Bus riding in many Central and South American cities can be a new experience for tourists from countries with more sedate forms of transportation.
SV: Front of decorated bus PAN TO other buses
SV: Passengers boarding bus.
SV INTERIOR: Of bus people boarding and sitting (3 shots)
CU: Rear of bus, bus drives away
CU: Buses in city streets. (5 shots)
GV: Buses in traffic
SV INTERIOR: Bus driver and passengers, with decorations on rear of bus.
GV: Buses down street
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Background: Bus riding in many Central and South American cities can be a new experience for tourists from countries with more sedate forms of transportation. In cities like Panama, public transport buss reflect the personalities of their drivers.
SYNOPSIS: The colourful Panama busses, with brightly painted sides, fronts and rears, carry the favourite theme of each driver. Portraits of celebrities, religious messages, birds and animals or simply a personal motto give clues to the character of the driver.
Passengers are entertained as well, compliments of the driver, who prefers to wheel his bus to the beat of a popular cassette recording, in spite of a recent decree by the Mayor outlawing the practice.
Unlike most city bus drivers, those with personalized busses in Panama City, drive the same vehicle as long as they are employed. The name motifs range from "John Travolta" to a "The Master of Black and Whites", but the majority of themes in the predominantly Roman Catholic country are religious quotations such as "Smile. Jesus Loves You" and "The Tenth Commandment".
For those passengers who enjoy the music and the chance to join in the singing, the mayor's decree has found little favour. But no decree has banned the extravagant drawings and paintings which give the whole city a festive air.