Saturday, 17 September 2011

Everyone and their dog...

...was out there in their cars today. This, on a Saturday, you will quickly understand, was Not Good™ (spot the capitalisation and Trademark signs), at all; it clogged the roads worse than I've seen since the run-up to last Christmas, let alone the last snopocalypse we suffered.

This, when coupled with the roadworks on the route, made the traffic the worst we'd seen in quite some time. As a result, buses running late by three-quarters of an hour and worse were not unusual for a few hours today, despite the best efforts of the roadside controllers. It's unfortunate for the passengers, but one of those occasional things.

In amongst this however, was a small note of comic relief...

I had one prospective passenger ask me, with a very strong foreign accent, at the mid-point bus station, "How much to Eastbourne, please?".

Not sure I'd heard correctly, I asked "Sorry, guv, where?"

"Eastbourne". He then showed me the address that was being displayed on his phone (for once, a Nokia, not an i-whatever). Sure enough, Eastbourne, East Sussex.

"Guv, Eastbourne's something like forty miles that way!" I pointed roughly south, and continued, "This is a local bus service for London, not a coach; your best bet would be to get a train from over the way there!" and pointed to the train station.

"No, I go to Eastbourne, not London" came the fractured English in reply. Oh, hell, this was going to descend to farce, I could just feel it. Luckily, the second time I told him where Eastborne was, it seemed to sink in. "It's on the south coast, mate, sixty kilometres that way!" (there I was, pointing again, probably vaguely southwards)...

He stopped, and a faint light of comprehension came over his face. "Ah, Eastbourne, that way, yes?"

"Yes! Catch a train, it'll take you there!"

"OK, thank you, I go now!"

And go he did. Southwards. Walking.

There are moments in this game where you either want to start banging your nut on the steering wheel, or giggling like a lunatic.

Most of the passengers on the lower deck were already chortling away nicely, so I decided that giggling like a little schoolboy was suitably in order, and did just that. I'm bloody sure the horrified stares from passing pedestrians weren't warranted, naturally

Anyhow, short story, for a few minutes, I think I had the happiest bus in south London.

Then we hit more bloody queuing traffic.

I swear, you just can't bleeding win, sometimes. Cue headbutting the steering wheel...

..If you're not already giggling like a loonie, of course

No comments: