My university campus was a good few sectors away from our home in Islamabad. I had to first take a bus to Karachi Company (G-9) and then a wagon from there to F-10. The second part of the commute was interesting.

The wagons, almost always Toyota Hiace, embark from this station in G-9. And even though they were smaller than the coaster buses, it used to take a fair amount of time for them to fill up.

The conductors preferred that the wagons left the station only when full. Sometimes they did use to leave with a couple of seats vacant. They would go with the door open, in that case and pick remaining passengers along the way.

Every conductor had a signal for the driver to go full-throttle once the wagon was full. This one guy, who unlike others was always in a joyous mood for no reason, had a very particular signal.

“Hun Lahore ae!*” he would shout, informing the driver that everything was at peace, the wagon was full.

* We are in Lahore now!