In my village, there is a bus service to Marmaris. It runs 6 times a day each way in the summer and 5 times a day in the winter. (a bus is called a dolmus in Turkey). Please don’t get a grand bus size in your mind; we are talking about little mini-buses holding around 12-14 people in seats!!
In fact, there are 5 different buses driven by 5 different drivers and they have a co-operative. A couple of the buses are relatively new which helps make the journey a little more pleasant, but a couple are truly near their ‘sell-by-date.’
The drivers are wonderful; you flag the bus down where ever you want on route and obviously you can also be dropped where ever you want to be on the way back. They deliver parcels, bread, fish etc. on the way to Marmaris and deliver back any supplies to people who cannot make the journey, or in some cases, do not want to.
So let me talk you through one of my most memorable journeys, which was actually this morning!
I flag the bus down at the bottom of my road, one of the older buses, and it is already half full. We stop a little further into the village and pick up passengers with their suitcases, going to the main bus station to complete their journeys. (public transport is really cheap and efficient in Turkey once you get to the main coaches).
Oh, the other thing was that this bus had no room behind the last row of seats to store luggage etc., unlike some of the buses, so the luggage is piled behind the driver. Anyway, we are now full to the brim with little stools down the center for those unlucky enough not to have got a ‘real seat.’ You are not allowed by law to stand up in the bus!
I am thinking, that’s it, no more people. But we are flagged down by a rather large local village lady dressed in her best, obviously going to Marmaris. The poor driver tries to suggest we are full and maybe she can take a later bus. Oh no, she immediately shouts to her husband who lives nearby and he comes running with a grubby, white plastic garden chair! No little stool for her!
Somehow she manages to squeeze this into the area by the door, finds a plastic bag to put on the chair to stop her best white trousers getting dirty, and takes her seat after a bow to her audience! By this time, all of us passengers are in hysterics and applaud her on her tenacity, photos are taken and we get on our way. I had to get off the bus half way through the journey to Marmaris and there was a lot of climbing over obstacles and people to be able to exit the bus. I am sure some-one napped my vacant seat really quickly.
The most important thing to remember when you take the village bus is that you will not arrive where you want to go on time, which was more than proven to me a few afternoons ago. I was waiting on the side of the road near Marti Marina, where I had spent the day, to travel on the bus home. I waved it down but it was packed to the brim. The driver really did want to let me on as he knew I faced a 2 hour wait for the next one but it was truly impossible.
I sat back down on my little rock seat by the road with my book and within half an hour, some-one from my village drove by and stopped to give me a lift. The village is so small that even if you do not know some-one well, you at least recognize a face.
I just love the this quirky life, and if nothing else, it always gives me something to write about!!
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!