Saturday, 14 August 2010

Back On The Bus.

Back in early January, 2010,  I posted an article about my adventures on public transport and that soon I would, once again, be behind the wheel of a car.  If you wish to bore yourself silly, here is the link to that blog:   Off The Buses.  I should inform you that the above photo is from then and even though the British summer is crap, it aint quite that crap.

Anyhow, I have been back driving for about six months now.  Yes, I know, I really should get some sleep.  On Wednesday, I had to go into Stoke on Trent from Leek, twice in one day.  Oh, lucky me.  Well this dude could not be bothered to drive into Stoke (the oatcake capital of the universe and where all that really neat pottery and cups and saucers are like made and where people call you 'duck') for a second time in a space of a few hours.
Thus, I decided to brave the wonderful world of bus travel.  I stood at the stop and recollected the previous thrilling experiences that had been endured.  Please see the link in the first paragraph to get a better idea if you have not already done so and then you can bore yourself into a place so monotonous you have this urge to break down and cry in a darkened room.  Right then, let's get this paragraph back on track.  The bus arrived and it stopped to let me on!   This was a great improvement in comparison to the time the driver looked at me, grinned and let out a 'Muttley the dawg' chuckle, as he sped by in his haste to get to the doughnut shop.
I boarded, paid my fair and looked for a seat on a packed bus.  Once again, it appeared that I may have boarded the bus that was going to some Jeremy Kyle audition. (If you live in North America, Jeremy Kyle is the British equivalent of Jerry Springer and rumour has it that Jeremy will be doing a version of his show in America.  Good luck Jeremy!)  'Go on look at these fucking pictures of my baby' said this one articulate young lady to someone I assumed was her friend or another bemused passenger. 'There is no way that arsehole is the kid's dad but I know who is and he's gonna' pay big time..'  And the DNA results reveal.....
On a packed bus there always seems to be the one person who insists on having their groceries parked on the outside seat.  Will they shift their groceries to let you sit down?  Oh no, they're not going to have any old 'riff raff' sit beside them.  You now have a few choices.  You could ask them to kindly shift their precious goods.  You could ask them if they paid for two tickets.   Or, you could take the groceries and smash them on their head and grin with triumphant delight as the egg yolk runs down the face of the dear old lady.
Well, I did get a seat and sat precariously on the two inches of seating the passenger so generously allowed me.   Wow and thanks!   Okay, I was grateful to sit down and desperately clung onto the rail that kept me from falling into the aisle where I would have most likely been trampled on by the folks heading to the Jeremy Kyle show and the dear old lady with the groceries.   Then I heard this snore blasting into my left eardrum. The guy beside me had fallen asleep and was now slumped against my left shoulder.  Awe, how cute.  No, correction, shit!
The bus continued on towards that destination of dreams.  Soon we would be in Stoke!  Then, out the window, I saw the sadder and disturbing sides to life.  Three police cars were blocking the road and off to the side of the pavement lay an old man who appeared to have been beaten up.  We slowly moved on and passed by a group of young people who yelled obscenities at us passengers.  Finally, we were in the heart of town and two cyclists going the wrong way on a one way street, screamed and made rude finger gestures at the driver.  What an eventful ride this had turned out to be.  With much relief, I got off the bus.  Nothing else would happen, right?  Wrong.  At the depot a very loud and angry woman was screaming profanities at this rather startled old fellow.  Sigh....
The return trip back to Leek, 'the Queen of the Moorlands', was uneventful and peaceful.  No packed out bus that might have provided me with the opportunity to gallantly give up my seat to some old lady who would respond by saying, 'Who the hell did you think you are!?  I'm perfectly capable of standing!  How dare you!'    I sat there on a full seat and reflected on the earlier ride.  We have been told to take public transport, do our bit for the planet, relax and enjoy the journey.  I sympathise with those who have no choice but public transport.  That first ride on a bus in about six months made me grateful knowing I have a choice.  I got off the bus, and with my heart racing, headed straight for my car.  I gave it a hug and a kiss.  My neighbours have been giving me strange looks.


