Encounters in public transportation

The WP-team asked us what the funniest thing was while riding a bus. I’ve used public transportation a lot! My uncle was a bus driver, so it started early in life, and I didn’t always own a car. Over the years, I’ve moved countless times … so I’ve often taken a bus, train or truck to go home and see my family. Sometimes, I had my cat Hadassah with me in a transportation cage, and she was like a magnet when it came to conversations with strangers. This is one of the very few photos I have of her.

If she was a magnet for conversations, I myself seemed to be one too, but to boozers and generally strange people.

At one point, when I lived in the same town I mentioned in previous post, I took the local bus to work. There was a big square downtown, where all the buses gathered … like a hub, but also crowded with farmers selling produce in the summertime. One hot afternoon, I was standing there waiting for my bus … the last leg of the trip home. The square was unusually crowded. I was wearing a T-shirt, that someone from my hometown Härnösand had sent to me.

Now … wouldn’t you now! A little boozer spotted me from the opposite side of the square … I saw him coming! As he came closer, I saw him squinting … trying to read the text on my T-shirt:
(it’s a play on words, the name of the town is Härnö-sand, but they made it HÄR-NÖS-AND and translated it)

The big letters were fine … when he managed to get the nine letters together and was able to pronounce the word, he chuckled … ‘ah ha ha! Härnösand!’ … but then he got closer and could even read the small, English print! That, he found incredibly funny and started really laughing out loud. Then he apparently felt that he was entitled to a conversation with me and some nonsensical talk that went from the Americans beating the Russians in hockey, [Lake Placid 1980] to the Americans being first on the Moon, took place. I never got the connection, but I was saved by the bus.

Several years later, I was on a bus from the little clinic where I worked, back to Umeå where I lived then. It was another hot summer day … I was tired after working the whole day and something was wrong with the heating system in the bus … he couldn’t turn off the heat! Each stop, he opened the doors but it was just as hot outside so, no relief there. We were only three passengers.

The first village, after my work place, the same type of little boozer boarded the bus. I saw him coming, I quickly grabbed the newspaper and hid behind it. That didn’t help — he sat down across the aisle from me. Started out with asking me if I was a teacher. I answered, without looking up from the paper, that I was not. He went through a number of professions, I kept answering no until I got so fed up … in this heat and all … so I said to him: ‘I’m going in to the hospital, starting my shift in the Intoxication ward, so I’ll see you later‘. That seemed to send him into deep thoughts for a while but after a while he stated: ‘No! NO WAY I’m going to end up there tonight!‘ I told him I didn’t believe him as he was already reeking of  alcohol. The police preferred to drive them there instead of putting them in the drunk tank and I knew about this as I’d worked in that hospital earlier. Either way, it quieted him but by then we were already entering the city.

To sum up this topic … I haven’t had much fun on buses.




13 Replies to “Encounters in public transportation”

  1. Oh my, you did have some weird encounters. I never know how to respond when someone starts talking and I am just not in for a conversations, let alone that someone being a boozer…

    1. Had I lived here, where I am now, all my life, the situation would probably have been different. People are chatty here. In Sweden, you just don't talk to strangers. That's why I only had boozer encounters. On the other hand … HERE, I never see any boozers out and about. Maybe our Swedish boozers like to be out more LOL

  2. Ha Ha sounds like you sure are a boozer magnet. I'm glad I don't attract them like that as I can't stand drunks that ramble on with all srts of nonsense.

  3. Funny how we draw certain types of people, isn't it? I remember riding a bus when I was a kid, with Mom. I was a shy little thing, and I hated the push and squeeze of it. I was very glad when we got a second car and Mom could drive us into the city to shop. I haven't been on a bus in years. Don't miss it at all.

    1. Louise,
      I never thought much of it, until now when we got this topic. It was just one of those things I did most every day. Some days, after work, especially in the Winter, when the bus was crowded, I hated it. The squeeze. I’ve used the local buses here a couple of times.

  4. This is too funny. I seem to attract weird people also. My friends are always amazed. I usually say see that person they will start talking to me and they usually do. lol I never had to ride the bus a lot. I walked as a kid and rode my bike. I went one time with a friend on the bus down town when we were in Jr. High, about 14. For some reason we were eating peanuts and got the salt in our eyes. That sent us into a fit of giggles. We never got off. Didn't know where we would end up but finally were brought back to the stop where we started. Funny the things other people's stories make you remember.

    1. Suz,
      Now when I read your comment here other memories came back! A friend and I were in Stockholm, took a ride in one of those double deckers. We sat upstairs. We didn’t have any real plan, we just rode around. Finally the bus drove straight in to their big garage! 🙂 We had to get out on the street and get a hold of another one to get back into the city.

      When my best friend and I were 12, we had some platonic infatuation with a bus driver. At one time, she and I were going to the beach, HE was driving. We had brought a bag of apples, which somehow broke, and all the apples started rolling around in the aisle. This embarrassed us to no end — we really wanted to make a good impression LOL

  5. No busses here so no experience. But with quirky, weird people — I am a magnet!!! Such a joy. But online I am an Asian magnet. I do not have any Asian friends in my 'real' life. but online there are so many who want to connect to me.

    1. Nowadays, after what happened on a Greyhound bus here in Canada last year, I'd almost be a little scared, I think.
      Haven't had any requests anywhere now, but I remember back in Y360! That was so different…

  6. I am pretty careful who I connect with. It is scary out there. Mostly now I get requests on Twitter. I rarely connect with anyone there. most are pushing something or other.

    1. Yeah … TWitter! As soon as I post a tweet, I get a bunch of new followers. I never follow them back, only if it is someone from here.

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