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.
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.
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.