Time for a quick Seinfeld impersonation:
What’s the deal with bus drivers? Why are they always in such bad moods? You’d think you’d be happy if you got to cruise around all day in a vehicle so big only a monster truck or a semi trailer would mess with you. It’s not like they’re frustrated with traffic; they’re not trying to get home in a hurry.
Ok. Hopefully that set the tone for this piece.
I’ve never had good experiences with bus drivers. The only memories I’ve ever had are of them being aggressive and mean, horrible people. I never really took the bus to school when I was young but I remember everyone had to have a bus pass. I also remember that the bus drivers would act as if they were working border patrol as customs officers whenever an 8 year old would hop on without the correct papers. What’s the big deal? Who the hell cares if a couple of schoolkids hop on a bus without a pass? It’s not costing the bus driver anything and the kids only need to ask their school to give them the pass and they get one. They still don’t pay for anything. The same goes for trains, but I’m not going to go into that here.
Even after my schooling days, they still run around as if they’re upholding some important station in society. I got verbally assaulted once by a bus driver because I didn’t have small enough change for my ticket. I believe the fare was meant to be $2.40. I only had a $10 note but I did have $0.40 in coins on me, so to be considerate and make the drivers job easier for me I handed him $10.40 so that he could just scrape up my $8 in change without having to think about it. Boy was I wrong.
Apparently I was out of line. I was meant to have THE CORRECT CHANGE. Taken aback, I stammered something out about how I didn’t have any change and couldn’t help it. Livid, the driver yanked the cash out of my hand and with a red face and steaming ears, went to all the trouble of picking up a $5 note and two little golden coins and threw them at me along with my ticket. He then continued to complain about how I was somehow fucking up the system because he didn’t have enough money in his till to break $10 notes… Even though he did. To cut a long description of a pointless argument short, he was a prick.
I’ve had other ridiculous experiences in Sydney but there’s no point rehashing them now. I will, however, share a brief whine about one of my Finnish bus mishaps.
Being a good commuter, I arrived 15 minutes early at the bus stop, eagerly waiting for my ride to the city centre of Lahti in order to frolick down to the main bus terminal and take a 2 hour trip to Tampere for a night of fun and alcoholism. Again, story short, the bus was 10 minutes late and drove straight past me while I stood in front on the bus stand. I waited another 20 minutes for the next bus even though it should only have been 10 and in frustration decided to simply walk to town. Of course, I’d already missed my scheduled bus by then and had to make my friend wait for me and watch our bus drive off, as he was there on time. I think he got a lift or something.
The good news is that while bus drivers may be pricks, they’re also stupid. When I finally got onto the bus headed for Tampere I managed to down a whole bottle of vodka in the back seat while I listened to my 80s pop collection on my iPod.
It’s not easy being this hardcore.