The WP-team asked us what the funniest thing was while riding a bus. I’ve used public transportation a lot! My uncle was a bus driver, so it started early in life, and I didn’t always own a car. Over the years, I’ve moved countless times … so I’ve often taken a bus, train or truck to go home and see my family. Sometimes, I had my cat Hadassah with me in a transportation cage, and she was like a magnet when it came to conversations with strangers. This is one of the very few photos I have of her.
If she was a magnet for conversations, I myself seemed to be one too, but to boozers and generally strange people.
At one point, when I lived in the same town I mentioned in previous post, I took the local bus to work. There was a big square downtown, where all the buses gathered … like a hub, but also crowded with farmers selling produce in the summertime. One hot afternoon, I was standing there waiting for my bus … the last leg of the trip home. The square was unusually crowded. I was wearing a T-shirt, that someone from my hometown Härnösand had sent to me.
Now … wouldn’t you now! A little boozer spotted me from the opposite side of the square … I saw him coming! As he came closer, I saw him squinting … trying to read the text on my T-shirt:
(it’s a play on words, the name of the town is Härnö-sand, but they made it HÄR-NÖS-AND and translated it)
The big letters were fine … when he managed to get the nine letters together and was able to pronounce the word, he chuckled … ‘ah ha ha! Härnösand!’ … but then he got closer and could even read the small, English print! That, he found incredibly funny and started really laughing out loud. Then he apparently felt that he was entitled to a conversation with me and some nonsensical talk that went from the Americans beating the Russians in hockey, [Lake Placid 1980] to the Americans being first on the Moon, took place. I never got the connection, but I was saved by the bus.
Several years later, I was on a bus from the little clinic where I worked, back to Umeå where I lived then. It was another hot summer day … I was tired after working the whole day and something was wrong with the heating system in the bus … he couldn’t turn off the heat! Each stop, he opened the doors but it was just as hot outside so, no relief there. We were only three passengers.
The first village, after my work place, the same type of little boozer boarded the bus. I saw him coming, I quickly grabbed the newspaper and hid behind it. That didn’t help — he sat down across the aisle from me. Started out with asking me if I was a teacher. I answered, without looking up from the paper, that I was not. He went through a number of professions, I kept answering no until I got so fed up … in this heat and all … so I said to him: ‘I’m going in to the hospital, starting my shift in the Intoxication ward, so I’ll see you later‘. That seemed to send him into deep thoughts for a while but after a while he stated: ‘No! NO WAY I’m going to end up there tonight!‘ I told him I didn’t believe him as he was already reeking of alcohol. The police preferred to drive them there instead of putting them in the drunk tank and I knew about this as I’d worked in that hospital earlier. Either way, it quieted him but by then we were already entering the city.
To sum up this topic … I haven’t had much fun on buses.