Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Bus with a View

I was Reading an old Bill Bryson book on the way home, and I came across the following passage:
‘There is something awfully exhilarating about riding on the top of a double-decker. You can see into upstairs windows and peer down on the tops of people’s heads at bus stop-stops (and when they come up the stairs a moment later you can look at them with a knowing look that says: ‘I’ve just seen the top of your head’) and there’s the frisson of excitement that come with careering round a corner or roundabout on the brink of catastrophe. You get an entirely fresh perspective on the world’ (Bryson, Notes From A Small Island, 1995)

Well said Bill (except for the ‘frisson of excitement’ bit – that’s just going too far). I too look down on the tops of people’s heads, and we’re not the only ones. When I’m waiting to board I sometimes shoot a quick glace upwards to see four or five pairs of guilty eyes quickly resume more socially acceptable fixings, such as the back of the head in front. They’re surprised when I look up because usually people just stand there like zombies, or hunt for their buss pass, and the top deck observer is free to inspect dandruff and hope that big guy with sweat patches doesn’t come sit next to them.


Blogger JohnB said...

Unfortunately in Seattle, there are no double-deckers...usually this type of operation would be completed looking down at automobile operators from the bus...who seem to believe they are impervious to the outside world.

6:20 pm  

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