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Whoever said, “Life is a journey”, knew exactly what they were talking about. For the most part, life is pretty lengthy, so I doubt that one would walk this journey, especially in Jamaica where the sun is usually very hot.  If you live  in the rural parts, the option is most likely to be a mini van or a taxi and if you reside in the town centers or the Portmore municipality- a coaster or a yellow bus (also called chi chi bus) will most likely be your mode of transport.

Most people in Portmore especially, prefer to take the yellow buses as they stick to schedules for the most part. The other perk is that the little roll of  paper that comes out after you pay the $80, is life insurance. Yes! You saw right. If anything such as an accident should happen, it is believed that the government will be responsible for you and your family thereafter. So, life is a journey, huh? Well, life is a journey on a yellow bus, as my trip today taught me so much life lessons and I want to share with you.

1. When People Dislike You- Baskets Become Your Water Carrier- As I waited in the bus terminus, I heard the vendors debating about which one will go to court to testify about the bus driver that had hit another bus. Most decided that they would not get involved. The one which was most vocal, decided that they should leave the situation. It was at this point her colleagues questioned her, since she was the one to go to the police claiming that he was wrong. Although she was the key eye witness- it turns out she wasn’t there and that the key eye witness only has one eye. A man asked her why she would do such a thing. Her response was, “Right ya now, a bay bad cangle mi a bun fi him cause him nuh mek we sell pon him bus. Everybody say him wrong, so me follow the crowd!” Sometimes in life people will hate us for what we stand for and they will make life a living hell. Whatever you do, be careful and make sure you are not hated by all- things could get sticky

2. Life May Begin With Struggles–  As my bus came into full view I saw the prospective passengers dashing towards the door. The sounds of slippers, sneakers, heels, shrieks, mumbling and ‘cuss outs’, sounded like a confused stampede. People were pushing and acting wildly. So it is in life- the ‘go-getter’ attitude isn’t quite comprehended by some or some have to push extra hard, since they are already off to a late start. Once you have your objectives clear, keep calm and be assertive while at it- it makes getting on that bus even easier and less hassle for you.

3It Pays To Be Approachable– So as you know, Christmas is approaching and the pickpockets are out in their numbers- Especially downtown! So a lady selling sorrel bag juice comes up to me and said, “Hey, long time me nuh see yu. Yu still live roun’ so?” then she muttered something. I didn’t respond, because frankly I didn’t know this woman but kept a polite demeanor  She did the same thing again. This time, as she muttered, I leaned forward, only to hear that the whisper was, “Watch your bag”. Well, I only had junk in it, but if there had been something valuable, it would have been protected. Remember, there is none so great, that he cannot use help and there is none so small that he cannot give help.

4. The Caregivers Aren’t Always Caring– As more people scrambled and pushed to get seats, I  saw an old lady in the bus stretched to an able bodied young man outside and demanded that he gave her his bag to secure a seat- while hitting a blind woman in the process. I started to wonder if she would be one of those ‘problem persons‘. The bus loaded and moved off,  when a young man suddenly stepped out in the road. The driver honked at him and inquired if he had seen a blue coffin by Madden’s that he had liked. The same old lady jumped up and said that he better not have one because if the bus had hit him, she would reach home late. Talk about empathy and sensitivity! 

5. Say What You Need To Say! So this ride was like one on the magic school bus. Though it started off rough and entered the mouth of something uncertain and even the stomach- the harsh acids and other harsh functions never seem to attack the bus’ exterior- not  even rust which happens when metals are exposed to corrosive material.  Since it was so good, I decided to hold a child. His sister tried to show him the beautiful sunset, and told him the sun was setting. He never quite understood and so he missed something that looked so majestic. Why? Even though we speak the same language, communication can still be a barrier. Next time, try to level with someone and see how far it takes you.

Think about it… One can learn on a Magic School Bus, lessons essential for Life’s Tour Bus. Next time you travel, look at the simple things and see what you can learn from them.