The Undesirable Backpack

Miguel Arias Sanchez

Illustration by Carlos

HAVANA TIMES — In the modern-day, we all know how important and practical a backpack is. As well as lightening the load, it helps us to transport personal objects which we are interested in carrying with us.

But, how can something so useful become an undesirable object that gets in the way at a certain time?

Well, it is. Many people who use full backpacks hang them on their backs; this makes sense up until this point, that’s what backpacks are for. However, it just so happens that they don’t take them off their backs to get on the bus, which in our country is always crowded with passengers.

So, we watch how these people get on the bus with this lump behind them, without realizing that this is very annoying to other people and that they also take up twice the amount of space.

The backpack moves through the bus and hits everything and everyone it comes across. The passenger who got on without this load, or the people who have taken them off and are storing them properly so as not to bother anyone, have to put up with these other people putting their backpacks in their faces, hanging off one shoulder or resting on them with all of its weight. And you have to ask yourself: does the person doing this really not know what they are doing?

Do we need to attract a full grown adult’s attention, who is supposed to be responsible for their actions? In this case, the issue being the nuisance they are being to the rest of the passengers on the bus.

They do this consciously, I believe, because they are only looking out for their own comfort and benefit.

Public transport already has its own problems, what with its characteristics and the special situation we have in this city where there are three million inhabitants and buses are always full. It isn’t fair and it’s a lack of respect which we are only making worse with our behavior.

When you get onto a bus, backpacks should be taken off and placed at your side or between your legs so that nobody is at risk of being hurt. People will be able to walk through the bus much easier (as easy as walking down an aisle full of people can be). In this way, the backpack, which is essential in the life of Cubans, will really fulfill its purpose and we will look at them fondly for the useful and necessary thing they are for each and every one of us.

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