One Unhappy PSV beggar!
I WAS at the bus stop looking to leave Barbados’ fifth town – Warrens – to travel to Bridgetown an afternoon last week.
As I was in a hurry, I boarded a first PSV headed my way. As usual, the van was playing music, illegal as it is.
And although the music was already loud, the driver decided to raise the volume when a song I suspected he liked came on.
The volume and bass were so intense that I started to have a headache. I therefore asked the conductor if he could tell the driver to turn it down.
The conductor spoke to the driver, but the noise level stayed the same. Again, I asked the conductor to tell the driver to turn the volume down as I had a headache.
The conductor obliged, but informed me that he could only pass on the message; not make the driver do it.
By then we had reached the bus stop opposite PriceSmart. As people were waiting to board the van, also in a hurry to get into town, the driver told the conductor: “If the person can’t stand the volume, tell them to get out.
Ya got other people who wanna get to town.” The conductor passed on the message to me and I decided there and there that I would not be paying my $1.50 to tolerate this music for a 15-minute ride to Bridgetown.
Though I was in a hurry to get where I was going, I was definitely not going under these conditions; so I stepped off the van.
I couldn’t help but wonder if every time we step onto a PSV we aren’t begging for a ride rather than paying for a service.
Most commuters will beg to be allowed to get into an already “rammed off” van and tolerate the loud filthy music, because they know someone else will be willing to take their place.
This is what riding on most PSVs has come to – where one no longer pays for a service, but instead begs.