Passing through sleeping cities
Oviedo, Santander, La Coruna ... I get off at the city which is just known
as the name of football club. After spending few days, I get to know it's
a kind of city where a group of high school students licking ice-cream
at a shopping mall or cinema complex. I mean it's a quite normal city.
Making me stop by even the ordinary city is the well organized long distance
bus service of Spain. More than a decade ago when I often visited Spain,
the main transportation was definitely a bus. I was in twenties. So even
10 hour bus trip was never bothered me.
You may hardly imagine punctual things when you hear "a bus service
in Spain" But on the contrary, a bus ran in quite punctual. No, actually
it often got delay for departure. However it got back the on time for arrival.
The driver must thought recovering delay is a duty. A bus was usually full
because it's cheap. Although I was irritated sometime because Spanish girl
in front seat fully reclined a back rest, the strange city through the
window of night bus was so impressive for me.
All initiative of bus was held by a driver. So it's interesting observing each driver's taste, for example, in the choice of bar for short break.
The bar was crowded by passengers of bus even in the midnight. I ate tortilla which had been cold and drunk coffee. The old woman who had eaten churros dipping into the chocolate at opposite side of the counter had already finished it and went back to the bus. But I didn't worry at all. Because the bus driver was still eating a big ham sand. I could make sense how much extra time we have with checking out the process of driver's meal. The knowledge came from all my experiences.
Shortly after restarting, the bus was pulled in front of the rental video
shop. The driver quickly ejected the video tape from the deck. He took
it and got into the shop. In a few minutes he came out with brand-new video
tape. The tape was set at the deck again and played on the monitors in
the bus. (I don't know what's going on for the copyrights) The initiative
of driver looked like the dad's of Spain. Fathers still had dignity there
unlike other countries.
A Day was breaking. The bus let me off in the corner of brand-new city
and went off.
" Light and shadow " Toledo, Spain 1992