Making friends with buses
In Warwickshire, the bus drivers talk. They say 'hello' and they say 'goodbye'. If you say 'thanks' as you get off, they answer, 'alright, love' and make you feel all warm inside. If they know the person who's got on, they'll have a chat about the weather or the football results. Because there's no Oyster card system, they give change for notes without complaining, rather than chucking you off and moving before you've got off the step, like they would in London. They'll shout at young lads taking up the front seats when the Darby & Joan club gets on. They wait until anyone wobbly has found a seat and then move off, unlike London drivers who delight in catapulting old blokes with medals on their jackets down the aisle.
And, in Warwickshire, it's not just the drivers who talk. The buses do, too. In London, if a bus is out of service, it will say so on the front: 'Out of Service'. It's blunt, it's factual, and it's not wasting any time on you. Tough. Just get on with your life and stop moaning. You should try life in a Communist regime, it says. In Warwickshire, the message on the front of the bus is, 'I'm sorry but I'm not in service'. It's a conversation, it's emotional, it's a real apology and it's an acknowledgement that it may well have spoiled your day, and it will try to do better next time. Despite it being a metal box, a Warwickshire bus has more humanity than a London bus driver.
Okay, so it rains more here, I can't get digital so easily and people laugh when I say 'grarrss'. But in Warwickshire, even the buses want to make friends, and that's nice.