Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Public Transport and People. Worse combination imaginable!

My hatred of buses (or Buzes as we say in Wigan) began many years ago, around the high school age.
It never helps when you have no one to catch the bus with, you're large, bookish and unpopular, but the staring, giggling, sometimes even pointing and the fact that I would always have to stand up, made me miserable.

I've always much rather walked. So that's what I did after a few particularly uncomfortable journeys. Come rain or shine I would walk the 45 minutes to school and 45 minutes back.
But then college struck and we didn't have a choice but to take the bus. Luckily it was a bus reserved strictly for our college so I knew most of the people on there and I did have the opportunity to sit with friends etc.
Not too bad, though I know there was still sniggering and whispering. I guess there always will be. People are pretty hideous at times.

For my commute to Uni, I had to use bus and train and actually it was often the train that caused issues. Crazy people tended to get on the train. I experienced a lot of odd things, like stopping at a station and a group of youths throwing glass bottles into the carriage, smashing everywhere. There was once a cow on the track and I've also experienced lots of fights, both verbal and physical. And this one time there was even a really creepy guy who pretty much stared at me the whole journey and then afterwards the train manager came out and asked if I was alright. Apparently he was prone to staring at young girls.

Well thanks for the heads up.  There's nothing like feeling safe on public transport. Ha!

So to be honest I've had a lot of issues with trains and buses.

But the icing on the cake - as it were - was when I worked in Didsbury and I commuted by bus. I was approached by lots of older men that wanted my number and stuff. Creepy as hell. And there was of course the tramp that got on and pooed on the seat at the side of me. That was my singularly most painful memory of public transport. I stripped off as soon as I got home as all I could smell was shit.

Now in London, I avoid buses like the plague as there really are a lot of nutter that take the bus, more so than the tube, as the tube is way more expensive and there is a lot more staff at stations, even at night.
Some of the 24 hour buses can be pretty scary with some rather unsavory characters around. And when you get one by yourself, you tend to be on tender hooks the whole journey. Because whilst there may be a driver on board, that's one against a bus load, but if something's kicking off it's not nice!

Well, I'll try and get to the point. Last Saturday, I was meeting the girls from work for a meal and this had to be the one time the Northern Line is closed all weekend. So I weigh up the options and realise that a quick 214 to St Pancras and then a hop on the Piccadilly line would be best. Except my quick 10 mins to St Pancras became 25 minutes of hell. Here are my notes from the journey:

Feeling particularly claustrophobic on this 214. And there is a very grumpy driver who is refusing to go anywhere because someone got on at the back and didn't swipe. People are shouting and it's all very disconcerting. Did I mention I hate buses?

There's a lot of traumatised people on the 214 tonight. The driver had crammed that many people on that every time the doors opened he trapped this woman's foot in the door. He kept closing the back doors before people had managed to get off, including two women with buggies and an elderly couple.
People from the back were shouting. People in front were shouting. Two women were having a fight by the front door as one kept pushing the other. Ahhhhhh, confrontation, right in front of me. You know I can't hack it.

I managed to get a seat but that meant that I was cornered and had peoples' legs pushed up against mine and a sea of bodies that I couldn't see through or over.

Nasty stuff!

Every stop I was willing to be St Pancras, but 25 minutes later I managed to disentangle myself from the rest of the people and get out.
And to top it all off. Not only am I pissed off and angry by this point, but it's also raining and it's the first time in probably 5 months since I straightened my hair, so it would actually look nice.

Not anymore!

Fuckin' buses.

Fuckin people!

What the fuck?

Oh, and another thing. I know I don't know anything about fashion, but fuckin' patterned leggings, shorts, socks and t-bar shoes.........What the fuck????

Argh! Lunch break almost over. Final installment of Twilight tonight with the ladies. L, T, C and S. Whoop!

And just in case the sentiment wasn't clear.....I freakin' hate buses. They are evil contraptions and I will avoid them as much as I can, for as long as I can. People can also be quite evil, but avoiding them might make me a bit of a recluse. Hmmmmm. Will contemplate that one for a while.

Happy Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rants are like sweetcorn????

Eeee, it's been a while. Though I hadn't realised it was almost a month. Jeez. That's a long while in the life of Helen and her ranting. I wonder if they've all been building up inside and I'll puke them all over you right now. Rants are awfully difficult to keep down, especially this long. They're a little like sweetcorn, you know, you're incapable of digesting them, so they just come out in your poo. Ha. Okay, I do realise what I've just written and yes, I am a loon!

And so, it's been a month of excitement and discovery due to a mega holiday in the states. Now I will hopefully be turning into Travel Blog Helen at some point to give a thorough haul through the wonder of the holiday and some of the amazing places we visited. But for now you should know, we managed seven states in 16 days; drove over 3,500 miles (well A did); avoided superstorm Sandy (much to the delight of my mother) and even won some money in Vegas. We visited 4 state houses (I'm a geek for this stuff); saw two of the most amazing natural wonders on Earth and experienced two holidays (as in celebration holidays), one ridiculously early.

Intrigued? I hope so. Watch this space for The Sarcy Traveller, coming soon from my living room.

Am currently multi tasking to the extreme. I have my travel journal at the side of me, with New England guide open, finishing off the final two days of the trip, as we were that busy I got completely behind. And in between that I'm writing this and checking mail and running through the ridiculous list of stuff I've got to do and thinking about food (tummy rumbling) and watching Alias season 3. Oh yes!

Does anyone ever have the urge to physically push someone off their bike?
Is it just me?

