Transports of Delight

Posts, Transports of Delight

It’s been a bit quiet on kaitlynplyley.com of late, mainly because I’ve been building up my micro-story blog, Transports of Delight. It’s getting a few likes, and has even been nominated for a blogosphere user award (the VBA).

Every Sunday I blog a new story about the unusual stuff that happens to me on public transport. Experiences range from being shouted at by mentally unstable passengers, to watching as my bus driver runs into a fire truck.

So please check out www.delightfultransports.wordpress.com, and leave a comment letting me know what you think!

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Condescending Santa Claus

Transports of Delight

Ugh, why do they do this?

I’ve got my Go Card ready to swipe, I’m getting on the bus in an orderly fashion, but the driver stops me. He has something to say.

I wait, wearily, standing with my bags full of shopping in the entrance of the bus. I think I know what’s coming, because I’ve become familiar with this routine. I’m about to get the “You’re An Idiot and Here’s Why” speech.

The bus driver barks at me. “Did you get off here for the markets earlier?” (This is not tricksy detective work on his part; I’m holding a potted fern in a plastic bag and a flyer for the Australian Greens.)

I look around. I’ve been walking around the area all morning, and I’m not sure which bus stop I used. “Um, yeah, probably.”

The driver laughs, but he says the laughs – “HA. HA. HA.” He is pleased to have identified my stupidity. His thick white beard shakes, making him look like a condescending Santa Claus.

“Dude,” – it’s weird hearing ‘dude’ from Santa – “I stop at the markets until twelve today! HA. HA. You could have gotten off there! I sang it out when we set off, didn’t you hear?” I stare at him. I wasn’t on his bus earlier.

Finally he lets me go, and I find a seat while the rest of the passengers watch me. This is so frustrating. I am still new to this town, so I already feel like a lost idiot most of the time. I appreciate when bus drivers offer friendly advice, but now they’re taking extra time to point out things I could’ve done better? Come on, dude!

This comes after weeks of bus drivers pointing out my idiocy. One driver, when we reached a stop, pulled the bus over with a wrench and turned to glare at me. “GIRL IN THE PURPLE SHIRT!” he roared down the bus. “THIS DOES NOT GO TO YOUR STOP! GET OFF HERE!” I thanked him with all meekness and immediately got up to leave. As I went to step off the bus, the driver held me back. “I TOLD YOU THREE TIMES! I SAID, THREE TIMES, THIS DOES NOT GO TO THE ‘GABBA! I TOLD YOU!” I repeated my thanks and quickly jumped off the bus, burning with embarrassment. I now realise that when I had earlier asked him politely “Does this bus go to the ‘Gabba?”, that mumbling sound he made was in fact the word “No”. Ah geez.

But I say to you, bus drivers, that you are not so perfect! Some of you run into fire trucks! And last night, I snapped this:

As soon as we reached a red light, the bus driver whipped out the paper and had a read of the news. Safe driving? Smart choices? Intelligent, well-balanced publication? No, no, and nope.

Bus drivers: 2.

Me: 1.

I’M FINALLY ON THE BOARD! Take that, bussies.

The Bus Driver Who Sideswiped A Fire Truck

Transports of Delight

I’m sitting on a city bus in Brisbane, wondering if I’ve made a huge mistake. Should I have moved to Brisbane? I’ve been catching Translink buses for weeks now, and my experiences have been nondescript. This worries me. Will there be no more Transports of Delight? Do my crazy bus stories end here? I miss Fremantle!

These thoughts are interrupted as my bus runs into a fire truck.

It is such a beautiful moment.

The other passengers are looking around in concern, muttering darkly. The bus driver sags in his seat; the mood is sombre. I am grinning like someone who just saw snow for the first time. Transports of Delight lives on! Oh ye of too much faith in the competence of bus drivers! Huzzah!

The driver’s door swings open, and he climbs out of the bus, careful not to make eye contact with any passengers. I’m craning my neck, willing light to bend so that I can see the damage on the back of the bus. Onlookers are crowding the busy street outside. We’ve sideswiped a big, red, parked fire truck.

It seems the fire truck was chock full of firefighters, all of whom are now standing around the pavement and looking stern. They seem annoyed that this has happened – annoyed, but not surprised. The bus driver, looking very small in his Translink uniform, is slowly approaching them. It looks like he’s going to try to suggest that it was their fault.

Our bus driver walks up to the main firefighter, a man who looks like he will always be called “Captain” regardless of his actual rank. Captain is standing with square shoulders and perfect posture, gazing down at him like a disappointed Phys. Ed. teacher. All that’s missing is a lanyard with a whistle around his neck. Bus Driver doesn’t stand a chance.

I can’t hear anything the two men are saying to each other, but it looks like Captain is winning. He calmly listens to Bus Driver’s hand-gesturing insistence, then razors across that with a few firm words and some clipboard-pointing. Bus Driver weakens. Other firefighters are stalking behind Captain, casually circling the two men. I’m strongly reminded of the scene from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire where Harry and Voldemort face off within a circle of Death Eaters. (Not that I’m comparing our Bus Driver to Harry Potter … No. Harry would have seen the fire truck.)

Meanwhile, although the bus driver is clearly absent and the bus is splayed across the road with a fire truck sticking out of its bum, people are still getting on the bus. And more than one person is looking privately pleased that they didn’t have to buy a ticket. Free bus ride! Just watch out for parked rescue service vehicles!

After the incident has been thoroughly documented with everyone’s iPhone cameras, Captain dismisses Bus Driver and Bus Driver slinks back to his seat. We unstick ourselves from the fire truck and rejoin the Brisbane traffic.

When we get to my stop, I’m strangely reluctant to get out. I don’t want to leave this bus – I’m invested now. I kind of want to see what else this bus driver will do. But hey, there are plenty more reckless bus drivers where he came from. And, luckily for me, heaps of them work in Brisbane.