Traffic Patrol

Yesterday I left home around 6pm and I had to wait a bit at the bus stop for the bus. I got off at Hlaedan and caught up with 107 bus before it left the bus stop. The bus was crowded as usual but I managed to get a seat near the far end of the bus. Even through it’s a bus, the car is actually a small public wagon which seated 18 people inside and around 8 to ten people cling to the bus at the end. (I am a bit lost at words to describe about this.)

After I was seated, a girl came up and asked whether she can get on. There was no seat left but she cling on at the bus end like the rest of the men. Perhaps she was hoping to get a seat after a few bus stops. She wasn’t lucky and she had to cling on till we arrive near Yankin. The bus took a shortcut through Inya Myaing and their only problem was to pass Kokkine without being stopped by the traffic police as they will be fine for carrying too many passengers outside the bus. They passed through but got chased a taxi which asked them to stop near Lan Ni. I heard from the other passengers that a patrol officer followed the bus with a taxi and asked them to stop. I don’t really know what happened at the moment but a lot of people on the bus were giving negative comments about the patrol officer. I later found out before I got off that the patrol officer fined them and didn’t accept the money when they tried to bribe him (or her?). The girl who mentioned above said those people are really rude.

I know a lot of people have negative views about traffic officers but in this case, the officer wasn’t wrong. He was just doing his job. Okay, it’s unusual for an officer to chase them with a taxi but he didn’t do that to commit bribery. He only fined them and he could have also fine them for trying to bribe him but I think he didn’t do that. But in the case of the bus driver and the car sparer (a person who collects money from the passenger). they just wanted to make some money while they can do so ‘cuz the buses are only crowded in the morning and at night. They are usually nearly empty in the afternoon so they probably just wanted to make money, even through they are breaking the law.

I found out that it wasn’t a coincidence for the officer to chase the bus with a taxi ‘cuz the bus I took this morning was also stopped by a taxi, I saw a male officer and a female officer coming out of the taxi. The car sparer complained that it was a lousy way to start a day. That sentence was a bit true for me also. I dropped a 200 kyats on the floor and before I can pick it up, an Indian woman sitting in front of me picked it up and took it as her own. I didn’t want to argue with her for a 200 kyats so I had to take out another 100 kyats from my bag to give for another bus fare.


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