  1. I have never ridden a bus in my life. Thanks for letting me live it through your eyes; that was quite enough!


  2. hi mr gary! geeez you had a really bad trip. im glad you got a car so you dont have to ride tha bus any more i didnt ever ride a bus for a long ways and now for sure im never gonna.
    ...smiles from lenny

  3. OMG, you were lucky to get off alive. There are very weird scary people on buses. LOL. What a story. Thanks, Gary. I felt like I was there.

  4. On a bus? Mixing with common people? I'm afraid this a little outside Sir Tom's experience. Sound terrifically unedifying old thing; I hope you had a good rub down with disinfectant when you got home. (Sir Tom shudders). "Lady Eagerly, where's that bottle of Scotch you've been hiding from me?"

  5. Hi, Gary

    I used to regularly use the bus as a teenager but I'm afraid those days of bus travel are long gone. You take your life into your hands going on the bus now! Jeremy Kyle domain indeed!

    If the Gov want us to ditch our cars and get on the buses they are going to have to do a lot to make them safer/user friendly. The buses seem to take forever to get to their destination via the scenic route. And you are forced to put up with these people who think it's perfecly okay to swear loudly and be a menace to other passengers.

    Mind you the bus I went to Bridgnorth on a few weeks ago was fairly pleasant with only a few other passengers who happened to be of the older generation and who knew how to behave in public. Not a imbecile in sight or sound!(Sorry, people who blame everyone else but themselves for their current inability to want to find work and who are compelled to procreate at an alarming rate whilst telling everyone how hard done by they are on the Jeremy Kyle show!). I was surprised how pleasant and stressless the journey was. Mind you it was in a rural area. I wouldn't venture on a bus round here.

    Julie xx

  6. Wonderful post, I was fascinated. Hugs..x

  7. I am never a fan of buses. I get jittery just thinking of boarding one, because I blame on the fact that I am quite unable to stand in it while its mobile, and pack-load with very "nicely-scented" passengers.

    I cringe! Even the trains here, if you could sniff the air in them, during peak hours, you'll die of heart failure from holding your breath. Well I am exaggerating for dramatic purposes.

    I'm happy you have your car, and please take good care of it. Don't forget to clean it once in a while, and give them tires some gas.

    Here's a free car service ticket for you, and a bucket of more chopsticks for decoration. :p


  8. Hi Gucci Mama,
    I guess it didn't make for pleasant reading. I get the impression you wont be taking up the delights of bus travel, any time soon.
    Take care and have a peaceful weekend.
    Kind wishes, Gary:-)

  9. Hi Lenny,
    Yep, I've had some pretty weird experiences on the bus. It isn't always like this. I've had some nice rides on buses. I'm sure you might have a really nice ride on a bus. I remember going on a bus to camp when I was a little boy and we sang loads of songs. That was fun:-)
    I sure do like having a car, though.
    Have a good weekend, Lenny.
    Smiles, your way, Gary:-)

  10. Hi Joylene,
    You do meet some strange people on buses. So, you might reckon that I was in my own element. lol
    Thank goodness, not all bus rides are like that. The drivers there and back, were quite good. Neither of them did that trick of accelerating and braking quickly whilst one is trying to get to an available seat.
    Kind regards, Gary :-)

  11. Greetings Sir Tom Eagerly,
    I, my good chap, do not mind a bit of mingling with those from the lower classes. It is quite fascinating to go 'under cover' and observe those less fortunate. You might find it enlightening. Then again...your horse-drawn carriage awaits thee, Sir Tom.

