On the bus again today.
It’s 35 Celsius today but inside the bus, it’s a cool air-conditioned 25 degrees. Except for the waft of pubescent armpit coming from the group of schoolboys at the front, you wouldn’t even know.
In walks a mullet-sporting guy in his twenties wearing an oversized pink dress shirt and tiny Adidas shorts. I thank God for giving us public transport. I never would have been exposed to such sartorial genius otherwise.
I really like taking the bus. I’m on the bus again today having taken it for the last three days straight. It’s my new preferred mode of transport.
On the bus, I smell KFC wafting through. I look around. I spot the young Chinese student sitting in the back, teeth sinking into some Original Recipe. He’s chosen his seat with care. Far enough so the bus driver won’t get a whiff of the Colonel. But everyone else can.
“The bus stop is only 100m from my house!” I tell people with perhaps too much enthusiasm. It wasn’t always this way. I used to walk 10 minutes to get to the bus stop to catch a bus that only came every hour. Now, I traipse out my door and hop on the bus without so much as consulting any bus schedules. Luxury.
It is indeed a luxury to catch the bus. No looking for parking. No worrying about below average parallel parking. No having to walk back to the car parked 15 minutes away. My car is the bus and the world is my parking lot.
On the bus a few days ago at 12.40am (any time is bus-appropriate). A homeless woman and a young man on the bus strike up conversation.
“I always see you on the bus,” says the man.
“I see you too. My name is Zed,” says the woman.
They proceed to have a lengthy conversation which I eavesdrop on with great enjoyment for 20 minutes. As the man departs the bus, they exchange a beautiful goodbye.
“Say hi next time you see me on the bus!”
I love the bus.
Like I said, it wasn’t always like this. I’ve had bad bus experiences too. Sitting two seats behind a man who picks his nose and wipes it on the seat. Immediately, I feel a crusty sensation below my exposed thighs. It was paranoia but it took me years to get over the obsession that the whole bus was coated in a layer of someone else’s mucus.
Third year of uni. Sitting on the bus when an older man with his shopping bags sits down next to me. Three stops later, I happen to glance over and see that one whole testicle has completely escaped from the man’s shorts. Another is surreptitiously edging its way out too. I move a little closer to my side and wonder if I will soon catch a glance of glans.
I’ve gotten over my prejudices though. It took time and some general apathy towards driving to get to this point but I’m glad to be here.
I can’t take the bus tomorrow because I have to work. And I don’t really want to be taking the bus at 5.30am to get to work on time. Instead, I’ll pretend I’m on the bus while driving to work. Headphones in, sunglasses on, pretending that I’m blocking out the world when instead I’m observing the bus-world with creepy voyeuristic interest.