Published on October 6th, 2011 | by Nicola Abela Garrett33
Nicola Abela Garrett’s Open Letter
I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly apologise for my bad language this morning directed to Mr Austin Gatt. My behaviour was uncalled for and I can assure you, I am in no way a gutter girl. I’m sure many people can vouch for that. I’m an ambitious student who’d just like to get to lectures on time, without having to wait for an hour or more on a bus stop, as I have been doing for the past 4 months or so.
I just want a bus system that runs on time and doesn’t give me a detour all around Malta before I get to my desired destination. Now that I have apologised publicly through this article to Mr Austin Gatt, I would like him to apologise to the Maltese bus commuters for his disastrous attempt to reform the bus system and his selfish attitude towards the 130 complaints Arriva and TM have been receiving daily. More than an apology, I would like to see some action. Is it too much to ask for a bus that follows the given timetable? Is it too much to ask for a route that doesn’t require several interchanges and a detour of the island? If there are no buses available, could I have a lift in your Jag, Mr Minister?
I’d also like to point out that I was forced to give my name to a complete stranger who afterwards approached me and gave me a good telling-off for insulting the minister. He continued to say that I should be grateful for my stipend. Not only was this remark out of context, but I’m also assuming that he meant I should buy a car with my monthly grant. I thought that that money was supposed to be spent on university material, not motors. And as I recall, Mr Gatt had told us to leave our cars at home, thanks to the new service. I wished to remain anonymous of course, but this person, who refused to reveal his identity, forced me into giving my name. Foolish was I for doing so.
I was later approached by two KSU representatives. They weren’t best pleased with my behaviour. They claimed that things are changing and that they’re doing their best to rectify the situation. They also said that they have a 95 page report on this. But I don’t want to see reports, I want to see a bus coming at the designated time! I was also told by one of the reps that he drives and that he too arrives late for lectures because of traffic. Whatever the reason may be, I DON’T like missing lectures and I don’t intend on using a silly excuse such as this every time I am late or do miss a lecture. I come to university to learn and to use every scrap of knowledge given in class, not to use the campus as a training ground for my political career. It pains me to speak ill of KSU because I know that there are some genuine members who have the student’s best interest.
This is not the point of my argument. I repeat, all I want is for someone to sort out the chaos within the system, even if it means calling a minister a ******* ****** (inappropriate as it may have been). By the by, it’s not swearing, it’s vulgar language. Big difference.
One gets fed up of calling the Arriva customer care line everyday throughout the whole summer making the same woes which fall on deaf ears. So I thought it would be more effective to let Mr Gatt know what the many people waiting on the bus stops are saying.
I apologise for my outburst, which was a mixture of frustration and anger, which had been boiling up for 4 months whilst waiting for many long hours on many bus stops. I sincerely apologise to the rector, to the dean of my faculty, and more importantly to the students of the University of Malta for my vulgar language. I did not mean to cause any trouble or rebel for the sake of rebellion. Those who know me, both lecturers and students, know that I’m a hard-working student who does not believe in anarchy or any other such mediocre ideology. I did not mean to misrepresent you or give you a bad name in anyway.
However, I will not apologise for speaking my mind, brash as it may have come across. I’m not looking for attention, even if I am reading an Honours degree in Theatre Studies. I’m just trying to point out that the current service is causing absolute confusion and that it is inhumane to leave masses of people of all ages on bus stops in all weathers. I refuse to miss lectures, and I will not let some stupid bus system be the cause of that.
I’ve now had my say. I sincerely hope that the message was loud and clear to the Minister. I would now like to continue with my studies in peace – this is the final word you will hear from me on the matter. I pray that the system is rectified as soon as possible, for all our sakes.
Have a good year.