  12. Hi Julie,
    You are so right in what you have noted. If the government wants us to consider using public transport as a viable alternative, then they should make it a worthwhile venture that makes good sense to use.
    I have tried to do my bit by using public transport and not driving a car. I can remember too many times in the past when the bus was late or did not show up at all. Which resulted in me being late for work, college and various appointments. Hardly a good endorsement for using public transport.
    Mostly, my bus rides have been uneventful. However, it is those who make life a misery who should learn to respect others on the bus. It does my anxiety no good whatsoever to endure such crap.
    The Jeremy Kyle show. Cringe-worthy television. Well at least nobody has admitted to marrying a horse on that show. Or maybe they have:-)
    Happy writing, Julie.
    Kind regards, Gary x

  13. Hi Carole,
    I do have some bizarre adventures on public transport. Now I really understand why I finally got another car.
    Hugs, Gary x

  14. Hi Shanaz,
    So public transport is not exactly ideal where you live, either. Seems like a nose plug might just be a good idea.
    It's so sad to think that going on public transport would make you jittery when it should be one of the great experiences of your life. I think I just exaggerated. lol However, it should be a comfortable and stress free ride. Time the governments who tell us to leave our cars and take public transport, did take this into account.
    I shall take good care of my car. I checked the tire (or for those in Britain, 'tyre') pressure the other day and it is at the correct setting. I never thought of putting gas in my tires, (tyres)..I wonder what kind of gas you might mean...
    Thanks for the car servicing and complimentary chopsticks. That was very kind of you.
    Kind wishes and a free ride on every bus company in the world, your way, Gary :-)

  15. You are a brave man to venture purposely into the world of public transportation.

    But how fun to go to a village where everyone calls you Duck. I am try starting a new trend here. You never know.

  16. Well, the only difference between there and here is the accent my dear. Otherwise it is the same all over. People have no patience and in a lot of cases, no class. What a shame. I would not want an alien culture to visit us and take back the behaviour as an example of a "good" human being. All the same, good on you for doing it. What progress!!

  17. Hi Gary, It's strange how the bus service can differ in other areas. I was upset at being 'told off' by a bus driver in cornwall just because I didn't know the area and where the stop was, yet in our own area we have dial a ride. The driver picks us up at the door and gives a lovely service. Just after my accident, I had to use them a lot. At christmas our driver dressed as father christmas and even knocked the door and helped me on to the bus - lovely.
    As for the other passengers, it was only me and my neighbour so a lot more pleasant experience than yours.
    Hope you do not have to go through such an unpleasant journey again.
    Happy travelling
    Di x

  18. Hello lifeshighway,
    I think I was mighty brave. Here I was doing my bit to save the planet and take public transport. It's a pity they did not make taking a bus etc., a more relaxed way to travel.
    Yes indeed, folks here keep calling me 'duck'. I spent the first year here with a sore neck. 'Are you all!?' I would be asked.
    Thanks and have a nice weekend.
    Kind regards, Gary :-)

  19. Hi Heather,
    You've got that right. Of course, I'm very familiar with the transport system back in Vancouver and the similarities are rather saddening. There are just too many folks who don't give a crap about others. It can be well and truly enhanced on public transport.
    I suppose the 'aliens' could take those inconsiderate folks back to their world and put them into some 'transport exhibition' on how not to behave.
    Anyway, Heather, I survived to tell the tale. Must go now and hug my car lol
    In peace, your friend, Gary:-)

  20. Hi Diane,
    Well you have certainly experienced some extremes in the world of buses.
    I think it would be very nice to have a bus system like yours around here.
    It's nice to hear about a pleasant bus journey. Now that driver in Cornwall, well, how rude and inconsiderate of your situation.
    I've had some good times on local transport. That was usually when I was the only passenger :-)
    Have a lovely weekend, Diane.
    Happy travels, Gary x

  21. I have a lot of the same problems with riding the subway to work, but mostly the clods that think their work bags need a seat of their own on a crowded train. Then they look at you like you have a lot of nerve to disturb their bag.

  22. Dear Gary,
    Ah, the joys of Stoke-on-Trent, its wonderful public transport system and its charming inhabitants.
    Thank God you have your car, eh Gary!
    Yours with all the best,

  23. Hi Gary,

    I'm glad that you took the time to hug your car. It must have felt somewhat down when you deserted it for the big bad bus. I loved your bus story from January and this one today(I wasn't bored one iota)! Bye for now- I think I'll go hug my car too, but keep wishing that our town had a usable public transportation system.

  24. The last time I rode a bus I had to share a seat with some guy who was coming off a heroine high and pissed was such a wonderful day, and such a charecter building experience.That's why I'd rather stick my hand in a blender full of salt then ride on a bus again.

