Things I have learned on buses

1. If someone has stuck their leg out in the aisle and you trip over it, check that it's not a broken plastered-in-white-up-to-the-thigh leg before you give them the evil eye.

2. If you have taken a sopping wet umbrella onto the bus because it is raining and decide to keep it on the seat beside you because the bus is fairly empty and no one will need to sit there, it is exactly at this point that a queue of twenty-five will appear at the next bus stop and someone will need to sit in the puddle next to you and exactly at the same point that you will realise you left the packet of tissues on the kitchen table.

3. There are some combinations which are lethal: one of them is wearing a silky skirt on a bus with shinily upholstered leather seats which is being driven by a maniac who brakes very suddenly.

4. If you are round of derriere, sitting next to a thin person is a good idea, as sitting next to another round-of-derriere lady means that two inches of you is protruding into the aisle; on long journeys, this will result in an indentation which will not disappear until much later in the day.

5. A packet of M & Ms goes a long way when spilled onto the floor at the back of a bus which is travelling down a hill.

6. It takes a lot of grace and forbearance to say 'thank you, driver' to someone who brakes so suddenly while you're standing in the aisle and waiting to get off that you have to grab onto an old lady's arm to steady yourself and she has to grab onto someone else to manage the situation.

7. Spring-loaded windows in local buses can sound like gunshots, which is worth remembering so that just because someone behind you has closed the window doesn't mean you should spin round and look at them wide-eyed and open-mouthed and palely, because when they close the window again and sit down heavily and tut to their neighbour about how no one likes fresh air these days, you will be so embarrassed you will have to get off the bus early and it is bound to be snowing.

8. Eating olives on buses is easier when they are in brine and not in oil; however, even in brine, you will find retrieving olives from narrow jars difficult if you put too many fingers in the jar at once and have trouble getting them, and an olive, back out again. Think Aesop.


  1. And number 9) That when a toddler gets on the bus, you can be pretty confident that, after nicely going to the toilet all morning in places that you're meant to go to the toilet, suddenly they will need to go soooo badly...and they try and try to hold it in...but frankly they can't, so that's that.

  2. Fran, dear, have you ever considered buying a car?

  3. And number 10, Adventuring Maya, is that when a toddler does this, you can guarantee the bus will be crowded with childless people.

  4. Lesley, what would I have to write about?

  5. Oh, I have a feeling you would still have plenty to write about! (and so would the other drivers)

  6. My favorite is #3. I can picture you trying to hang on while sliding around on the seat while still trying to look dignified.Although I imagine if you are an avid people watcher you can gather all sorts of material to write about in your blog.

  7. Ha! Nice bit of literary legedermain going on here madam! Olives indeed! I strongly suspect that they would have been a particularly crunchy variety of pickled onions that you were ferreting out of a jar (and retrieving from the back of the seat)...
    See I have sat next to your type before...

  8. Yes, gaf85, but you try people-watching while trying to get a grip on the seat in a silky skirt. You're much more likely to have people watching you, not the other way round ...

  9. You win tonight's prize, Spilt Ink, for the longest word in a comment. I had to look it up. Good one. And, no, I have never eaten pickled onions on a bus. I seriously think they would confiscate my season ticket.

  10. I think the next time you get on the bus you should try and do ALL 8 things on you list before you reach your destination. That would be a fun ride...


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