Reflections on a Wandering Life.....
Saturday, July 29, 2006
The "Wu Mao." It's a small, 20 passenger bus that ferries passengers back and forth from the ends of the avenue that runs in front of the University. There is a large shopping area with a supermarket on one end, and another shopping area on the other end, with everything else in between. These guys race (and I do mean race back and forth between the two locations. A conductor (I call him a "crier.") stands on the running board and calls for passengers. If the bus is not too full, sometimes he will close the door and step inside when the bus is moving. Otherwise, he is calling for passengers. People along the way flag down the bus and hop on. I don't know how these guys get by with running full speed in the dark of night without headlights. They pass on the left, they pass on the right, they lean on the horn, they do whatever they have to to get where they are going. I will say one thing: This service is very convenient. I don't know what the price of a taxi is in this town, but it is a little cheaper than Beijing, because the sticker on the window says "1.40," which means they charge 1.4 Yuan per kilometer after the initial flag drop fee (don't know what that is), but even at 5 kuai, that would be ten times the cost of the "Wu Mao," and not necessarily faster.