London buses tend to attract the weirdest people... (image source)
Despite being a London icon, which stands up there alongside the red postbox and red telephone box, travelling by the red London bus is something that I wouldn't recommend to tourists. If you have just arrived in London, I would suggest give it a couple of days before hopping onto the notorious London bus. For some reason, the buses tend to attract the weirdest possible passengers.
After Taste of Singapore on Saturday, Wife and I were heading back home on a bus. The bendy bus was packed but we somehow managed to squeeze our way in. There was this man who appeared slightly intoxicated sitting right in front of us. The reason why we could tell that he was drunk was because he was slurring his words through a tune, absolutely oblivious to the world. Let us just refer to him as the Drunk.
10 minutes into journey, a woman (let's call her Woman for simplicity sake) who was standing two metres to my left raised her voice,"Driver! This man is harassing this woman, can you stop him?!"
After I made sure that she wasn't referring to me (you never know...), I noticed that there was this minor commotion near the bus exit between another man (Aggressor) and a woman (Victim). Let me just put things into context, Aggressor was a white and Victim was a black, and both were obviously foreigners given their accents.
That was when the Drunk stirred into action.
"Hey you!" He waved his hand to the Aggressor, "Yes you! This is not Poland mind you. This place is run by rules!" That was rich coming from someone who was slumped on his seat with breath reeking of alcohol.
The Aggressor wasn't too pleased being singled out by Woman and Drunk but chose to take it out on the Victim instead. He leaned closer to the Victim and muttered menacingly, "What do you want? Huh? What do you want?"
The Victim, emboldened by the gathering support from the other passengers on the bus, raised her voice, "You bad man, get off the bus, get off the bus!"
"I won't get off the bus, why should I? Are you discriminating against me just because I am white?" the Aggressor stood his ground.
Determined not to be ignored, the Drunk made his views known to the entire busload of passengers, "HEY! Don't be a racist. It's not good to be a racist..." and promptly decided that it was too much effort and drifted into a deep slumber.
To give the Driver some credit, he did stop the bus eventually and got down to placate the Victim, Woman and Aggressor. Well, the Drunk obviously needed no placating.
We didn't find out what happened in the end as we hopped off the bus at that point and walked the rest of the way back home through the blustery winds that was sweeping through London.