Wednesday, March 22, 2006

On Toleration

I flashed my pass at the driver and trundled upstairs only to be greeted by a strong smell of unwashed person. At least that’s how I describe it, but it’s probably a medical condition or something. It smelt bad, and I felt sorry for who ever it was, stinking like that all day long. That small piece of sympathy somehow made the smell bearable (kind of). I can accept such an experience as just one of the many intricacies of bus travelling; you take the rough with the smooth, and that’s ok. Not so when the rough is a smoky bus.

There are like fifty no smoking signs visible from every seat, yet every now and then someone near the back on the top deck decides that their desire to light up is more important than the comfort of every other non-smoker there. The smell of weed is the worst; it makes me feel a bit sick. I want to get up and say something, not be nasty, just ask them kindly to put it out, please.

But I don’t, I just sit there with everyone else and pretend I haven’t noticed it. I feel so English, and shy, like if the person in question were to walk past me and slap me on the head I’d apologise for being in the way. It’s pathetic. I’m not exactly small, and on a half full bus I needn’t be afraid, yet I am. In fact, I suspect the smoker justifies their decision by telling themselves that if anyone really cared they would say something. So perhaps I will.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Jimmy said...

Saying nothing is the lesser of two evils
the greater evil being having to engage with an ignorant bastard.

11:08 pm  
Blogger Si said...

Those of you who travel to South Manchester have the luxury of regular and relatively safe buses. Have you ever got the 36 to Little Hulton? Ouch.

1:58 am  
Blogger JohnB said...

Your experience totally resembles the buses that transverse across Seattle's University District, where the perpetual stench of BO is an utter constant...relentless.

Everyone here is the same-everyone acts like they don't notice a thing no matter how dire the circumstance!

5:26 am  
Blogger Geoff said...

I read a story recently of a stabbing on a 43 bus in london - one woman wrote about how she tried to help and asked for more help but most of the people there avoided eye contact, despite the victim bleeding and going into shock in front of them.

7:45 am  

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