To love or hate long bus rides
Posted Sunday, September 29 2013 at 00:00
While on a bus ride, there are many experiences we encounter, some good and worth writing about while for others, you wish you could forget as soon as possible.
I love bus rides that seem to go on forever so much. I love listening to music while I lose myself in a good book. To do that, I need a place in which I am insulated from engaging in the biggest distraction there is – human conversation!
When I plug my ipod into my ears, and pull out my book of choice for the trip, I do so without feeling guilty for being impolite to my seatmate. The seatmates get their “hi” as I take my seat, and that’s it! The rest of the journey is my alone time. I am so capable of losing myself into my books and music, that most of the time I only come out of my “trance” when I get a tap from a conductor doing his rounds. But, hey, things don’t always go according to plan. Even God’s master plan got derailed by a snake. I have come to learn that the tranquillity I seek from bus rides is entirely dependant on the occupant of the seat next to mine. Introducing the three worst characters to have as seatmates on bus ride;
Casanova wannabe - as told by a lady friend
There is a reason words like “ugly” were invented. This is because, however much we try to sugar-coat a fact, there are individuals who fit the meaning of these words, not only physically but in everything about them. Then there are words like “egotistic”, “pompous” and “loud”, words you don’t want anywhere near “ugly”, because when they mix they form “repugnant”.
No one wants to be near that. Unfortunately, it is this rare mix of a personality that my friend Rose found herself sharing a seat with, on a five hour bus ride. When he was not vilely hitting on her, he was either berating her for ignoring his advances or dropping his mass on her in a deep slumber complete with snores and lots of droopy drooling.
All that, on top of taking up close to three quarters of her seat – thanks to his abundant girth! At the end of the journey, the world figure of traumatised people had increased by one; my dear friend Rose.
Taz-mania a.k.a binge eater – as experienced by I
One of the cartoon characters I still remember from my childhood is Taz-mania, and I – with certainty - credit the persistence of that memory to his eating habits; a memory which was invoked on one ghastly bus ride. I am choosy about my seatmates (when I can) and this time I felt like I had gotten the closest one can get to having a perfect seatmate without actually getting the real deal.
She was smart, without luggage, and her mass did not spill into my part of the seat. Plus, she was amicable – she offered me a toffee immediately after the hellos.
A few minutes later she offered a piece of chocolate, followed by crisps after a moment, and then cookies. How about some packed juice? No, thanks!
The offers kept coming, my turn-downs kept losing warmth, and the eats kept getting bigger (roast chicken topped the list). When she finally managed to exhaust her cache, and there were no more stops to restock, she slept. Really slept.
Finally I could turn down the volume of earphones (all that munching was driving me nuts)! Well, my relief was short-lived, for, a short while into her sleep, her digestive system started doing things that made me abdicate my seat, and opt to stand for the remaining part of the journey.
The perfect seatmate – an experience of my alter ego
He noticed her the moment she stepped in the aisle. She wore everything to match something else. Her earrings matched her hand bag, her nail polish matched her lipstick, the shoes matched the blouse, and the pants matched everything (it’s what black pants do, right?). He was sure she wore other things that matched but he willed himself not to think of them.
They all draped a body that was a paragon of perfection as he had ever imagined it. As far as looks go, she was all the things he had ever dreamt of in a girl, and then some. The trouble was with the “some”. Why couldn’t she just have been his dream girl, period!
Before he could figure that out she was sitting next to him, and he was pleasantly drowning in the sweetest of scents. She must have said something, for he saw her lips move, but his mind was to cramped to process it.
His brain reached overdrive, and all bodily functions froze. Only his heart kept beating, and even that was out of sync.
When I was reunited with him, 5 hours later, other passengers where disembarking the bus but he was still glued to his seat.