get off at the shop near British Council or go all the way to the shop in Mount and come back to Dehiwela. I decided if I got a seat (which was highly unlikely) I would go to Mount else there'd be nothing to lose.
Well as predicted, I didnt get a seat so I quickly got off at what I thought was the BC bus stop, only to find that I had got off at the one before it. So I limped an entire bus halt and what seemed like another 55 metres to the shop only to find that my favourite 'chocolate surprise' was not available. What an unpleasant surprise!

Walked 55 meters back to the bus stop (now in duplication road) and got in to Bus 3 - a 154. The reasoning was that 154 contained people going only upto Ratmalana, hence, higher probability of getting a seat. WRONG! 154 was going to Kiribathgoda! C'mon, cut me some slack, I work in Malabe and am chauffeured to and from work, I don't know these things! The conductor very politely (of course, I'm being sarcastic) told me so, after the bus turned towards Thunmulla.

Got off, crossed the road, got in to Bus 4 - one which was going to Mathugama (sure to pass mount) and happily (possibly for the first time in the day) managed to get a seat. My happiness lasted 3 halts when the bus conductor came to issue a ticket and I said "Dehiwela ekai". In a very high pitched voice and very very politely  (sarcasm continues) told me that the bus wouldn't stop in Dehiwela and that I should disembark it immediately!

Got off, now near SPM and got in to Bus 5 - this time a 155. Rationale: has to stop in Dehiwela since it goes only upto Mount, and cannot be going to Mattakkuliya since we were already on the Galle road. Can you believe that after all this bus hopping I was still determined to buy donuts?

Well lets just say that it took me 45-50 minutes to get to Dehiwela from Bamba, what with fly over bridges in the making and single file traffic. When I finally got off in Dehiwela at 7:15pm I figured, if I went home now, I'd make it in time for dinner.

Who needs donuts when you could go nuts using public transport?


kaju said...

Next time try 138 from Fort, get off at Nugegoda Junc (Flyover/Bo Tree) and cross the road towards Kohuwala. Then take a walk down pass the 'no limit' to the GNwD shop, then take a 183 home.


seshi said...

Well taking a 100, getting off near BC, buying donuts, getting back on to a 100 from same place sounded simpler than that.

Execution, my friend, was the problem!

Dillon said...

Buhahahahaha Buhahahaha I wish I could've seen your face both at getting out of the wrong 154 and the mathugama bus :D :D...

Well I guess It's high time you RODE YOUR FAITHFUL FRIEND the bicycle around town more :D :D

Sujeewa Kokawala said...

You have been killing your tightened foot around my office and at the place where we very rarely go nuts [as I don't like them much]. Cud have been nice to see you running around.

Yeah the BC bus stop is messy always. Been working there for half an year I still mistakenly wave at 154/155 thinking of catching a seat in the evening rush, just to get a slap of a reminder, "ah that's the one that goes the other way!!!".

You missed some more luck. Most 100 buses appear to brake down when they have not enough ppl. Suddenly the gears do not change past second and the bus goes like an old grandma, loud but slow. Then the "konda" presses knobs of the open engine "on the fly", and makes faces.

"hari yanne ne" says driver.

"monava karannada?" asks konda.

Then they stop it at some bus stop and tell all the ppl that they'll find a bus for them. [Yeah no refund]

Then they pack you into a crowded bus telling them that theirs broke down.

The poor passengers bewildered and overwhelmed in sudden "Salmon tin" squeeze, rarely find that the very bus that broke down would fly past them totally empty in order to take the return journey.

This is new millenium.

Sujeewa Kokawala said...

[[ ah where is your take on facebook? ]]]

Sujeewa Kokawala said...

OK here we go again...


Enigmatic silence...

nuuuwan said...

Crazy as it seems, I miss our mad old Colombo buses :(

Sujeewa Kokawala said...

Can we conclude that you quite blogsphere?

Pity as you had a readerbase.