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Monday, 5 November 2012

Aaah the joys of travelling by bus

A while ago I wrote about various fellow passengers on the buses I take to go to work each day - you may well remember the swearing man whose every second word was a version of fuck. Thank f*ck I haven't encountered him since but I now have a new collection to write about.

Most mornings a late middle aged lady gets on the bus in Nottingham and hums a sad and thankless ditty with four repeats on the same theme behind me. It turns out she is knitting what looks like a very long blue scarf. I call her 'Lady Knits The Blues'.

Then there is the man in the green top who coughs violently sending an arc of fine spittle over the heads of the passengers unlucky enough to sit in the front of him. He must have missed the lessons on holding one's hand afore the coughing mouth.

My journey's peace is often broken by the person who feels the need to 'snap' the newspaper instead of gently turning the pages. Remember those 'snappers' we used to get free in comics in 1960s, triangular shaped paper toys that make a surprisingly loud crack when the holder percussed the object away from them.

Of course there are also the loud mobile phone users, in particular the black cleaning lady who works at Nottingham University. She is called Dotty or Dorothy, dependent on who she is talking to. How do I know this? She phones her family and feels the need to bellow down the phone. Her unfortunate family must all be deaf cos Dotty has to tell them several times that is indeed she and each exclamation gets louder. She once the bellowed so loud that all the autumn leaves at the side of the bus shot up Wizard of Oz tornado style turning the landscape at blur of brown, red and gold and a passing cyclist lost his cloth cap in the tremendous gust. The bus destination  panel changed instantly to Kansas.

One Sunday, on my evening return journey home from Beeston the passengers were entertained by a  decidedly inebriated skinny man fluctuating between being asleep and cursing. The prune faced guy then began alternating between swigging the remains of his sherry, singing Maggie May and then throwing up. I got off at the Queens Medical Centre and joined another bus. The new driver told me and the other passengers not to venture towards the back of the bus as someone had had an 'accident'. God save us! |After that God forsaken journey I NEEDED a drink!

Yesterday a lady who seemed to know me sat aside me for the remaining ten minutes bus journey through The Meadows and the City Centre. In ten laboriously slow minutes she told me she was off to Sutton near Mansfield and that she loved Sutton and went most days to visit. I could tell she was passionate about this from her intense stare and twitching hands and her frquent need to touch my knee.

I encounter drunk young men and women on a regular basis in and around Nottingham and one 'couple' were actually having a running battle in the Broadmarsh bus station the other night. My thoughts were "Please don't get on my bus!" co-joined by some dis-belief that they were yelling abuse at each other in a public space.

Aaaah the joys of bus travel.


Christopher Frost said...

Oh what fun you have on your simple bus journeys. It's almost like watching an episode of Coach Trip. Only you don't stop off to do some yodelling or grape pressing.

Phil Lowe said...

Ah if only you could be there CF. These journeys are not as simple as your thoughts might imagine.