Buses have been around since before I was born, and will probably still be running after we all die. Most people only associate buses with magic, illicit sex or perverts. This includes only one of those things.
I used the bus for the very first time this morning, on a long trip across this tiny, tiny country. After I bought my ticket from the surly man-in-the-booth and waited patiently on the icy metal seat, an older gentleman in a dashing hat came and sat close to me. Initially soothed by his peppermint and pipe tobacco smell, I turned to smile in greeting, only to find he was smiling back it me in a somewhat perverse manner.
"Excuse me, why are you smiling like that?" I enquired politely, whilst subtley shifting my leg away from his.
"You're gorgeous. If I were twenty years younger I would ravish you," he responded pressing his thigh against mine.
"Right. Ok, well... right," I articulated as the bus pulled up to our stop. After insisting he board first, being elderly, I quite purposefully took a seat as far away from the creepy Grandpa as possible.
As I fidgeted and messed with my bag, more and more people boarded and took their seats up and down the bus. I smiled cautiously at the variety of characters and to my delight a young man with long, dreadlocked hair decided to sit next to me.
"Hi," I said.
"Yeah," he replied. I was about to ask what he was reacting so positively to when the bus started up and we were on the way. Bouncing merrily along, I accidentlyjostled my bag into my bohemian neighbour's lap. I apologised profusely while he nodded, but to my immense disappointment he got up and off at the next stop.
I started casually playing with my bag again, but it seemed somewhat lighter. I checked and found my purse, iPod and Blackberry to be MIA. I jumped up as if to follow the dreadlocked thief, but to my chagrin he was long gone. Instead I marvelled at his pickpocket abilities, and fingered the dent on my finger where my ring used to be.
At the next stop came a rather frazzled young woman with a tiny baby in her arms. She smiled as she sat next to me and quickly launched into a run down of her day so far. Beginning with the baby waking her up at 4am with colic and ending with how she was on the way to the doctors to see if her 3rd degree tears had healed yet (they had gotten infected after the birth, you see), which saw us past many stops and put an end to any desire I might have had to have children of my own someday. When she had finished her gruesome tale of breast leakage and mastitis, not as entrancing as it sounds I assure you, she asked me if I would mind holding the tiny, fragile, bright pink baby a moment while she made a phonecall.
Being a kind, honest and somewhat beautiful person I agreed. Quick as a whistle the baby was in my lap and she had turned away to speak to "OMG Denise!" on the phone.
I looked the baby warily in the face and he/she/it stared suspiciously back. The bus was bouncing more due to being in a County with a careless council and the baby's face took on a green tinge.
"Oh no..." I started but before I could pass the baby back to mum I was covered in milky, sour smelling ooze. I tapped the mother on the shoulder to indicate my distress, but after tapping for around five minutes, I was still getting the shush hand wave. There was a ripple of displeasure throughout the bus as more and more people smelt the vomit. Eventually she finished talking to Denise but by then it was too late.
The smell had permeated throughout the bus, not to mention my clothes, and everyone was giving us dire evils. She hung up her phone and turned back to scoop up her baby.
"Aww, did the bus ride make you sicky poos? Sicky sicky sicky poos?" she gurgled to it as she dabbed at it's mouth. "Sorry," she cast at me as an after thought.
"Oh no worries, I like the smell of vomit," I responded. she gave me an odd look before ringing the bell, once again I was left alone on my seat with only the stink of vomit and the evil glares of bus riders for company.
We were nearing the end of our journey by this point, to my relief, however one last spanner in the works came in the form of the bus driver. We pulled up at the next to last bus stop and the driver turned off the engine, stood up and left the bus. I was sat with what I assume must have been a confused look on my face when I felt a tap on my shoulder.
"Don't worry, gorgeous, he does this sometimes." The smell of peppermint and pipe tobacco was unmistakable. How could he have gotten to the seat behind me so sneakily?
To sum up, whilst on a bus:
~Never smile at an old man that sits next to you
~Never let someone else handle your things
~Babies will throw up on you
~Keep an eye on the resident perve.