I'm not a naturally violent person, but I am northern so it's down there somewhere festering (only kidding, I don't for a minute believe that northerners are any more violent than southerners or midlanders. I'm sure we're all equally violent minded.). But today as I was crossing on the green light and he was clearly on red as all the cars had stopped, this cyclist drove through the light ridiculously fast and there were other people on the crossing. What a dick! I was so tempted to run and frickin' clothes line him or something, or dive on him, or just push him really really hard.

There could have been elderly people or kids or any combination of people on that crossing and he was going so fast that he would have had no chance. It really does take dick head cyclists to draw out that inner violence in me, though of course my stupid sensible side beat the crap out of the violent side and I didn't do anything but curse under my breath. Urgh! I have ranted about this many times cyclists, but if you are going to be a road vehicle which in fact you are, then could you please fucking follow the pissin' rules of the bloody road.

It's not a tall request. A very simple one actually, because next time my sensible side may falter and I could come flying at you and knock you off your bike, you complete knob!

And breathe! Oh, I may go and pop the oven on to preheat, the stomach is definitely ready for some nourishment, especially as I'm currently excreting rants. Ha ha. You have to replace.

And continuing with the annoying transport related issues, I am getting right royally fucked off about the walk to the Northern line platform at Kings Cross/St Pancras. It's a lovely wide corridor, more than ample space for two way traffic, obviously with no need for massive signs or a barrier, just that lovely skill that a ridiculous amount of people, are without: common sense. So today I have to squirm and push and shove my way through a wall of six abreast, all desperate to get out, leaving no room for the rest of us trying to get in. Then they look at you with disgust as though you've inconvenienced them. Sometimes I just want to shout, "It's two way traffic, move over you twats!" But again, those damn manners I was taught as a kid, they stick with you and instead, I curse under my breath (a common recurrence it appears) and shake my head and radiate anger.

It does actually say on the walls at various points, keep left, but then most people are too focused on getting where they're going to actually look up and take a hint. But really, it's not hard to just move across when you see oncoming people and you're taking up the entire space. Just sort it out okay?

Oh, I haven't experienced cold feet from writing, in ages. I may have to go and get my slippers. I think it's probably because I'm drawing all my power, wisdom and thoughts into writing and somehow that pulls warmth away from my toes. Hmmmm, yeah, I'm sure that's in a medical journal somewhere, along with an article about bollocks.

Actually, I've just realised my fingers are freezing too, and they're doing the typing....hmmmmm. Maybe my theory doesn't hold out. Damn. There goes my PhD Thesus.

I came back to work last Monday, literally straight off the plane and into work, with roughly 45 minutes sleep on the plane home, so that was fun. But what really got my goat was when I walk through the door to the usual hellos and what not, then I say, "I'll just freshen up abit." And I go into the staff toilet and there is no light. So not only can I not change clothes and freshen up, but I also have to pee in the dark for the next three days. Welcome back Helen!!!! Aren't you glad you came back?

And, twenty minutes after I returned, I ask, "Where's D?(one of our staff, due in at 10 and this is 10.05 and no sign of her and I'm thinking if I can make it from Boston US then you can make it from wherever the hell you live in London). And this is when they choose to reveal that said member of staff did a runner when I was on holiday. (This is not a one off. This has happened at least 3 times out of the 5 times I've been on a mega holiday during my time there. It's becoming almost expected.) Great! So not only am I tired, smelly, grumpy and other dwarf names, but I have to deal with a new member of staff and be on shift with her. Urgh! I do not like these types of surprises, though when it was S that started working with us after US trip 2010, that was actually a good thing!

The worst part was the fact that I couldn't pronounce or remember her name the whole day and had to keep saying things like, "your new teacher" or just pointing at her and smiling. And it doesn't help that her name is remarkably like Golem and every time I go to say it I have to stop myself from saying Golem. He he. Still, it's fun to say it in my head. (Yes, I do realise how cruel this is but I'm getting better and now I hardly ever think Golem before I say it and I can remember and pronounce it.)

Oh, today she was doing my head in though. We were understaffed (or under-competently- staffed) and I actually had to have a mini go at her. Yeah, I moving up in the World. We had 17 kids, two of whom are under 2 and 8 of whom are under 3. Yes, a nightmare in itself. Each of the three teachers have a group at their table and the odd wanderer that just floats around knocking things off and refusing to do anything. And then part way through, while ignoring everyone on her table she came with one of my kids and sat down at my table. Now, let's consider the common sense here. There are 6 kids on her table messing around, needing help and she sits on my table where I am already sat.


So I say, "Can you just go back to your table."
"But, he wants to work with this."
"Okay, but I can do that. Your table needs you."
"But he wants to work with this now."
"Yes but I can do that and he can learn to wait a minute. There are a lot of children."
"But what about the activity?"
"It's more about crowd control now."

Eventually, she got the fucking message and went back to her table, tutting and murmuring to herself. Stuck up Montessorian. She basically asked me yesterday if I was Montessori trained and I said no, so obviously she thinks I can't present a piece of work. Oh my god, it is number beads not freakin' rocket science, silly cow. And I'm more concerned with the kids hanging off the light fittings, running out of the classroom or strangling each other, not an impatient older child who won't wait for me to help him.

Okay, that was fun.

I feel I could write all night, it's like ranting diarrhoea. Ha ha. I said it could all come flooding out.
Still, I'll hold some back, otherwise there might not be another blog for ages.

Slippers for my cold feet and the left over roast dinner that I'm about to pop in the oven are definitely calling to me. Thanks for reading and I hope this has made up for the almost month absence, or at least gone a short way towards forgiveness. I would appreciate it.

It's the middle of the week slump for me, I just hope the beginnings of this cold are gonna piss off. My throat is sore, not great when you are employed to talk all day, with intermittent shouting when the unruly kids break your patience level. (Mine is particularly low at the moment, so.....a very sore throat.)

Okay, I really am going now.