  25. I used to ride a bus to work, but often feared I would killed by one of the drivers who liked to take the turns by careening the bus at an angle. From that time on, I drove or car-pooled. Being on a bus is a bad way to start, never mind end, your day. The rudeness of people, such as you experienced, was another fine reason for kissing my own car, filling her with gas and driving myself!

  26. Hi Gary, I have just noticed that the comment I (thought) I had made earlier isn't here. Can't actually remember what I said but nevermind I just popped in to say hello.
    Anyway, I notice that my nemesis has been here first!

  27. Hi bluzdude,
    I've always considered it most annoying and selfish that someone would think their bag has priority over someone who has the 'audacity' to want to actually sit down.
    I wonder if the bag purchased a ticket?
    Thank you and happy travels.
    Kind regards, Gary.

  28. Dear David,
    Yes indeed. To think I was only trying to do my part in saving our planet.
    I now clearly realise why it was so good to purchase another car and visit you over yonder in the 'wilds' of Stoke on Trent.
    Thanks David. Hope to talk to you soon. With good wishes, Gary.

  29. Hello THE SNEE,
    Perhaps we should have an international 'hug your car' day.
    I think my car was very sad when I ventured off on the 'big bad bus'. I think I detected 'tear drops' running down the headlights.
    Give your car a hug for me and I hope that you might one day have some semblance of decent local public transport.
    Kind wishes, Gary :-)

  30. Hi The Wolf,
    What a charming and inspirational experience you had on the bus. I've heard some similar stories about the wonder of travelling on SkyTrain.
    The blender does seem like more fun than the bus and the lovely folks that ride on it.
    Thanks Wolf. Kind wishes, Gary.

  31. Hi askcherlock,
    I'm sorry to note that your rides on public transport have not exactly been a fun time, either.
    Like you, the rudeness and selfish attitude I have been subjected too, has made me want to go out and give my car another big hug. Do I really care about the strange looks from my neighbours? Do I heck:-)
    Thanks. With respect, Gary.

  32. Hello bazza,
    Sorry I have been unable to comment back sooner. I was away for a few days and stayed clear of using a computer.
    It is a shame to realise your previous attempt at commenting has vanished into the internet ether. I appreciate you coming back to say 'hello'. Your good friend has indeed bestowed us with another one of his fine responses. I think that makes the world a better place.
    Cheers bazza. With respect and good wishes, Gary.

  33. Hi Gary,

    These are the experiences that make one enjoy solitude. Yanks in my part of the country don't have the option of riding the bus often.

    I am headed to San Francisco this weekend where these sorts of things are normal. I'll drive for five hours just to park the car for a few days to experience the bliss of standing in the isle holding on for dear life for fear of being thrown through the windshield as the driver gently slams the brakes with both feet at each stop.

    Thank you for the chuckle and for the inspiration you provide.

    Namaste my friend,

  34. Hi Roger,
    Very nice to have you visit my site. Thanks for that.
    Wish you well with the joys of public transport in San Francisco. You never know, perhaps things are a little more friendly on Cable Cars. I once rode 'BART' but that's another story :-)
    Wishing you peace, my friend.
    With respect, Gary.

  35. I have now read both "Off the Buses" and "Back on the Bus" and I urge you to stay "Off the Bus" Gary- as it sounds like a total and utter nightmare from hell. Also if you do get back on a bus at some point and decide that you are in fact going to smash the seat-hoarder (er dear old lady) on the head with her own groceries and seat-hoarder (I mean dear old lady) does end up with egg yolk running down her face-please remember to snap a photo and post it as I think it would be extraordinarily funny.

  36. Hi Sam,
    Thanks a lot eh for commenting on this archived posting.
    I'm thinking about going back on a bus just to have such a photo opportunity with another one of them thar 'seat-hoarders'(er dear old lady) aka 'Old Rage Pensioner'. Should be great fun after I get out of the prison cell and upload my photos.
    In the mean time, I believe that there has been a request for me to take a fascinating photo of a genuine British radiator. Gosh! eh


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.