Yesterday morning I followed my usual routine, breakfast, house tidying, watch an episode of McGyver...
then caught the bus into town.
When I got there I stood for a few minutes watching the big cranes lifting things into position on the empty block where Harris Scarfe used to stand. I thought about getting out the camera for a quick photo or two, but realised I'd get carried away and miss the next bus I was supposed to catch.
So I left the cranes behind, promising myself photos on another day.
As I neared the next bus stop, (about twenty yards away from it), the bus I was meant to get on pulled up. so I called up a spurt of energy and ran to catch it. Hey, look at me! Miss Lazybones, running!
It was warmish inside the bus, and I was warmed from my twenty yard sprint, so once I was comfortably seated, I took off the light jacket I'd been wearing against the chill in the breeze.
Immediately the woman across the aisle from me spoke up.
"You shouldn't take off your jacket, you should leave that on, it's cold. I've got my jacket on and I'm freezing."
I replied to her that I was a bit warm from running to catch the bus, to which she then said, "Oh you shouldn't be running, you might have an accident and end up in the hopital. What will you do then?"
Me: "I had to catch the bus, I need to get to work, I don't like to be late."
Woman: "You shouldn't run just for a bus, you might have an accident and end up in hospital, then you'll miss work. You should just walk and if you miss the bus you can wait for the next one. So what if you're a bit late for work? They won't mind surely?"
I tried to explain (while she kept talking), that we work on a roster system that relies on people turning up on time so that those already working can have their tea or lunch breaks, or go home if their shift has ended.
She insisted that I shouldn't run, I might have an accident etc, she never runs anywhere, and I should put my jacket back on, I might catch a cold...."
At this point I decided I'd tune her out, so got my book out of my bag and began reading.
Well, this really set her off!
I shouldn't read my book because I might miss my stop and end up at the end of the line and have to come all the way back...she just went on and on while I tried to ignore her.
It wasn't easy as her voice was quite loud, but the book was getting interesting, so I turned the page...
Then she found a new distraction.
The young man sitting in front of me with a baby boy in a pram.
He gave the boy a drink from a sippy cup and the child drank a little too fast and coughed a bit.
Straight away this woman was on his case.
"That child is coughing! You shouldn't be on a bus with a coughing child! I don't want to have that cough, you should get off the bus! We'll all get sick! Stop him from coughing! You shouldn't be on the bus with a sick baby! What if I catch the cough? I don't want to be sick!
And so on.
And on and on and on.
Yes, the exclamation points are necessary. This is how she spoke.
The dad wasn't so tolerant as I'd been and argued back with her about the boy only coughing a little because he'd swallowed too much too fast etc. (the baby wasn't coughing anymore by now)
So then she started going on about how you're not supposed to drink on the bus.
"Read the sign at the front, it clearly says no drinking or eating on the bus!"
Things could get spillled, we'd all slip over, (not if we stay seated we won't, is what I thought), the floor will get all sticky, the driver would be distracted, we'd have an accident and end up in the hospital...
By now the dad was getting a little angry and told her off for interfering, first with me and then with him. He was just giving a thirsty baby a little water. Surely she understands that you wouldn't deny a baby a drink? Would she deny her own child a drink?
The woman stated that she didn't have any children, the dad said "Thank god for that!", while she carried on about not drinking on the bus.
I kept reading.....The 5th Witch by Graham Masterton.
(I've never missed my getting off stop).
The dad and the woman both got off the bus at the same stop, and I hoped she wouldn't follow him around and keep arguing.
Everything she'd said the whole trip had been negative and I began to wonder what kind of life has she had to make her this way.
Had she always been so negative and fearful? (and critical)
Had she once been happy and had something terrible happen to make her this way?
(Maybe she had an accident and ended up in the hospital?)
It seems so sad to me for someone to have such a negative outlook.
I hope she found something good about her day before she went to bed last night.
Day 17 US, 07/07, To New York
1 hour ago