2010-03-04

Kafka by bus

Bus 540 heading for Universitetet makes a stop at Råsta by the bus garage. Our driver will go off his shift and someone will replace him. Four (4) drivers wait at the bus stop, cheerfully chatting about this and that. One by one they enter the bus asking each other which one of them is going to drive this bus. Negative. They're all passengers-to-be, going home after a long day at work or just commuting to another place where they will pick up another bus.

Picture this: a bus with some thirty frustrated passengers, four drivers and no one takes the wheel.

Two of the non-drivers moan about missing their train connections in Ulriksdal. So did I.

Enter modern technology. The administrative staff in the garage suddenly receive scores of messages over radio and cell phone, each of them evidently emanating from this same bus. The administrative lady subjected to this burst of information successfully dispatches a fifth driver (the one who should have been here from the beginning) and he makes a run across snow and ice. By the time he arrives one of the four non-drivers has decided that enough is enough and assumed the driver's position. The real driver barely manages to catch the bus (as a passenger) when it finally continues from Råsta.

A minute later the garage calls to check that all is well and the real driver confirms that he has successfully taken the wheel. Which he has not, he is standing among all the other non-drivers at the front of the bus but now we're finally under way. And after a few more dare-devil runs across snow and ice plus the additional benefit of a two-minute delay for the commuter train I believe we all made it.

A surreal moment in the life of a commuter.
20140412