It is a lovely, bright day in the Syrian spring of the 1960s, and you want to travel from your small town situated one hour away from the city. Obviously, you might think it will be like a walk in the park, but it is a daunting task that needs organizing beforehand.
Syrian Albosta is deemed one of the oldest buses in Syria that allowed people from the countryside to travel to the cities. Back in the 1960s, there was a deficiency of transportation in the countryside that made it difficult for locals to travel. Albosta was the only available means to do so. However, with so many people needing to travel to the city in one day, this meant there had to be a logical algorithm for that.
The man who owned Albosta was the Elon Musk of those days. You needed to visit his house and ask him to add your name, the names of your sheep or goats (if any), the name of your travel companion, and other additional information that would help him organize your seat.
Syrian Albosta could accommodate everything imaginable, and there was always room for more; everything from sheep to clothes, your broken machines, chickens, or even an on-the-go festival with a lot of music and joy.
This all-purpose bus was also a storytelling opportunity where you could hear a lot of stories about the entire town or even fall in love with the girl you could only see in Albosta.
All passengers in Albosta had a seat, but it was not like the seat you might think of. For instance, two seats had to contain at least three passengers, up to five if there was a child that you could hold in your lap on the way.
The driver and his deputy treated Albosta like a spaceship more than an ordinary bus. The driver’s area at the front was well decorated with so many cultural artifacts and it displayed many stylish colors. On the flip side, the driver always seemed to be angry for no actual reason, and he was not approachable at all. The driver knew beforehand the destination of each passenger, so you did not have to ask them to stop and let you off the bus. He just knew.
In very rare situations, the driver might come across an unexpected passenger on the way, even though Albosta would already be full of people. However, as we mentioned earlier, there was always room for more, and the passenger could even climb to the top of Albosta, lying on the roof until the bus reached its destination.
In the Syrian countryside, when there was a wedding, Albosta would take the guests from the groom’s house to the bride’s. Along the way, the driver honked the horn, which had a very special sound lasting for about 6 seconds with one press, announcing there was a wedding in the town.
If you lived in the 1960s and planned to travel from the Syrian countryside to one of the metropolitan cities, you were required to fill out the application 7 days before your trip! 🙂 🙂