The following posts have no fixed theme or style, but I hope you enjoy reading them!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Buses and Coaches

I have often cursed buses. Sometimes I am stood at a bus stop and have to wait half an hour longer than I should have to, because buses seem to evaporate into thin air. You have to stand in the cold, with no idea when they will come, only to find the bus crowded and the driver grumpy on arrival.

But sometimes buses can be wonderful. If you're not in a rush, a bus will probably be on time. And there is nothing like a bus for watching the world go by. In a car, traffic is the main concern. In a train, grassy banks or trees often line the route. But in a bus you are constantly entertained. Many times I have sat in a bus watching the sun set with a splendid multicoloured sky. Then I continue to watch as the sky gradually darkens and the lights gradually appear in houses and offices.

Buses have a magical knack of making things happen around them. When you go down a street, there is inevitably some drama going on. Perhaps it is a dog attacking the other people on the street when it is on its walk. Perhaps it is a tearful goodbye between lovers. Maybe it is someone on the street finding five bucks and looking around to see who may have dropped it. The last time I went on a bus trip it was a rail replacement bus. As always, the bus's aura spread before it. On the way I spotted a lorry in some roadworks that had a fire blazing on the back of it, and the driver (working a couple of metres from it) didn't seem to have noticed. I wanted to bang on the window and yell to let him know, but we whizzed past at 40mph and the moment went before I could do anything. I hope the fire was meant to be there, but I can't think why it should have been. On the way back we ended up in a tiny country road at night, and there was a bend so sharp that it took three attempts for the bus to get past. I thought we were going to be walking or turning back and finding a different route. But our fantastic driver (and bus drivers are extraordinarily talented people - mainly) got us through so we got home safely

I used to get stressed at buses because they are so inefficient and slow, but if you pick your moments to travel by bus, they are The Place To Be

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