Bus fares in the Thai capital of Bangkok are set to rise for the seventh decade running, according to an ungrateful woman sitting near me on the 515 this morning.
Fares in the city are astronomically low compared with anywhere else on the planet, and this includes the extremely comfortable air-conditioned vehicles that power their way through the city streets as if they were taking part in a Formula 1 race.
The fare from Salaya to Victory Monument in the heart of Bangkok - a distance of around 12 miles - is a measly 24 baht (50 pence - work it out yourself, Americans!), and the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority even provides FREE travel on some special red buses.
Being from Yorkshire, and having short arms and deep pockets, these are the buses on which I usually travel. The fare on these FREE red buses is to stay the same.
One thing about the Bangkok buses that holidaying westerners often find somewhat strange, is that there is absolutely no maximum capacity limit for passengers, and that the vehicle is considered 'full' only when nobody else can physically squeeze inside the door. This makes a mockery of the term 'personal space', and brings to mind the word 'sardines'. When truly full, the buses can become quite warm.
When news of the fare increase hit the streets, bus users seemed to accept it in the same resigned manner that they accept everything else here: in silence.
HAVE A LOOK, SIR! FUCKING SHOW, SIR?
There was some good news, however. Figures from the Ministry of Sex show that the price of getting your end away in the city is lower now than it has been for years, and the government is encouraging men of all ages to avail themselves of this facility to its full extent, advising them to take a bus to Patpong Road to do it.