Not quite right. Van in Haputale
I was only in Sri Lanka for a few years as a child, but I remember the vans. I was in Montesoori, but I still took a van. I remember gazing out the window and daydreaming. Chavie and Halik, however, have some more coherent memories.
The memories I had of the van are mostly
of being stuck in traffic, getting home two and a half hours after the end of school,wonderful. There was a pecking order, or rather a seating order that was strictly followed. The front row was taken by veterans, so I had to wait till somewhere like Nugegoda to jump into that one. C used to tell us about what happened last night on his favourite show: Angili Salakuna. Ni and S were WWE fans, so their stories usually revolved around whatshisname the Undertaker. They even had a pack of WWE cards that we used to play. Na was into music and smoking. A was the guy who was an year older than us, who used to chase me around and poke my (non-existent) tummy. Yes, I’m aware of how wrong that sounds. :D (Chavie: Purple Wonder Van)
But by far the worst memories of my school van years came from sweat. Slick, smelly, unabashed sweat. They would clamber in, gorillas in kids clothing. Unable to wait peacefully until the van picked them up after school, these morons thought it appropriate to run what must have been multiple marathons judging by the bodily waste they were bathed in when they squeezed in next to you. When you’re young you wear shorts to school, and your bare legs would constantly rub against the gorillas’, resulting in a most unpleasant sensation.
To solve this, i went and sat with the girls. (Abdul Halik: School Vans)
As an adult, however, my main association with school vans is disgust and/or rage. These guys generally drive like madmen, and in number. I cannot imagine a worse job than van driver. In America we used to terrorize the yellow school bus driver, but they at least could send us to the back and be a good twenty feet away. In school vans these kids are at your elbows and ears.
So, while I understand where they’re coming from, they still drive me crazy. There’s an ‘international’ school somewhat illegally down my street and vans constantly clog up our tiny lane. I’ve got into a serious fight with one when he boxed me in and now we all kinda steer clear. More generally, at school time they clog up the roads, and in between they clog up parking spaces.
They do have some efficiencies, but not enough to outweigh those of proper school buses, or proper schools near where people live. For example, near Kerrey College, there’s a school van exchange where kids come in from outstation and then switch into vans for their specific school. That would be fine if it wasn’t a largely residential street thus made impassable.
Right now school vans are a necessity and do serve a social good, but they still drive me crazy. According to Chavie and Halik, they’re not that pleasant to be in either.