I do have to tell you about the van ride in Cebu.
Ruth and I left the airport and went to a mall. After lunch and some shopping we decided to leave there and go to a bigger mall. So she found us a van that was heading there.
We get in this van that was parked in a large lot outside of the mall and we just sat. I asked Ruth whats going on? She said the driver is waiting until it fills up.
The van was a Nissan. It seemed just a bit bigger than the mini vans in the states but maybe it was just because all of the other cars are so small there. The roof was slightly raised, has a bench seat up front instead of the typical individual seats, behind that was a long narrow carpeted box that you could sit on, then three bench seats and each had a small jump seat attached at the end.
Finally it was filled with nine people and I thought OK three on each bench seat we can go now, but nope. The small jump seats were folded down. We waited until three more got on. That brought the total to twelve. I thought for sure we can go now, nope. We waited again until two more boarded up front, that made 15 and that shut the door. We were finally off. But then we stopped and picked up another passenger for a total of sixteen people and some with bags. Let me tell you, it was cramped. All these passengers in an average size van with just normal tires. Try doing this in America.
I am just now reading the newspapers I brought home from the trip. There are two articles from different writers about the plight of what to do with the traffic, pollution and congestion. I am telling you, its that bad.
The Philippine government tried a novel idea awhile back and is thinking of renewing it again that most are against. Its called the Odd and Even. It bans any vehicles from using the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue ( EDSA), with odd plate number endings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and even plate number endings on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. They are also thinking of raising the gas price so people won't drive as much and also the idea of not issuing as many bus liscenses. Another has government workers only working 4 days from 7 am till 6 pm. Or possibly vehicle reduction by taking off the road vehicles that are deemed unsafe but they are not sure what to do with the displaced drivers who make a living driving. None of these are sensible if you ask me.
But it is BAD, one study showed that the thoroughfare EDSA could only accomodate 1,600 buses but about 3,000 use it now and that does not count cars, trucks and other forms of transportation. Makes me appreciate living in a live ghost town like Cleveland where the rush hour is 20 minute long on a real busy day.
Serious though I hope this doesn't come to America, whoops in a way it already has with proposals to raise gas taxes, the push to rid us of our big cars, and the EPA mandates, maybe we should send Obama and EGore to fix things.
More to come....