Monday, February 21, 2011

The Bad Bus Day

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...

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