Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Red Rogues of the Street...

Having posted about the London Black Cab Driver, I thought that it'll be apt to do another on their counterpart.

I used to be terrorised by this particular SBS bus driver when I was a kid. It didn't help that I had to meet him everyday on my way to school (despite what they say, SBS is pretty punctual with the same driver at the same timeslot). He would stare down at me and scowled when I shoveled past him. But kudos to SBS, the bus captains (that's what they're called now) have much better attitude now; some will smile and others even make it a point to greet the passengers as they board the buses. I was under the impression that SBS was trying to emulate what some of the bus drivers in the "western countries" are already doing.

I was in for a rude shock when I reach London. The first thing that you might notice when you board a London bus is that there's this hard transparent plastic shield between the bus driver and the passengers. Its main purpose is to protect the driver from the passengers' 'abuse'. After awhile, you'll actually understand why some of these 'abuses' may be well founded.

I hopped onto a bus the other day. The bus driver just gave me a blank stare when I paid for my fare (not that I expect him to acknowledge my existence). Then he did something that shocked all the passengers at the very next stop. He cut the engine and terminated the journey there and then, demanding everyone to get off the bus and claiming that the passengers should know better as the destination stop was flashed on the bus display.

Judging from the passengers' expressions, I don't think that I was the only one who felt indignant (more so because I got up only on the previous stop). Two ladies decided to make their displeasure known. The driver replied,

"Well, the walk should do you some good!" (the ladies were on the plump side).

Gosh, I miss the SBS drivers.

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6 comments:

Alok said...

You have a good way of putting things. Humour is your strength. Will keep visiting your post. Good one.

Manictastic said...

I had that once too. It's so strange to experience being thrown off a bus because the driver is at the end of his day. Luckily, the busses ride frequently and you can easily hop onto the next, but still it's quite irritating.

LadyBanana said...

That's happened to me before...

I was annoyed thinking I had to pay another fare to get on the next bus... but I asked for a continuation ticket to complete my journey.

C K said...

That's what I did with the next bus. But I've seen bus drivers who refused outright...

Alison said...

London bus drivers can be terrifying! Though I have been known to give as good as I get sometimes :)

C K said...

Ok... now, THAT sounds scary. :p