Russian bus services
You are going to find this article very unusual and disturbing, unless you are an educated Russian with deep knowledge of Russia's intelligence and national security architecture.
The article is all about buses. We will introduce you to the subject by telling you that in Russia buses are very bad, in some inchoate way that defies normal logic. If you are having a conversation with a Russian and one of the parties suddenly mentions buses, then the entire conversation has changed and in fact it will turn out that all you were ever doing was discussing buses. This is truly alarming when it happens, so we will give you an example.
'He won't even get a job as a bus driver.' Those words were quoted to this author by a certain person who did not normally talk about buses, over an unusual lunch in which the author was the only person eating or speaking but there was a long table of several dozen people sitting taking notes with identical Montblanc pens.
Now this is Russia, so extremely strange meals with extremely strange people is all just part of the daily routine. But this meal went off-centre when the author's host suddenly mentioned the possibility (or lack thereof) of someone becoming a bus driver. What this means was that someone was going to die - or, indeed, he was already dead. And to the best of this author's knowledge, that is indeed what happened. Moreover by Russian standards, this was probably right and just.
The origins of all this strangeness about buses goes back to early Soviet films in the Stalinist era. Stalin was at least as peculiar as everyone else in Stalinist Russia, and he used to like movies which he decided could be used to convey political messages. One of his principal favourite films - that by all accounts he had commissioned - involved a very strange theme in which for various unusual reasons a man could get not get off a bus. Although the bus would stop at various stops, the man was never able to alight at those stops. Other passengers were in the way, or the doors were jammed, or there was some other strange problem. As the film proceeded, it emerged that great suspicion hung over this person. In that they had been a traitor to their country in some sense that was never entirely clear, and everyone on the bus would shun him notwithstanding his ostensibly legitimate questions relating to where the bus was going and how to get off it.
Finally it transpired that noone else was on the bus, and the bus plunged off a cliff in consequence of which the traitor died.
Now watch this video of a bus crash in an affluent suburb of Moscow.
It follows from this that:
Bus passengers are traitors to Russia
Bus drivers are traitors who for exceptional reasons are allowed to take the honourable way out by killing themselves. The suicide will often be by way of a suicide mission to assassinate another traitor - for example by using a bus in a way that virtually guarantees the driver's death.
Now perhaps you can understand why there is something so ominous in the phrase 'he won't even get a job as a bus driver'. It means that the individual is so reprehensible that he won't even be permitted to commit suicide.
We are told by the Russian authorities about the above videoed accident - the FSB (the usual authorities when such accidents occur) who attended the scene after the accident - that the bus driver had 30 years of impeccable experience and that he was taken to hospital by the authorities (where he no doubt died - the typical consequence of being taken to hospital in Russia).
It follows that a person who couldn't even get a job as a bus driver is a traitor who won't even be allowed to take the honourable way out. They will be murdered nastily, because their treachery is unforgivable. Indeed they may just carry on living in the ether. A bus driver, by consequence, is a person who put in good service and then suddenly made a terrible mistake. So they are given an honourable route out - pre-arranged suicide.
Whenever this author goes to Moscow, he always avoids bus services. His friends in Moscow are sometimes genuinely friendly, sometimes fraudulent. But it is they who or may not be riding the buses (or who may simply be pleased to meet him to do legitimate business), not him. The capital of the country to which this author owes his exclusive allegiance has a perfectly good bus system without these unusual nuances. If you want to ride buses in that city, then we wish to inform you that The PALADINS Organization does not give people guidance in how to ride buses. There are plenty of other people who provide that service.
Finally, if you ride the bus, don't pretend you can afford the restaurant.
And if you understand this article, and our article on how to do business with Russians, then you're doing very well and we would be interested in hearing from you due to your high level of expertise and common sense.
Examples of anti-social behaviour on buses:
Taking someone else's chewing gum wrappers out of their pockets or from under their seat
Stealing too much money from the passengers
Taking any money from a bus driver
Meeting the bus driver privately and out of hours
Failing to follow the bus company rules
Acting in a way the director of the bus company considers inappropriate, in particular acting in a matter that in his view requires his prior authority
Etcetera ad nauseam