There is nothing that beats the bus and its people.
You see all sorts of people in the bus.
Some are regulars; you see them most days of the week and you are beginning to feel like you are one big happy family. There is that guy who sits across from you, always in sun glasses even when it is a cold NL morning. He has an ipad, looks like he is playing some game. Sometimes he has a mug of coffee. I always wonder where he is from (or to). Then there is the old lady who shouts out “love your locs!” as you get in the bus and makes you stop momentarily before smiling and shouting right back “thanks sister!” This lady just makes my mornings; she is always serving compliments to people as they board. I dig her spirit.
Then there is this one guy who just killed me the other day. About 50 or thereabouts, grey hair and a beard to match. Straight out of those Turkish sleepy towns where he is fondly referred to by everybody as amca. Btw, amca is Turkish for uncle but it is also used endearingly to refer to old men. Anyway, amca pulls out a flip phone and proceeds to put it just inches from his eyes, hits some buttons and then off he goes…talking animatedly for ages. When the call ended he didn’t stop, he kept talking to himself oblivious of anything or the people staring at him.
Some bus people are something else though. This one time I am coming from work, knackered and hungry. All I am thinking of is my bed and the Phyllo Vegetable Pie in my fridge. I kid! All I have in my fridge is bread and some pickles for a sandwich. Anyway, you get the point. I am tired and I just want to get home, get warm, get love, get food and and get some sleep. Then who gets in the bus? These three teenagers from Somalia. Now, I am not hating or anything but if you are familiar with our brothers from up there you know they love their scents. They go hard! Their perfumes are something else; rich and spicy. Scents that say: I am here, see me or better still smell me. The bus is often quiet except for the occasional people taking a call. These guys cut into that stillness with their loud conversation that kept going louder and louder. At this point the scent is almost choking me and their convo is driving me nuts yet I have ten more stops before my stop. Sigh!
Some bus people are one time bus users; which means something happened and they can’t drive so they end up taking the bus from point A to B. You can spot these people from a mile- in this case from the very last seat on the bus. They never sit still; they look around in and out of the bus. Probably because they don’t want to miss their stop. Since they don’t get to take the bus often, the one timers just love it. They smile at everyone- smiles they expect you to return and which you return- and get into pockets of conversation with the people getting in and off the bus. One day a guy proceeded to share an entire peas soup recipe with another lady sitting out there four seats away. That conversation just killed me. I was this close to telling them “I have a Kenyan chapati madondo recipe if you are interested.” Of course I typed that peas soup recipe on my phone real quick.
Finally, there is that one person. Always a book in hand. Always a coffee in hand. Most of the time head buried in a book. Occasionally stealing glances. Often smiling at beautifully crafted words such as I send you my sorrow. And my art from The Way Forward is with a Broken Heart (you’ve read this book by Alice Walker, right?) Every so often cracking up from some insane words by Junot Diaz –you also meet her mother, her grandmother, her brother, her sister, her three uncles. Seems like everybody is missing teeth– At times staring into space. That person is me, I am looking at you so I can make up stories about you for my blog haha!
My best to fellow bus people out there.