Buses for the Poor(ish)

Frost encrusted countryside whizzes by the window. The warming tide of morning sun leans against the hillsides and tree branches and rooftops, stirring them all awake from a soft pre-winter slumber. White puffed clouds on the horizon look like anime style mountains through the surrounding city haze.
The bus is overly warm. But not too warm, not yet anyway. Apart from a stray cough, and the occasional trumpet-playing-nose-blower, the annoyance level is minimal … But even as I write these words I can feel a jinx coming on. The chatter level is growing.

In most western/first world countries, if you don’t have a car, you’re forced to seek an alternative means of transportation.  This is when buses and trains most commonly come into play. A train, for me, is always better. You’ve got more space, can get up and walk about if you want, and the ride is usually quicker and smoother. But if that option isn’t available, then comes the dreaded bus journey …

A bus journey, I’m talking longer than a city bus to town here, is my idea of the low point of travel. It’s true, sometimes they can be good, but often they are not. You’re too close to the person behind you, who keeps jabbing their knee into the back of your seat, and by extension the back of your back. The lady seated in front of you keeps turning around disapprovingly whenever you do something so offensive as breathing. And the rest of the bus seem to all have flu, Ebola, and a weird near-fatal desease passed on by the noise of them coughing. By the end of the journey you’re convinced you have whatever they have.

It’s not that bad, though. It sure beats walking in the snow. S.H.

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