Last August, I bought a car. Just as my husband had warned, it didn’t solve all my worldly problems. Rather, it caused as many as it solved – from parking problems, to reckless drivers to be on the alert for, to traffic jams. However, despite all the new issues I’m now encountering, I would never go back to being a regular bus passenger, thank you very much!
You might be asking why, seeing as there’s nothing more frustrating than having to leave home at an ungodly hour to make it to work on time whilst tackling the above mentioned challenges. In answer to such a question, I decided to make a list of just some of the mishaps that have happened to me on a bus journey. Here they are, in story form:
I’m on the bus stop on time, early even. But no bus comes as my watch ticks its way to the hour, then past it. The sun beats down on me, chastising me for not putting moisturiser on my face, which now feels itchy and dry. Thirty minutes of unintentional suntanning later, a rattly-looking bus stops to pick me up.
I pay using my tallinja card and walk into the aisle to be greeted by the smell of feet, flatulence and sweat, which mix horribly with the uber sweet essence of strawberry bubblegum.
I sit down, scrunched up with my handbag on my lap and a book in my hands, hoping the humorous wit of Nick Hornby’s latest novel will make the trip go faster. No sooner do I open my book than one sole water droplet falls onto my shoulder from the air-conditioning vent. The water keeps dripping slowly, lacking rhythm or pattern, onto all of the seats on the left side of the bus.
Judging by the sudden commotion around me, which rises over the chatter of voices, the driver must have taken a wrong turn and is now trying a U-turn. Oh please God, don’t let the bus get stuck as it did the previous time!
Successfully back on route, the bus stops when the bell rings and two women get out. But now, the door won’t close and after multiple attempts, the driver gives in and faces the multitude of people, some sitting and others standing squashed like sardines. It’s a safety feature, he says, if the door won’t close then the bus won’t start. Someone gets off the bus, muttering something about politics and the public transport system but the rest of us are used to this charade.
The vehicle proves us right, for after a while the door shuts and we move off till, one stop before I am meant to get off, it refuses to open! We all get out through the emergency door at the back, which is so high up it’s a good thing the bus is full of commuters trying to get to work, as opposed to mothers with pushchairs or old people needing to get out.
Resigned to getting myself pretty dirty, I crouch down and half-slip/half-jump out off the bus. Not only am I late to my meeting, but I am going to have to walk the rest of the way!