I love utilizing public transport in England. It’s much better than that of any other place I’ve had the opportunity to visit. Plus, I don’t have to deal with the hassle of vehicular maintenance, rising gasoline prices, and (confession alert!) I still have no clue how to change a flat tire.
Instead, I walk a short distance to the bus station, a mere two miles from campus. I have friends who walk this twice daily, but the American in me maintains I am entirely justified in making use of the quintessential double decker. Buses run frequently, so I never have to wait long; and once on board I sit back and watch the scenery or immerse myself in a book. The only instance in which I truly lament the loss of a car is when I wish I could pop over to Del Taco at three in the morning for a quesadilla.
Sadly, a few days ago, my trust in Britain’s transport was shaken to the core. Nothing seemed amiss as I claimed a seat towards the back of the bus on my way into town…until I noticed the smell harassing my nostrils from several different directions. It was a delightful combination of body odor and unwashed hair. I began to wonder if all the horrible jokes about Europeans and their lack of regular bathing were rooted in truth.
And then, just behind me, the congested snorting. I can be slightly obsessive compulsive, so visions of virus-laden air danced through my head. To make matters worse, a man at the front of the bus then began an incessant hack that only added fuel to the proverbial fire. Needless to say, I was quite happy to make my escape. Perhaps I will start wearing ‘bus pants’ like Sheldon Cooper in an effort to avoid contamination.
I have only seen red buses in London.
I wonder why that is. Hmm...