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DAILY MANIFESTO

Of Bugs And Buses

Posted on Thursday, February 22 @ 21:57:26 Eastern by Duke_Ferris
Whether its vacations or video games, it seems like I'm forever doomed to complain about bugs. And oddly, the very first computer bug was actually an insect.

I love everything else about the tropics: the warmth, the wildlife, the ocean, the relaxed attitudes, the rum... but the bugs are almost a deal-breaker. I'm not talking about the giant bug on my arm here, he was cool, it's all the little biting ones. Belize has these tiny biting gnats that actually cause you to bleed before the bites swell up and start to itch. Now that I'm home, it's a relief not to be coated in bug repellent all the time, and the itching is starting to go away. At least that first computer bug was just a moth lodged inside a Harvard Mark II back in 1945. I have no problem with moths.

Buses on the other hand are terrifying, or at least they can be as proved by my most video game-like moment on vacation. The bus system in Belize is actually very convenient, and all the buses are actually old U.S. school buses. It all works well - when there's only one of them.

The problem, it seems, is that the government doesn't regulate the buses at all, so bus routes can be run by pretty much anybody with a bus. When two buses get too close together trying to run the same route, Road Warrior style vehicular combat ensues - because whoever can get to the next stop first, gets all the passengers and their money.

This happened to us on the two lane highway between Belmopan and Belize City. Our bus decided it was going to pass another one by going into the other lane directly into the oncoming traffic. The second bus was having none of that and gunned it to try and stop us. So our bus then swerved right and tried to physically force the rival bus off the road, all this while barreling down the highway at 80 miles an hour in the wrong lane.

That's all fine and dandy in Grand Theft Auto, but in real life I think I'd rather play Desert Bus.



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