‘I’m not paying YR 30!’

24 May

Malak Shaher
On the minibusPublished:24-05-2010

The minibus stop on Hadda Street was empty after all minibuses had left to their different destinations.

As the sun grew hotter than ever, people waiting on the pavement held up books to cover their faces from the sun. Others used their hands to shade their eyes.

A minibus finally approached. Those who had been standing in the sun for about 20 minutes had no idea of the little surprise waiting for them.

So as not to waste any more time, most were holding the YR 20 bus fare tight in their hands. They would give it to the bus driver as soon as they got off.

They eagerly gathered around the vehicle and got on. They sighed in relief, as at last they had found transport to take them where they wanted to go.

Before the bus moved, the bus driver loudly announced that the price of fuel had increased and that today his bus fare would be YR 30, instead of YR 20.

The women in the back of the bus grumbled to each other.

The man sitting in the front seat next to the driver, however, objected loud and clear. He said he would only pay YR 20, because he didn’t know about the increase before getting on the bus.

“Then get out of my bus!” shouted the driver.

All the women remained silent.

“I won’t leave the bus unless everybody else does!” the man said.

“Shame on you!” the driver retorted. “They’re all women.”

   Eventually, the women all got off the bus, cursing their luck. The last one off was the man who had started the argument. 

As soon as he got off the bus, I climbed back on with the same driver. He was delighted to have support.

“Although the fuel price has increased, I will only take YR 20 from you because you understand,” he said with a grin.

Confused, I gave him two YR 20 coins in case he had changed his mind.

“Only YR 20,” he said.


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