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Chris Tabel tells of the pains of public transport with APEC in the Big City

With the APEC summit looming just a couple of months away, NCD is undergoing a major facelift to cater for visiting delegates. Roads torn up and reconstructed, buildings springing up like mushrooms

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All aboard the Morning Coach!

You can’t have it all, and the more you want the less you get.

That was the timely reminder this morning when I boarded the City Council Public Commuter Bus.
With the APEC summit looming just a couple of months away, NCD is undergoing a major facelift to cater for visiting delegates. Roads torn up and reconstructed, buildings springing up like mushrooms and cars.. trucks and all sorts model vehicles lining up like ants going about their daily business.

And here I am, a worker ant – on a commuter PMV with so many other worker ants like myself- 96 to be exact on this big bus – face sleepy, blood shot eyes, wet hair and verly heavy scented perfume indicative of a rushed morning. Some grabbing a quick bite while others catching a quick nap.

Gerehu to Boroko used to be a 15 minute drive. Now it has turned into a tedious 1-1.5 hour snail paced trip thanks to the APEC Parliament bypass road construction cutting off from the waigani free-way.

I look up, sigh a little, and let my mind drift off to the tasks that lie ahead.

My temporary peace being disturbed by the police siren screaming at the onslaught of the morning traffic. A buai mouth cop screaming and snarling at the lined up buses.

This is our typical morning.

Love it or hate- yes we have expectations, yes we are idealists to think things will get better and yes we are loyal for clocking in every morning on time to ensure this country runs smoothly.

Before I get off the bus, I take a final glance back at my fellow commuters. Some enthusiastic awaiting thir stop while others crank and annoyed letting the whole world know.

“Ok olgeta – Thankyou tumas na gutpla dei long yupla,” I say

And like the worker ants that we all are- a choir of acknowledgements sung all around.
“Ok son”
“Ok bro”
“Kets bats”

Despite our long morning – and my first time on the NCD coach and crammed up passengers- I am actually quite excited, and most of the passengers were friendly.

I’ll be sure to visit the big bus again- if not regularly.

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