Sunday, 8 August 2010

What's The Time Mr Bus Driver?

The bus was fuller on the second of my three day stint, driving the Tyneside to Lake District service. The third day it was positively heaving, bursting at the seams with frugal coffin dodgers on a free day out.

There were very few young on the bus and the average age must have been over seventy-five and possibly more. They have exacting standards and expect a top quality service for their free pass.

"Ooh it's an awfully big step," said one old lady as she gingerly descended the stairs into the Lakeland air.

"Why did you come into the town this way. The other driver comes in the other," said a furious couple.

"It's allright if I sit in the crew seat isn't it?" said a regular as he pulled the foldable seat next to the driver down.

"No it is not." I replied.

He looked crest fallen. "Well some drivers do and some drivers don't" he added with a piercing look and particular emphasis on the word don't.

At the terminus, one by one the passengers came past me. "What time does the bus, driver?

"Four thirty, madam."

"What time?" said the next in line.


"What time's that?"

"What time?" said another. "Did you say 4.20?"

I've tried everything. Vier uhr und halb. Quattre heure et demi. I've even tried Esperanto. Now I hold up an A4 sheet of paper with 4.30 written in huge letters. But they still ask. It#s all part of the service.

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