There is still time to enter your favourite bus stop in the LPA All Britain Bus Stop of the Year Competition. There have been ugly rumours circulated that this competition is in some way fixed. We would advise entrants that we shall draw up a short list of one bus stop per island in the British Isles (with a separate category for bus stops on bridges). Although people on the mainland have complained lack of adequate representation through this method, we feel that only such a technique could capture the insularity so typical of these islands.
We include an article here about a syndicalist activist from Hull who went to Yugoslavia and started a fight at a bus stop. He started calling people fascist when they maintained that bus seats were not private property but for collective use. Please report any similar disturbances you may come across.
PROSECCO is the name of a local sparkling wine in Trieste. It is also the name of a stop on the number 44 bus route to the limestone plateau above the city: there one finds a rusting road sign marked "JUGOSLAVIA"and pointing eastwards; or at least it was there last September.
Strange how such signposts survive the reality they are supposed to indicate.The reality is that what was once northern Yugoslavia is now the independent Slovenian republic. Slovenia was lucky in that it only suffered a ten-day war which was ended by the Brioni Accord of 1991. The Slovene issue was the one political problem of the former Yugoslavia which could be settled by a one-off solution. When I was there the complaint of the Slovenes was that tourism was suffering because foreigners had difficulty distinguishing those parts of former Yugoslavia which were still at war from those at peace.This was not helped in 1991 when fighting broke out in Slavonia which is in east Croatia, not Slovenia.
This confusion does, however, have its beneficial effect for the traveller determined to escape the traffic of northern Italy and get some peace and quiet after Venice. One can in Trieste move freely between Slovenia and Croatia: EC tourists and workers cross daily both ways, and workers also cross from Slovenia to Italy to work in Trieste. We found ourselves in such a party on one early morning bus. The custom, when one is forced out at the border to go through customs, is to steal the seats of other passengers before they can reboard. I employed as much abuse as I could think of against the two women who stole ours: "thieves", "behaving like animals","lacking civilisation, education, culture, etc", but even a volley of foul language caused only a ripple of interest among our fellow passengers.The phrase that really raised heat was " behaving like fascists". Had we not been packed like sardines I'm sure someone would have hit me: I nearly got a fist in my face as it was.
What was surprising was that it took that word to get the Slovene's attention: an English crowd would have objected to my earlier foul language. Perhaps we should recall that the Germans in 1943, organised the only concentration camp in Italy at Trieste. When the Yugoslavs liberated the city in 1945 they found 20,000 identity cards. Mussolini described the zealots of this region, as model fascists and the camp commander was a local man.
from "Rusting Road signs" by Mack the Knife, published in Syndicalist Bulletin, May 1993, available from Hull Syndicalists, PO Box 102, Hull (Tel: 0482-492388)
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