“Suriname's wild buses”

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NATION reporter Alex Downes and photographer Jameel Springer are currently on assignment in Suriname. They had some time to take in the sights and sounds of the country.

IF FLASHY, neon-coloured public transport, with multiple names mixed with North and South American culture is your thing, then book your ticket and head to Paramaribo, Suriname.

Between the hustle and bustle of the thousands of people in the city, the one thing that quickly caught my eye was a series of these buses, dashing through traffic.

Captivated, I asked one local market vendor named Malena what the buses were called. The answer: "Wilde busses," easily translated to English as wild buses.

Now I'm not sure if wild is an apt word, but the closest thing I could compare them to in native Barbados were mini-buses. Loud music mixed with fast driving and tons of brilliantly painted decals on the exterior.

It was a cultural shock for me as it rendered the Barbadian experience of a minibus a bit mundane. With names like "Scorpion, Baas man (Boss man) aka 'The Scorpion' and Playboy", I realised that these wild buses were as diverse in name as they were in colour.

For just SRD $1.20 (BDS $0.50), the experience was also an affordable one and lines of these buses could be found at Helligenweg in the heart of the city.

In truth, it's an experience that has to seen, heard and travelled on to truly believe. (AD)