A guide to using public transportation in a developing country

Buses, trains, subways, metro, or ferries. Maybe you take one of more of them very often.

If you take one or more of them in a developing country (where I can say that I quite an expert in this subject), then let me tell you that travelling at peak hours might be quite an adventure…. depending, of course, on what you understand by the word adventure.

If you have a routine, for example, you go to work at the same hour every day, you probably will start to see familiar faces. That may be one of the best things that could happen in public transportation. This will allow you to chat during the trip. But do not amuse too much because you may get distracted and your wallet or bag can be stolen. So as long as you are travelling, keep your purse near you and hold it tight.

Another important issue is how to assure a seat when the bus or train are full. There are many ways that worth trying.

– First, try to identify familiar faces among the persons who are already sit (not the familiar ones from previous paragraph). Then, identify where they get off and keep close to those that do that sooner.

– Another tactic is to stand near few seats at a time in order to increase possibilities of getting one.

– Moving from a place to another in the bus or train may be a good option. But consider that there is a non-written Murphy law that says that the seat that is free will be always the furthest from where you are.

– Trying to avoid crushing, being stamped or pushed by other passengers may improve your physical coordination in many ways. Although, later in the day, these “exercises” may cause joint pain.

And last, if you do not have any other choice than using public transportation in a developing country, remember that always there will be another country where people travel in more terrible ways…

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