... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

403: On the buses

Here, have a bus related anecdote, it's proper interesting n that:

The race is on, fully, constantly, and forever -as long as there are buses, public transport and kids with active imaginations, the race is on. A brother and sister, too young to be in school, sat upstairs on the bus, in the front in the prime position above the driver's head. Every bus in front of, beside us, or behind us - as we pulled out from Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens heading south towards Old Trafford, Stretford, then probably in the general direction of Altrincham – was involved in this breathtaking race. As we moved away from the pavement and pulled around a stationery bus into traffic, the kids yelped and screamed and fell about joyously – yes, yes, yes, we're winning. Oh no, they realised upon seeing further buses up ahead, they are beating us.
We stopped at the lights, and a bus turns right at the junction in front of us. It sets off starting despairing cries, oh no, that bus is beating us. I thought we were going to win. It's ok, we are still winning that one over there. Eventually there may be overall final winners or, like football, it may continue indefinitely repeating the same tedious cycle with subtle variation from now until the inevitable disastrous end of days. My money is on the 256 to Redditch.

Another bus related anecdote follows when you are ready:

Bright and early one morning, on the way to the bus stop, a school girl in blazer and trousers, left her house wearing a headscarf indicating the likelihood that she (or at the very least, her parents) identifies with the Muslim faith. We walked in the same direction for a time, her being a few steps ahead of me. Just before reaching the bus stop she ducked behind a multi-storey car park while I continued walking. I went through the motions of waiting for a bus: checking my watch, leaning a bit, pacing for no good reason, staring blankly at all the numbers of the timetable; checking my watch again, nodding to a stranger.
After a couple of minutes had passed the school girl arrived at the bus stop. Her head scarf was gone, tucked away in her school bag, and she was fixing her long dark hair in the reflective surface of her mobile phone. I thought to myself: the revolution begins here. The simple human act of natural vanity overcomes cultural, religious and parental oppression – maybe only making a minor impact, almost unnoticeable, but I felt nothing but respect for that rebellious little school girl.

And so ends my two little bus related anecdotes; observations if you will, true too. When each weekday bus ride presents you with another free Metro, it's hard to see the little things that people do, the big events in their little lives, and the little events in their big lives. People do stuff; it matters to them, and it's interesting to see. But it's also much easier to stare inwards at the daily crap that gets in the Metro. I don't think I would miss it if it was gone.

No comments: