Tuesday, October 31, 2006
The Science Of Taking A Bus
Taking a bus is not that easy. In fact, the bus companies (we got one for every region of the country : a Flemish one, a Wallonian one and one in Brussels) should distribute manuals. Yesterday an elderly couple was accompanying their grand-daughter on the bus – or maybe just harassing an innocent teenage girl. When they see that their stop is coming up, they start to say their goodbyes, kissing and hugging and giving farewell speeches and all. Then they tried to exit through the entrance, which was not possible because of all the people entering the bus. By the time they had found the exit and shuffled to it, the doors closed again. The next stop was a couple of blocks away. Not so much a problem for a young lad in the prime of his years such as me, but a long walk for those venerable old legs.
A bit further we enter a street and approach a bus stop full with people. They stare at the bus like a bunch of sheep that wouldn’t stop grazing their meadow even if a nuclear missile slammed into the ground right next to them. They didn’t signal the bus driver to stop, so the bus driver didn’t stop. They looked very surprised because the bus didn’t stop. Luckily, bus drivers have a sixth sense for these involuntary lobotomy victims, so he stopped a bit further and allowed the sheep to get on the bus.
I’m telling you all this to camouflage a bit what I did this morning. I was so busy contemplating the origins, direction and meaning of the universe, the existence of a supreme being (other than me) and whether women would really leave messages and phone numbers in men’s rooms – in other words my brain was still pre-heating that morning – that I completely missed my bus stop. My regular bus stop is very easy to recognise, what with that giant train station right in front of you and all the busses stopping there. So our bus stopped, people got on and off, we left again, passed the train station and only THEN did I realise that something was wrong.
Nothing so bad as getting off at a stop where no-one ever gets off and walk back to the train station.