I know we’re all in the same position. We’re slumming it on public transport and at the mercy of traffic, weather and maniac bus drivers because we’re either too young, too broke or too… foreign… to have cars/licenses here in London. It’s not pretty, fun or even time efficient, but the buses are what they are. We’re all in the same boat, er, big red double decker, here.
That being said, a little common sense and, dare I say it, politeness on everyone’s part would go a hell of a long way to making journeys a bit more bearable.
For example, take this whole seating arrangement thing. If you’re on a bus at a certain time of day during which you KNOW that in two stops a whole plethora of people are going to get on and the bus will be full, don’t do the following:
- sit in the middle of two seats so that no one can sit down in the seat next to you
- keep your bag on the seat next to you and then act dumb when no one is able to sit down
- Sit sideways in your seat with your feet up on the seat next to you
Buses get busy. That’s just the way it is–you’re going to have to sit next to someone at some point. Get over it. It doesn’t matter if you’re some posh “lady of leisure” or a flashy young professional or a school kid; the fact of the matter is, no matter what your momma may have told you, you’re not special.
I’ll be the first to admit that, if I get on a quiet bus I will put my bags in the seat next to me. But I’ll also be the first to move them as soon as the bus starts to get busy.
And I don’t care if you use your phone–in fact I don’t think most people do–but if I can hear you over Lady Gaga on my iPod then chances are you’re shouting a little too loudly, my friend. And I reaaaaaally don’t need to know what that guy was like last night or how big his “dinky” was, or how so and so is such a ho because she can’t keep her legs shut or how you’re going to beat so and so’s ass for selling you crap weed. I’m doing good to keep up with my own personal life; I don’t need to add yours to the mix.
Same goes for iPods–if I’m able to sing along to the Michael Jackson track you’re playing then I’m sure you’re going deaf and need to see a doctor about that, stat.
And at the bus stop, if people have been waiting for ages and you’ve just strolled up, let them on the bus first. I do it… and I’ve seen others do it before too… It’s just polite. Also, let the elderly and disabled people on first. They’ve only got a set number of seats that they’re able to sit in and you’re able bodied enough to haul your ass up to the top deck. Get over it.
Finally, something that I’ve seen so many times (and have even seen a nasty exchange of words over) and that has happened to me quite a few times (including today, hence the blog)–not getting up to let people by you to get off the bus. Let me use today as an example. I was sitting in the window seat and this lady came and sat down in the seat next to me. The whole thing started off badly. She was on the phone. I had my iPod turned up and yet I could still hear every word. She put her shopping bags down on top of my feet and she knew it. She dug her elbows into my sides so that she could pull a full sized notebook out of her bag. She then proceeded to juggle her phone, notebook, pen and purse and still managed to make gesticulations as she spoke. What a superwoman. So needless to say I was already irritated which I use as my excuse for what I did as I got off the bus.
As the bus approached my stop, I stood up, said “excuse me” and waited for her to stand up to let me by. Truth be told, she was so engrossed in her conversation that she probably didn’t hear me… and didn’t see me. Right. I mean, if you’ve been on a London bus, you know what the leg room is like–my knees touch the seat in front of me and I’m just over 5 feet. Anyhow, what does she do? She does the thing I hate the most. She grunted (thanks, cavewoman) and swung her legs to the side. Now… she wasn’t a small woman. And to be fair, I’m not horribly petite either. But even if we were both twigs, it still wouldn’t be easy to get out. The polite thing to do is to stand up and let the other person out. I mean, hey! You’re getting the seat all to yourself! Be happy!
But no. She swung her legs to the side and pretended I wasn’t there.
So I might have “accidentally” stepped on one of her shopping bags and might have “accidentally” hit her in the side of her head with my handbag which, luckily for her, was rather light today. Oh. And I might have told her she was rude.
Serves her right.
I’m not normally like that, but sometimes you just need a little vindication.
Get over yourselves, people and just use a little common sense and courtesy.
Or get a car.
That is all.