Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Saturday, 3 November 2012

On the Buses

One of the things that has always been a fun part of any trip to, or indeed in Malta was the buses.  A great tourist attraction in them selves eh buses were a cheap and idiosyncratic way to travel around the island.   The buses were operated by owner drivers on individual contracts for specific routes, most of the buses were old British coaches, kept going as long as possible, held together with string chewing gum and hope, but all clean and shiny in the Island livery of yellow white and orange.   The sight of these old buses still in operation warmed the hearts of many an enthusiast, and intrigued tourists.   They were part of the colour of the island and models were sold in the souvenir shops.

These two photos are ones I took during our holiday three years ago.   Then and the following year did all our travelling round the Island by bus, they were colourful and fun, as a tourist I cannot comment on their reliability and comfort was not a major benefit.   The main thing is that they were very different to anything anywhere else, and a major part of enjoying a holiday is enjoying the "other", these buses were a major part of Malta being "other".

However you will have noticed the past tense, this year we were very disappointed to find that 
a contract was given to Arriva, they have introduced modern buses including some old London "bendy buses" in their international livery.  These modern buses are air conditioned, modern and relatively comfortable, the drivers are uniformed employees, the bus stations have been re-built and modern real time up dated signs tell passengers how long they will have to wait for the next bus.   Despite all this we did feel that something had been lost in the process, when we made this observation to a souvenir shop owner, in reply he observed that we didn't have to travel on them every day.

Malta is still very much "Other" and that is a large part of the enjoyment of the Holiday, a way of relaxing.   For me to truly relax and enjoy the holiday I have to get physically away, and be "other" than my day to day self ~ maybe that is part my cross dressing drive, simply to be other than my workaday self ~ or maybe not.............................
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