Illustration Friday: "Burning"; ねんしょう nenshou

Inside the bus on market day:
Everybody hurries onto the bus, just to get away from the scorching heat outside, only to be met by another sort of heat altogether - the kind you get when there air conditioning is out of order, alternatively never installed in the first place. And as we all stand there, packed, smelling each-other, pretending I haven't got my chest pressed into my neighbour's face, hoping someone else's nose isn't up my armpit, there is a faint burning odour in the stale, sweaty air... suddenly the bus twitches, gasps, coughs and stops. 
The masses hold their breaths - if this one brakes down, there will be no replacement bus, only the one scheduled to come in about 20-30 minutes but that one will be too full to bother stopping and the same would probably go for the next two buses.
But the Spaniards are nothing if not optimists - the driver swears a little, turns the key a few times, yells at a car about to park right in front of him, calls for patience and lo and behold, the engine rumbles! It stumbles a bit but we all hold our thumbs and toes and ...then, to cheers form the crowds, we are on our way! 
Safe for another day.

Actually, the last time I did this, we got to about the third stop. I (and everyone else) thought we couldn't possibly squeeze in another fly but obviously the driver thought otherwise - he stopped and the man got on through the usually so holy back doors, paying for his fare by handing a few coins to the man at the end of his reach, that man doing the same and so on until it reached the driver. And then the same way back along the chain with the change. A nice display of good teamwork!


  1. This made me laugh! and I love the man with the surfboard, fantastic toes :-)

  2. Awesome post...funny :)(The story NOT your artwork)

  3. I can relate to this and sense the atmopsphere you describe, but I must say, You have given me a greater appreciation for our bus services, they get busy and packed, but not to the extent in your story and if one breaks down they at least eventually send a replacement one. I enjoyed reading your account.

  4. What a great story and your style is fantastic too. This also sounds like some of my train trips too.

  5. haha, well, they don't break down *every* time... and since the service is free for resident, I'm not complaining! ;)