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I wish there was such a thing as a quiet bus in the same way that there's often a quiet coach on trains these days. On a bus though there isn't anywhere you can go to avoid having to listen to all the gory details of someone else's personal life as they shout into their mobile phone.
I don't go on buses all that often, which is a good thing because I don't enjoy the experience at the best of times and yesterday's rush hour journey has really put me off. To start with I had to wait for quite a while, which was okay because I understand how things work in rush hour; there's actually no real rushing, in fact things gradually grind to a halt which is why we all had to wait. Presumably the bus got stuck in a queue of other buses and these were all prevented from moving by the headless chickens dodging in and out and running to catch other buses. Most amusing to watch and our bus did eventually get to the stop.
...hadn't even set off and the mobile phones came out.
The bus was at capacity, but not so busy that people had to stand and I managed to find a seat easily enough, but the bus hadn't even set off and all the mobile phones came out. That was when the 'fun' began. I should point out that I have no objection to people making calls on the bus provided it's done discreetly and quickly. Having to spend three quarters of an hour listening to one side of a very loud conversation isn't pleasant though.
The young woman who sat behind me wasn't the loudest but she definitely had the most stamina as she spent the entire journey glued to her mobile. She was still on the phone as she left the bus after forty minutes. Presumably her contract provides her with quite a bit of talk time. I reckon she ought to patch things up with her sister though because family feuds aren't a good thing. Oh, and she probably won't get that job if she insists she can't start work before nine thirty (so she can have a bit of a lie in). Potential employers have many more willing candidates to choose from these days!
As for the young fellow wearing the high viz yellow jacket. You were definitely the loudest on the bus and from what I can gather the most obnoxious person I could hope not to meet on a bus. Sat near the back of the bus, I could hear you very clearly all the way down at the front where I was seated. Some people make absolutely no attempt to reduce the volume of their conversation so as not to irritate other passengers. Even if I'd had some headphones and music I probably wouldn't have been able to drown this guy out. He was very full of himself, proclaiming loudly that he wasn't going to come out tonight unless everyone else agreed to go to a certain place, because the place they had decided on was full of drunks and he was going to be drinking coffee and didn't want to go to a place like that! He then proceeded to give detailed advice on how to get text messages and calls blocked when someone was being a nuisance. Yeah, well tell me about it there buddy. If only we could gag you as easily, that way the rest of us could enjoy the journey in peace and quiet!
I don't think these are isolated examples. People these days are often in their own little worlds either on their mobile phones or listening to their iPods etc. That's all very well, but I just wish they'd have a bit of consideration for those of us who aren't 'plugged in'.
By: Silent Harry