Friday, February 07, 2014

Adventures in a Foreign Land - How To Look Awkward On A Bus!

For some reason whenever I got onto a bus, I'd sit/stand as close to the driver as I could. Hardly would I sit in back. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I'd have to get onto the bus from the front door, show my bus pass to the driver or pay, and it really didn't make sense to walk all the way to the back after (I should add that I didn't particularly mind that I'd be in other people's way, especially when there were no empty seats).

When I had to get off the bus, I'd always still use the front door though I could use the rear door (and should use the rear door to make way for incoming passengers). Well, I was always close to the driver so it made sense to use the front door. Thing is, when I would sit/stand close to the rear door but definitely before the rear door, I'd still get off using the front door (while avoiding the weird looks). I always saw people get off using the rear door so I knew it worked in just about all the buses. Usually, I see them get to the rear door, and then it opens, kinda like the front door.

On this lovely (not sure how lovely cos it was 20°C below 0) day, I get onto the bus and all the seats in front are taken. There are however empty seats all the way in the back. So, I make my way to the very last seat and settle there. We get to this bus stop and all these collegiate (high school) students get on. They are so many that the bus immediately fills up to capacity with most of them standing.

Now, we get to my stop and I ring the bell. The bus stops and I get up. It really would have been next to impossible (not really, I could have just shoved everyone aside) to get to the front door so I use the rear door, which was too close to where I sat. I get to the door and nothing happens. I ring the bell again and I get some weird looks. For some reason, I'm the only one in back getting off. All those getting off at that stop happened to be sitting/standing close to the front door. I look up front and I see the front door opened okay. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why the rear door just wouldn't open.

Then I hear one of the collegiate students (did I already say the bus was just about full of them?) say, "press on the yellow tape, dummy". I go like "huh". and then another says, "seriously, just press on it with your thumbs". At this point I hear a snicker or two and I see not just the collegiate students but everyone else on the bus including the bus driver looking impatient. So, I look at the door and I see the yellow tape the kids were talking about. And right there on the tape it says "please press", and there's actually a diagram of a thumb pressing on the yellow tape, so I try it.

Lo and behold, the door swings open. Yay! Before I got off though I heard someone (I'm very sure it was one of them collegiate students) say "dunce". Had I known what I know now, I would have said "tweaa" and walked away.
But seriously, had there not been a mixture of races among the students, I'd have pegged that as a racist attack, plain and simple.

Moral: read notices, always.


  1. Ouch!!!!!
    If it makes you feel any better.... Sometimes I stand at the wrong side of where train doors slide open. So I often have a 'silly' moment reminding myself that the doors behind me are already open, instead of the wrong one I'm stupidly standing and waiting in front looking like black Homer Simpson #Duh.
    Btw, where exactly are you?!!!!

    1. Hahahahahaha... Me, like I'd do the moonwalk onto the train, that's if I knew how to do it.
      Yep, I'm not ashamed to say that does make me feel so much better.
      In Ghana at the moment.

  2. Heyyyy this would have been very embarrassing, especially when you look at the children and see you can conveniently slap three at the same time. I'm actually that person that walks to the back of the bus when I get on. I like sitting in a spot that I can observe freely from. I've not had an embarrassing bus ride moment and I hope it doesn't happen lol.

    1. Trust me, it was more than very embarrassing urgh!
      Totally wouldn't wish the experience on anyone.


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