Public transport, just the expression makes peoples prejudices come alive. Perfect to write about as I will dig in to some of the stereotypes you find in public transport. Public transport are not for all. What, you shout out loudly, waking up your family and neighbors! Yes it is true and if you bare with me I will explain why.
I really like to travel with public transport. It is convenient in most cases, good for the environment and I’m very interested in people. There are no better places to study people than in Train Stations, Airports, Buss Terminals or in the actual transport. I stuck my neck out when I wrote that Public Transport is not for everyone so let me cover that first.
I live in the countryside where there is not very many people living during the winter and the distances are long. I have 20 km one way to my work and 10 km to the store, in the other direction of coarse. By car it takes 25 minutes to work on the small narrow roads. There is a bus stop one kilometre from my house, walking distance, but the first bus arrives one hour after my job starts in the morning. The bus goes to the village seven km away and there I have to wait for an hour for the bus that passes the factory where I work. Now I’m 2,5 hours late! Going home is even trickier. I need to stay longer to compensate for the 2,5 hours this morning. Well turns out I need to 1 hour 45 minutes before the work day ends because this is the last bus home. Leaving me in the same village going out waiting for 45 minutes. I’ve tried during the winter when it is zero degrees Celsius and the rain is coming horizontal due to a strong wind from the west. These same weather conditions paired with the very narrow roads also refrains me from riding a bike. I need to take the car and I will cover the conflicting feelings I have about that in a future blog, so stay tuned. So Public Transport is not for everybody when you live in the countryside. I guess people living in the north of Sweden or the Australian outback know what I talking about even it they probably think I’m a sissy to compare with the distances they experience.
When I visit my kids who lives in a larger city or if I’m on holiday or a business trip I park the car and move around the city with trams, buses or underground trains. There are shelters you can stand in when the weather is bad and in most cases you wait maximum 15 minutes. The best part is that life goes on all around you all the time providing inspiration to “wanna be writers” like me. Let us start with the type that thinks everybody wants to here about the her life that she loudly speaks about on her cell phone, I’m sorry but in my experience it is usually a she. Some of these people uses earphones so you only get her side of the story. What the boyfriend, father or mother says you will have to guess and that can be quite funny if you put your mind to it. Worst case I experienced was a upper middle age woman speaking on the phone using the speaker so everybody on the train could hear everything. The daughter she spoke to was calling from psychiatric clinic she was admitted to suffering from a serious depression. Several fellow travelers tried to give the lady meaningful looks so she should understand how awkward it was for everybody in the compartment. In a full train it is not easy to move. After half an hour she finally hung up and the now extremely depressed fellow travelers came to life again trying to figure out if this was a bit humorous or just plain tragedy.
We also encounter the man, almost always a man, that had just a little too much to drink and wants to make friends with everybody and especially good looking women. Moving too close so you are afraid that if you would be stopped by the police driving home from the station or airport, you would go down for drunk driving. Full of stories that at first are bad attempts to be funny or interesting but after a while ends up in how miserable his life is. Can be a bitch for a wife or a psychopath for a boss constantly telling him what a failure he is. Should he meet a fellow “a little too much to drink” mate it can be quite entertaining to listen to. They can talk about beer and whiskey in a loving poetic manner that would make Shakespere go blue with envy. They would never be alone if they talked to their wife’s like that. The people a bit further away from this guy are usually more amused then the ones getting stuck close to him and that is not only from the smell of distillery and urine.
Love is a beautiful thing don’t you think? But when the loving couple almost go to all in or I think the Americans uses the expression, goes to second base in front of you I fail to see the beauty of it. You really don’t want to see his hand go up under her skirt while they loudly exchanges saliva. You can almost hear the silent applause from fellow passengers when the pornography scene suddenly changes into a lovers quarrel. Now the guy gets embarrassed and looks around him. There is also this typical look of confusion as he’s trying to figure out what he did wrong this time. Did he use her sisters name, or her mother or even worse her best friends name!? He tries to calm her down by whispering in her ear but she pushes him away shouting “You just don’t get it and you’re only out for one thing”. This girl must be a genius, she figured him out! Just as the scene gets quite amusing and you find it hard not the smile too much or even laugh out loud (LOL) it all changes back to porno as he finds her correct buttons to push. Oh my! When is my stop?!
Some travelers has made rudeness into an art form. They enter the tram or bus in the front loudly complaining that the transport was late and the driver, and all other passengers, need to know that this VIP:s day is now ruined because of that. Some people can even yell at the driver for the bad weather! In my mind it is part of good manners to say hi or just make a small nod to the driver as you enter, they are there to provide you with the service of getting you safely from point A to point B. There are actually some that looks down on those working with service calling it simple jobs but it takes skilled people to do that kind of job. Above all they need patience and ingenuity to deal whit all upcoming situations during a shift. They deserve our respect! They are not all perfect like the bus driver that amuses himself by trying to hit every hole or bump in the road, cutting the corners a bit too fast and slamming the breaks at every red light. He is an expert on hitting every red light! Leaving the bus stop it is the pedal to metal to try to get the old couple just boarded to fall over. If that is not successful he finds an excuse to step hard on the breaks and like a tap dancer move the foot to the right and hit the gas.
The leg spreader is usually a man but can also be a woman. They do it for the same reasons. Display of power! The man tries to show he is a Alpha male by trying to get as much space for himself as possible and at the same time trying to focus all attention to his reproductive area. In most cases there is probably a sock or a banana inside the trousers. He immediately spreads his legs as he sits down while making sounds to make sure everybody notice him. Women are more discrete as they usually don’t have the same need for space as men. Women use the leg spreading to get men feel unease as it is considered a harassment for a man to look at a woman’s reproductive area and I agree that it is when the man does that to downgrade her. All too common! But sitting on a train in those chair facing each other it will be a struggle to always looking out of the window, specially sitting in aisle, on the floor or up in the roof. One reason to start blogging, reading or writing! The leg spreading Alpha female seeks your attention and should you meet her eyes she draws your attention downwards with a Mona Lisa smile.
Public transport is good for writers, the environment and city traffic congestion use it if you have the possibility. If you like this text like and subscribe and check out my other texts on this site!