Sunday, July 17, 2011

The wheels on the bus go round and round...

Since we moved the commute to Cate's school every day is close to an hour - each way. I've taken to hailing a bus which takes us a block away from the school (and we walk by Gwyneth Paltrow/Chris Martin's house every day). It's been...interesting.

Two little old ladies who were dressed up in their best finery, complete with hats and Queen Elizabeth handbags - one in yellow, one in blue,  entered the bus and sat behind me. They were the quintessential British ladies, the only things missing were cups of tea. Here's a snippet of their conversation (from what I overheard):

Blue Bird: "This blinking bus is slow. What time are we expected?"
Yellow bird: "Half five."
Blue Bird: "What's the time now?"
Yellow Bird: "Quarter five. We'll never make it. We should have rung a car."
Blue Bird: "Sod the car. Too expensive."
Yellow Bird: "Hamish will be annoyed."
Blue Bird: "Bugger Hamish. He can wait."
Yellow Bird: "He's a right bastard that one."
Blue Bird: "Right you are!"

Not exactly Queen Elizabeth calibre after all, but damn funny!

Another time Cate and I hopped on the bus and she dashed up to the stairs to the top level. There was a haggarded looking bloke with a heavy coat and an eye patch dozing in the front seat. Undeterred, Cate ran up to the window and gazed out (it's the best seat in the house for a four year old).  At one stop light she turned around, covered an eye with one hand, cried, "Aaaaargh" at the top of her lungs, complete with a pirate like gesture with her other hand and guffawed. The entire upper bus exploded in laughter - except the poor sleeping pirate/man. Oy!

The last little adventure was not as fun. I was tossed off the bus. There were two prams on the bus so when I wanted to get on I was surprised the bus driver let me (only two are allowed technically). I got on, took up a spot near the rear door and away we went. Four stops later, ANOTHER pram got on and blocked the aisle. Three stops later the bus driver jumped out of his seat came around to the back and started yelling at ME to get off. I told him no. He started freaking out and X got upset and started to cry - the guy was out of line. I got off and told him I was going to report him - which I did (you knew I would). I hustled to school as quickly as I could but I was some kind of upset - I am a goodie-goodie -  long gone are the days of being a rebel. I play by the rules so I don't expect to be lambasted for his sorry mistake of allowing too many prams on the bus. But I also didn't want my son to see a grown man have a meltdown and scream at his mother. So I got off. But I demanded my fare back and I filed a greviance against the driver. I hope it goes on his record.

I have two days left and I think I'll just walk the four hours a day (one hour there, one hour back, twice a day). Sure...I have nothing to do. But after that, I think I'll get on the tube or a car when I have to travel with the kids. I'll miss the grannies and pirates, but I'm sure they'll still be there when the kids are big enough to travel without a stroller!


  1. I hate the bus too... There were so many times this winter that I couldn't get on a bus with the buggy and wound up walking in the cold and/or rain with the kids. Our car has been my saving grace and I only take the bus now if I'm in a pinch. The tube I can handle, just not the bus.

  2. I am also not above reporting a bus driver here in London. My husband and I were on the bus coming from Clapham to Brixton and the bus was going way too fast. It was nuts. He was speeding and then slamming on the brakes at the stops. The bus can be an interesting mode of transportation that's for sure. I do love getting the front seat at the very top :)

  3. I love the bus - but I only do it in school holidays. I imagine it would be awful to use all the time.

  4. Love the ladies! Bugger Hamish - will be my new saying...That's what I really miss about living in london, you've made me really homesick for it now. Living in Oakland, you just don't bump into the bits and bobs of life as you're always in a car. And walking around London is an adventure in itself!


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