House of cards

It’s about time for an update. I thought I would give you an update on the public transportation commuter life that I started in September last year. Only a few months have past but I have seen a lot of the rough side already!

To be honest, it is part of the game. If you choose to travel by bus you kind of have to accept what comes with it. Like standing waiting in the cold or rain, hoping the bus will show up, or missing the bus because it came too early. Or even waiting for a bus that isn’t going to show up at all. That last one is alarming because it’s happened twice to me this year already. I don’t really understand how, at one of the main bus terminals in Stockholm mind you – loads of people waiting for a bus that is scheduled but doesn’t show up.

I’ve also had the time to experience all kinds of irritating passengers and strange bus drivers. I’m sure I can irritate people as well but that’s not my fault! One thing I have noticed is that many bus drivers seem sort of bitter; they will try to get back at you whenever they have the opportunity to. Let me describe the current situation. Today, bus drivers have a lot less to do. A few years back, passengers had to interact with the driver to buy their ticket and so on. But now everything is electronic and purchasing a ticket on board from the bus driver can’t be done anymore. It’s for safety reasons so the drivers don’t get robbed. Anyway, the bus driver is more invisible now and I’m sure most people just walk past without even acknowledging the driver. When I get on a bus I try to make a point of saying hi, or at least make eye contact with them while I walk past and validate my card on the machine.

Some drivers have instead made a point of not looking at the people getting on! They’ll look down at their phones, or look the other way or just look straight forward. It puzzles me; why take a job where you work with people but do anything to avoid them? I noticed this other driver a couple of weeks ago. She was about 45 years old, and you could tell she did not like her job, or people. The dude in front of me was stepping on and had a few bus cards to choose from; I guess he didn’t know which card was charged with a valid ticket. So, he stood there for a few seconds trying card after card to find the one with a valid ticket to ride. And then the bus driver says: “Hey, are you playing cards with me?” I guess it was kind of witty but in the moment you could tell she just wanted to poke at him. He finally found a valid card (for your information, this situation took about three seconds) and got on. You could tell she had been working on that crack for a long time and she got an opportunity to use it. I’m sure she uses it several times a day to be honest. Quite the comedienne. Well, not really.

There was this other time, a while back, the bus driver had to excuse himself to go out for a smoke. He made an announcement in the bus speakers and excused himself for a few minutes and had a smoke. And the whole time he made sure not to turn his face to all the passengers on the bus, so he could avoid all the annoyed faces. I took a picture of him and posted it on my twitter, it’s somewhere in the feed… A very bizarre situation. Quite the comedian. Well, well.

Song of the day: The Outsiders – Steady Me

 

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