Tuesday, November 08, 2005


For possibly the first time in its history, Yanagawa City was gridlocked with traffic yesterday afternoon, after a stand-off between a Nishitetsu bus driver and, in his words, "a pesky kid". The incident began at 4pm, when Australian born Karma Sollins, who has lived and worked in Fukuoka Prefecture for 5 years, refused to get off the bus at Kyoumachi. Speaking from her cell in Tosu Gaol, Sollins issued this statement to reporters this morning:

"It was an innocent mistake - I wanted to get off at Mihachira Jinja Mae, which is the stop after Kyou Machi, but I pressed the button too early. When the bus stopped, I went to the driver and explained my mistake, but to my surprise he produced his transport manual and informed me that as the button had been pressed, a passenger was legally required to disembark. When I refused, he turned off the engine and remained perfectly still, staring straight ahead and clutching his manifesto to his breast. He stayed like that for the next 4 hours, when the police arrived. In hindsight, perhaps my correcting his grammar in front of 5 other passengers was uncalled for, but do my so-called crimes justify my incarceration here and the cancellation of my visa?"

Miss Sollins' trial, dubbed Busgate in native speaking circles, begins in April.


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