I really don’t understand the Oxford bus system. They seem to take the old “three come along at once” analogy to extremes. You wait 20 minutes for a number 5, muttering under your breath that they claim to come every five minutes, only to see four or five round the corner in a procession. Yesterday, on arriving at the station, the bus drivers actually gathered together to bicker over who should leave first – because the 8.16, 8.21, 8.26 and 8.31 had all arrived (at 8.32) together.
My bus route takes me (very slowly) past a couple of signs that make me chuckle inwardly every morning. The oddly titled Honest Stationery shop makes me wonder what exactly dishonest stationery gets up to. And the Greek restaurant has a painted chalkboard outside that reads: “Welcome to Greece! Full English breakfast available all day, £1.79”. It tickles me!
Meanwhile, the passengers themselves offer endless sources of entertainment – be it shock, horror or amusement. Last week, two young teenage girls discussed the relative merits of having their own place one day – where they could smoke indoors, and wouldn’t have to have sex in the park in winter when it’s so cold… Today, one lad complained to another about the fact he’d lived in Oxford all his life and constantly had his bus held up by students, but had never actually seen The University – in fact, didn’t really know what a University looked like. At which time his mate chipped in that his Dad claimed there were two unis – Oxford and Brookes. Having made this astounding discovery they began pondering why they needed two universities anyway – what was the difference? They eventually agreed that one was for people who wanted office jobs or to be scientists, and the other was more “to do with sport stuff”. They were glad they hadn’t gone to uni, although one confessed at this point that his work were putting him through a diploma one day a week, and it was actually kinda cool…
Next time you’re on a bus, I highly recommend eavesdropping!