Saturday, January 08, 2022

Buses In The Rain

If you travel by bus, especially on a rainy day, that's the way you get to know an area whether rural, town or city. Margaret Thatcher was famously disparaging about people who caught buses, but actually you come into contact with real people when you travel by public transport, and you come across even more real people if you travel off the beaten track. 

Buses are slow travel. There you will meet elders, schoolchildren, young mothers or fathers with toddlers and children in pushchairs, people with disabilities and their carers, all the people who are hidden away from mainstream advertising, and who are trodden on by rich men in tailored suits who think about money and cocaine all the time.

In some parts of London, the upstairs back-of-the-bus is a youth club. Groups of teenagers with school bus passes can spend a whole evening travelling around the route listening to music that plays from their phones and singing along at the tops of their voices. I wonder how much crime is averted because of this?

You hand your fate over to the traffic. You can't rush a bus: road rage is futile. Your driver sets the mood, and you say thank you when you disembark. Thank you, public transport.

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